Saturday, February 22, 2003

Viennese Ball was really good. Here are the pictures, and here is the story:

I went over to campus in the afternoon to meet up with Eric, Chi-en, Justin, Steve and Jenn, and we went to Max's Opera Cafe where we were joined by Gavan, Kristen, Sanghyup, Helen, Michelle, another Eric and a couple more people I hadn't met before and whose names I have unfortunately forgotten. Dinner was excellent -- I had a very delicious Mango Chicken Salad and it was nice spending the time with fun people. Neither Justin nor I wore a dress, though. I got a few dinner photos, but didn't even cover nearly everyone at the table. And I just realized that we didn't hear any singing at the Opera Cafe. Phooey.

Since Tina and Kari couldn't be with us before the ball, Chi-en was their flower delivery person. Justin and I both got beautiful home-made buotonnieres. I got a close-up photo of mine, but not until after the dance, when it was starting to fall apart a bit. It was still lovely, though. I don't know if you'll be able to tell in the photo, but one of the ribbons says "Graham & Tina VB2003." Thank you, Tina.

Luckily, Max's was very close to the Ball, so we managed to arrive in plenty of time to get a good view of the Opening Ceremonies. The performances went quite well -- hooray for all our wonderful friends in Opening Committee! I got a number of pictures of them, but I really need to figure out dance photography sometime, since so many of them come out dark or blurry. Hard to think about, though, when you're trying to watch a performance and take a lot of pictures at the same time. Oh well. I would also like to note that the ballet dancers this year had costumes that actually fit properly, not to mention a significantly less boring choreography. Didn't get any pictures of them, though.

And after the Opening Ceremonies -- the dancing! I had many wonderful dances with my beautiful date -- mostly in the waltz room. I ventured into the swing room a little bit, but swing dancing in a tail coat just feels strange. I was also very happy to get a few dances with Jessica, who doesn't show up to enough dances these days. And I even did one dance with Miriam, which I hadn't done for a long time. Thank you, everybody.

The performance were all excellent, and I think I had friends in each one, except for the ballroom dance team. The Cardinal Whirlwinds, Caitlin's new square dance group, did a neat figure called, I think, the Merry-Go-Round, in which the girls sit on the guys' linked arms and are raised up and down as the circle turns. Very cool. My favorite of the evening, however, was the piece Mike and Lily choreographed for Danse Libre, involving a parasol, a fan, blindfolds, gender switches, and all sorts of amusing things. It was the sort of choreography that would make me want to actually be in a performing group -- almost :-)

Tina and I danced in the waltz competition and completely unintentionally found ourselves in the finals. I never understand why I make it to the finals of competitions. I figure it must have been my lovely partner (thank you, Tina). I dance well, but it's not really a performance style and I don't try to do anything fancy. I suppose that explains why I always seem to get 3rd place, though. And congratulations to Qi and Kari who got 1st place! Good job! And a thank you to Miriam for taking so many pictures while we were dancing.

All in all, it was a wonderful evening and I am very glad I went. Thank you to everyone who was a part of it.

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