Sep
19

Incentives Takes Charleston, SC!

Every year we find ourselves in Charleston for at least a couple of days. Whether we come for work or play, it’s an amazing time for the girls of Incentives Inc. to indulge a little bit. And boy, do we indulge. Charleston has amazing shopping (for the little sister), amazing architecture and character (for the mom), and even better food and views (for moi). Check out a little bit of our Charleston adventure below!

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The view from dinner on our first evening. We found the Charleston Crab House after a quick Google search and were more than satisfied with the food and the sunset.

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Relaxing with a book on the deck of our waterfront hotel.

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This memorial sits right upon the pier that wraps around Charleston’s waterfront. It’s a great place to stop by while going on a walk or run in the area.

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The waterfront pathway on our final morning there.

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The cutest little vegan restaurant that we stopped in for brunch. This was the Gnome Cafe and is 100% vegan if that’s something that you’re into.

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Gnome cafe decor.

Until next year, Charleston! You were lovely to us as always <3

 

 

Sep
14

Finding the Arts in Your Area

Since moving back home, I’ve been trying to figure out how to stay creative. While I do enjoy work and hanging out with my friends it’s been a weird transition. When I went off to college I wanted to focus on my studies…I ended up on a dance team after one semester. I went to the theater to see Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake by the Joffrey.

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I went to see Les Miserables when it came through the Auditorium theater. I went to art galleries, the Art Institute, the Museum of Contemporary Art. I saw performers on the train, murals on the sides of peoples homes and city buildings…

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and now that I’m back home I find myself missing the artistry. As much as I love the suburbs, I’ve been missing certain aspects of being so close to a large city. And so, just in case anyone else is feeling the same, I figured that I would share a couple of ways that I’ve found to find the arts in your area.

  1. Look at local theater websites. Theaters have their performances booked for the upcoming season a full year in advance. Go to their websites or better yet, stop inside and pick up a booklet. See which performances catch your attention. Talk to the people working in the box office. See what their excited to see this upcoming season.
  2. Keep an eye out in coffee shops. There is always a bulletin board covered in flyers that I walk straight past on my way to get my cold brew. Stop, check it out. There may be a ton of stuff that you are uninterested in, but there will probably be an advertisement for some smaller performances that you may absolutely love. These also allow you to support smaller, local troupes that may not be able to afford performing at the larger theaters.
  3. Groupon, LivingSocial, etc. These websites are great because not only do they show you what’s happening around your city, but they give you great deals. Check out a new painting class, a new dance class, go to a concert, or just try out a new restaurant. You’ll have to sign up, but I promise you, it’ll be worth it.
  4. Check out your city’s website. Last, but certainly not least, there are often fairs or festivals in the area that you may not be aware of. The city is always going to want to support local artists, entrepreneurs, etc. Check out the special events area of your city’s official website. Do you have an Oktoberfest coming to you next month? What about a Fall for (insert your city here)? It may be worth it to see what’s going on in your area!

Hope this little guide to finding the arts in your city helped. Until next time!

Ari

Sep
05

Incentives Takes the Mountains of Georgia

It’s the start of a new school year, but I’m not dancing. I’m not in school anymore. Life is weird as a grown up. And while school traffic has extended my work commute ten minutes, and pictures of dancers getting back into the swing of things has filled up my Instagram, I’m trying to figure out how to still get a little dance in my life. I have yet to decide, but the good thing is now that I’m an adult…I get to mull it over with a good glass of wine.

This past weekend I got to get away to the mountains of Northern Georgia where believe it or not, wine is a huge thing. Muscadine grapes grow in abundance in the area but lucky for me muscadine wine is not the only option (because it certainly cannot beat a good Cab or Pinot Noir).

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Stop 1: Yonah Mountain

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Yonah means ‘bear’ in Cherokee and has absolutely breathtaking views. I was a little bit obsessed with the Rosé (pictured above)

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Yonah makes most of their wine in the area, when they can’t…Pinot Noir, I’m looking at you. They order the best from California (Pinot Noir calls for a thinner-skinned grape that doesn’t grow well in our Southern humidity)

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Other things I was obsessed with? The owner’s truck and the coconut scrub in the bathroom…not that you should go to a winery for the coconut scrub…but I definitely walked away with a tub

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Stop 2: The Cottages

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While definitely smaller and more homely than Yonah, the Cottages has (if it’s possible) even better views and the staff here is so incredibly kind.

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My favorite wine here? The Cabernet Sauvignon. I would have taken a picture but it was too yummy for me to remember to do that.

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After the cottages, we made a pit stop in Helen for a late lunch.

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The veggie burger was alright, but I do highly recommend a black bean burger to anyone who is thinking about trying it.

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And on our way back we saw Habersham and decided to top off our day of vineyards with a frozen peach bellini (I didn’t even mind the muscadine wine in it)

All in all. It was a very fun, tipsy trip, and now that I know what these three have to offer I cannot wait to try out some other vineyards around us!

Until next time <3

 

Aug
18

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Mar
07

A Review: The Painted Girls


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I’ve been trying to get into reading a lot more. I’ve really missed it, and I miss making time for reading. With things like school, and friends, it’s really hard to prioritize reading. I have at least seven books on my to read list and it’s growing. Every time I walk into a Barnes and Noble, there’s another book added to my list. That was the case with The Painted Girls. I saw the book sitting on the $5.99 table. I loved the price, and I was also drawn in by the cover. There were dancers in the same style as Degas, and having danced a few dances inspired by his work, I was extremely interested.

Cathy Marie Buchanan transports her reader into Paris in the 1800s. She introduces three characters, sisters, living in poverty and trying to survive. The eldest, Antoinette, tries to find work to help her mother but is dragged instead into a world of romance, violence, and theatre. As her “bad boy” lover get into more and more trouble, you see her pull away from her family. She neglects her family for a boy. But is she being selfish? Or is she getting the chance to be a girl who loves a boy. For years she has had to mother her sisters, but she is not their mother. What obligations should she have to them? Then there is Marie. Marie is not pretty, in fact, she is described as brutish. She has long limbs and dark, unattractive features; and yet, when she dances there is something that awakens in her. It is what attracts Mr. Degas to her she becomes his painted girl and the model of his Little Dancer pieces.

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 While Cathy Marie Buchanan paints a picture of the brute reality of circumstance for girls who constantly feel the pressure of being beautiful despite their circumstances, it is quite a frustrating piece. There are young girls in the uneasy position of needing patrons to survive but being young girls who have not been exposed to the world of riches and alcohol. The book makes you uneasy about the reality of the situation for these dancers, but it doesn’t really make you feel for the dancers either. The uneasiness felt was for the situations and that anyone had to deal with these issues but not necessarily for Marie or Antoinette.

I will say that this book is a page-turner. It’s a quick read and it’s interesting. I finished the book in an evening. But I can’t say that I felt for Marie or Antoinette in the end. Perhaps it was because I couldn’t relate to the girls. The book has gotten rave reviews and has a 3.61/5 rating on Goodreads. I wanted to know more about the rest of the cast of characters. The sisters seemed selfish and indulgent. They make poor decisions over and over again. They were driven at certain times by sibling rivalry and delusion. It was a good story. It was an enjoyable read. I just wasn’t as invested as I wanted to be. I wish the characterization had been better. (3/5)

 

 

Jan
25

Incentives Explores!

This weekend we had 30 degree weather in Chicago. While the rest of the nation was getting pummeled with snow, I was enjoying the sunny, balmy weather compared to the -15 degree weather that we’ve had. So I decided to go explore in Chicago for a bit. I’ve been here for almost four years but it’s so easy to forget how many cool things are around here. So my best friend and I went ahead to go have a tourist-y day and see some things that we’d never seen before.

Our first stop was the Chicago Architectural Center.

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A view of the Lake including the Adler Planetarium.

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A better view of Millenium Park and the Magnificent Mile.

After that we popped down a couple of blocks to go over to the Chicago Cultural Center.

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I was obsessed with this ceiling.

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And this light.

I was just very obsessed with the Cultural Center in general. The decor is beautiful, and the architectural is wonderful, and I wish that I could live there.

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I was also obsessed with the lighting at Gilt Bar.

And then we popped by Gilt Bar for drinks because my friend decided that the ambiance was great. He was right, and the drinks were amazing!

See you guys next week!

-A

 

Jan
19

What to Watch in 2016

So, this post is a little bit different, but with the Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday, and with ballerina, Sarah Hay up for an award for Flesh and Bone, I thought that it would be cool to do a little review on dance shows to watch in 2016.

Flesh and Bone (2015):

If you are under 18, do not go for this one. Heck, if you are over 18, I still don’t know if you’d like to watch this one. The cool thing about Flesh and Bone is that it goes back to the Center Stage days of using actual dancers to play dancers; and while refreshing, that was about the only thing that I enjoyed of this one. The ballet was beautiful, not going to lie. It’s so nice to see dancers en pointe who are actually over their boxes and great at what they do, but this one slid down the Black Swan tunnel quickly. Incest, strippers, mafia relations, and competition drove this show into a strange place, and I’ll admit that I was happy when it was over. 4/10

Ballerina (2006):

It’s not a new movie, but it is on Netflix which means it’s available. Again, real dancers who are even playing themselves this time means that there is gorgeous dancing in this one. Another big plus is that it includes many of the big names that we’re used to seeing in ballet.  Zakharova, Lopitkina, Vishneva,  Samova, and Obraztsova are huge names and I was only too happy to get to glimpse into their lives. 9/10.

Ballet 422 (2014):

Allowing us to glimpse into the lives of those at the New York City Ballet, Ballet 422 allows us to take a glimpse as dancer Justin Peck creates a new piece and showcases Tiler Peck and Sterling Hyltin. There is that suspense in that Mr. Peck only has two months to create and set the piece and there is the beauty in the rehearsals that allow us behind the scenes peaks. I loved it, particularly because I’ve followed NYCB through Sarah Jessica Parker’s Yahoo series with the company. I’ve been following Mrs. Peck for quite a while and was even more excited to get a sneak peak behind the scenes. 8.5/10

*Bonus: Check out The Royal Ballet’s Youtube channel which gives you sneak peaks into actual rehearsals! Watching corrections has never been so fun!