Tag Archives: Bob Carr

Top 5 Central Florida Videos Weekly Round Up

We are thinking about doing a new weekly feature, where we show the Top 5 youtube videos of events from around Central Florida, all uploaded within the past week.

It should give a great snapshot of all the different things happening. (And you can give us a shout out if you post a great video. Who knows, it might be featured on our Weekly Round Up!)

So, let’s get started with this week’s videos:

Car races:

From Attractions Magazine:

Light Up UCF:

From Disney Parks – Mickey becomes a Magic Player:

Building of Legoland:

Bonus videos–yeah, we couldn’t decide on just 5 this week!

From NBCActionNews, because this was just so darn crazy!

Singing, because we loved Spring Awakening when it was in Orlando:

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Filed under Amway Arena, Bob Carr, Broadway at Bob Carr, Charity, disney, Non-profit, Only at a Theme Park, Orlando Magic, Top 5 Video Round Up, UCF

Orlando Ballet: 5 Tips to Be Prepared to Enjoy

The Top 5 was thrilled when we were invited to attend Orlando Ballet’s opening night of Giselle.  As a youngster I had, of course, seen The Nutcracker. (That’s Orlando’s version of the Rockettes, kind of like a rite of passage during Christmastime.)  However, The Nutcracker features almost the entire ballet school, so I was excited to see the professional dance troupe perform.

We excitedly arrived at the Bob Carr, and my hubby was pleased to see so many physically-fit former dancers in the crowd. There were also lots of mothers with their daughters in the audience, some even wearing tiaras! As the first act lasted an hour and the pre-teen girl in front of me was held spellbound, I wondered if she were not an avid dancer.  However, I noticed her mother constantly leaning over to whisper, perhaps explaining the storyline the dancers were busily intimating and pantomiming. So, I thought why not come up with some tips to help prepare you for a successful trip to the ballet.

1) Read about the storyline

Ballets don’t have dialogue or subtitles, and the characters can be difficult to determine unless you know what you are looking for, so start googling!  Wikipedia has a very easy to read plot summary of Giselle, which was extremely helpful when I was watching the ballet. (How else would I know Albrecht, the noble and male lead, was a noble disguising himself as a peasant or that he was engaged to Bathilde while he was busy flirting with Giselle?)  FYI, the playbill usually has a summary, too, but sometimes you may be too busy people watching or the auditorium might be too dark to read easily.

2) Research a dancer’s training

There are lots of sites on the internet as well as books at the library to see just how many years of athletic training and development it takes to become a professional ballerina, but sometimes a quick look at youtube will provide a good overview. I particularly like this one on training younger ones as well as the one below showing great athleticism from the Orlando Ballet’s Battle of the Sexes 2010:

3) Understand the Wardrobe

Let’s admit it: Americans who are not familiar with the ballet get a bit giggly when they first see most male ballerina attire.  My hubby was floored when he saw the guys dancing last night, every singly ripped muscle visible through their tights… thank goodness for dance belts!  And, as in the case of Albrecht whose tights were flesh-colored–good thing he looked like Twilight’s Rob Pattinson!–the costume can appear very revealing.  But, yes, you get over it pretty quickly because the dancing is so great; however, it is still best to be prepared so the uninitiated don’t get too distracted.

4) Appreciate the fanatics

Ballet is a form of entertainment that goes back for centuries for a reason…people love it!  And Orlando is no exception.  There are some staunch fans out there who take seeing the show very seriously.  And fortunately, they are educated fans, too, knowing when to show appreciation through loud applause for a particularly hard maneuver or difficult dance step.

And don’t get in a fan’s way during a performance!  Take, for example, the drama that unfolded in front of me last night.  We all took our seats before the show started, and a mother and her daughter (looked to be 12 years old or so) were seated directly in front of me.  In front of them, was a finely dressed older couple with another set of adults, whom I took to be their grown children.

As the curtain rose, the mom leaned forward and asked the elderly man if he wouldn’t move down several places to where an empty seat was, so her daughter would have a clearer view of the stage.  Now, we’re not talking just ONE seat over, but SEVERAL seats away from his family.  The man politely said no, upsetting the mother quite a bit.  She persisted (nastily) about how her daughter just couldn’t see very well and he was in her way.  Finally, just to shut the woman up, the elderly man’s grown daughter said she would move.  So, the vile mother then traded seats around so her daughter would have the unobstructed view. (Of course, the mother didn’t care that she had just blocked the view of a young girl behind her who was seated beside me!)  Fanatics… they need to see their ballet! (Just don’t let them ruin your experience.)

5) Go in with an open mind

Classical ballet is not the movies…there are no action sequences, fancy movable sets, sound effects. Nothing is told in a rush, so be prepared to study the nuances of the dancers and appreciate their athleticism.  In a world of information overkill, there is an elegant simplicity to the ballet, where information is conveyed via arm motions, facial expressions, and the dancer’s body. While television shows such as Dancing with the Stars or So, You Think You Can Dance have made dancing more popular than ever, these shows are also competing for ratings, and therefore must add in flashy excitement, short segments, costumes, sets, and hip hop music. They are not classical ballet, which is equally as beautiful and equally as demanding. So, when you attend, understand you are going to see something different, something less hectic, a welcome break from today’s world.

Giselle is running this weekend and next (October 23-24 and  Oct. 29-31) at the Bob Carr.

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Filed under Bob Carr, family, General Info, Orlando, The Arts

Spring has Sprung in Orlando

Teenage rebellion has taken an old familiar form, that is somehow surprisingly new! Spring Awakening has come to the Bob Carr in Orlando, and it has people talking. Some of the talk is good; some of the talk is simply scandalous!

You see, I went to see Spring Awakening already knowing the premise, already having read the parent guide, and guess what? I took my 14-year-old son along with me…and apparently this is simply unheard of in Orlando!

Yes, the language was raunchy, vulgar, and even boorish at times…but no more than that in the locker room my son changes in for gym class daily!

Yes, the themes dealt with teen pregnancy, masturbation, and even suicide…but aren’t I glad I had a chance to talk about these things with my son! (These are pretty darn important to talk about…don’t you think?)

Let’s get real… my son watches Glee weekly and on occasion has even viewed a rated R movie at a friend’s house… so, yes, he’s already seen more than anything Spring Awakening might put on stage. Did the love scene shock us? Well… kind of, as I didn’t quite realize there’d be a women’s breast and a man’s butt bared… but, it did give me the chance to tell my son, “Just in case there was any doubt…that is how a girl gets pregnant!”

You see, these conversations are very necessary in today’s world…apparently in yesterday’s world, too. Spring Awakening was written and takes place in the late 1800s in a suppressive Victorian-like Germany.  (My son commented that thanks to the rock-n-roll music, the show didn’t feel like it took place in another century.) But it is funny how these themes are still a constant even in today’s world. Parents simply do not want to talk about sex with their children. They somehow feel by not talking about it, it simply won’t happen.

I happen to know differently. My first teaching assignment was Life Management Skills in Gainesville, Florida at Buchholz High School, where the life cycle was part of the curriculum.  I had a student ask how the baby breathes in the womb and another student begged to give the answer. “Okay,” I said, “so how does the baby breathe in the womb?”

“My older sister just had her baby,” the girl announced proudly, “and my grandma told her not to cross her legs the whole nine months!”

What? Grandma!  (So that’s at least three generations that had no idea the baby does not actually breathe in the womb!)

I wish I could say this was an uncommon occurrence. A friend of mine even now blushes anytime she hears the word sex and she says she’ll never be able to discuss sex with her pre-teen daughter, which unfortunately was exactly what happened in the play between Wendla and her mother. (Guess who ends up getting pregnant and having no idea how it happened!)

So, while this was not the typical Broadway show, it doesn’t pretend to be one. This is why the show has an extensive website with an attached Parent Guide.  So, whether you want to relive your own teenage angst and rebellious feelings, or spark a conversation between your teenager and yourself, I’d recommend going to see Spring Awakening. (There’s a reason it won 8 Tony Awards!)

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Filed under Broadway at Bob Carr, Education, family, The Arts

Win Tickets to Broadway’s Spring Awakening

The Top 5 is so excited about the arrival of one of the freshest Broadway shows to come to Orlando EVER!  Spring Awakening is indeed serving Orlando her coffee. A coming of age show, Spring Awakening deals with a variety of issues ranging from rebellion, sexuality, and more… but in a surprisingly uplifting, inspirational manner!

Winner of 8 Tony Awards (nominated for 11), this show is based on an 1891 play banned in England for nearly 100 years. The producers realized how relevant the content still is today and have combined it with a rocking musical score. Set against the backdrop of the repressive 19th century Germany, Spring Awakening focuses on the timeless tale of teenage self-discovery and budding sexuality through the eyes of three teenagers. But don’t expect the prim and proper, because the fusion rock music is enough to draw young and old alike into the tale.

No need to drink a Red Bull beforehand, as you will find yourself “awakened” by the show itself! Running May 18 – 23 at the Bob Carr, tickets can be purchased in advance starting at $25, or you might be lucky enough to win our Top 5 contest below!

Our contest has ended. Congratulations to Dawn for winning 2 premium tickets to opening night!

Thank you to all who entered and we hope you will buy tickets to join us at the show.

Check it out:

If you are curious as to whether this show is right for you and your teenager, check out the provided Parent’s Guide.

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Filed under Broadway at Bob Carr, family, Music, The Arts