Death of Marie Antoinette

I may not have won against Marie Antoinette in court the first time, but I succeeded in stirring up enough drama to bring attention to her reckless behaviour. This time she has been convicted by the Revolutionary Tribunal of high treason. The Revolutionary Tribunal is a jury composed of a public prosecutor, and two substitutes, all nominated by the Convention; and from its judgments there was no appeal. They terrorized not only royalists, but all counter-revolution citizens. More importantly they put an end to Marie Antoinette. On October 16, 1793 she was executed by guillotine on Place de la Revolution.

To backtrack a little bit, earlier in October 1793, Marie Antoinette pleaded guilty of the three main charges against her: depletion of the national treasury, conspiracy against the internal and external security of the State, intelligence with the enemy. Neither her nor her lawyers expected the outcome of the trail to be execution, but I saw it from the start. The Revolutionary Tribunal share my views on the royalists and realize letting them live after their acts could give them the impression that their behaviour was okay and not very severe. This prompts repetition of the same acts, conflicts, and corrupt government.

In her last moments they she was seated in an open cart dressed in a white dress, white being the colour worn by widowed queens of France. The guards cut her hair short and bound her hands painfully behind her pack. She, unlike her husband, was not given the treatment of royalty, but the treatment of a criminal which is what she deserved. With moments to live, her last words were “Pardon me, sir, I meant not to do it”, to the executioner, whose foot she had accidentally stepped on after climbing to the scaffold. Her body was then discarded in an unmarked grave in a graveyard that was shut down the following year. I may not have been alive as a spectator, but I watched and cheered from above. Justice has been served.


 

Still confused about my hatred towards Marie Antoinette, read my memoirs: Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 9.32.41 AM

https://archive.org/details/MemoirsOfTheCountessDeValoisDeLaMotteContainingACompleat

I was victimized and thrown into the role of the criminal when all I demanded was justice and equality between us women. Marie Antoinette was the cause of my death and for that I will never forgive her.

Solo Routine, In-Depth Post #7

To end off In-Depth 2016 with a bang, here is an extra bonus post featuring my filmed solo routine to ‘Dirty Mind’ by Flo Rida. This has been a long time in the making, and I am so thankful for this whole experience. I am very excited to continue to pursue hip-hop in the future and see where this journey takes me. I hope you enjoy!

Please note that the quality of the video is a bit poor due to my camera quality, but unfortunately there was nothing I could do about it. Hopefully it isn’t to much of a distraction.

Death of Jeanne de la Motte

Staring out my hotel room window, I can’t believe how much has happened since I gained possession of the diamond necklace. I never even imagined this could happen in all my possible scenarios. The necklace was suppose to be the key to my freedom, not to my captivity.

When it came time to pay for the necklace I presented the notes from “Marie Antoinette”, but these Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 11.12.46 AMproved insufficient. Soon after, the King and Queen were notified and things escalated beyond repair. Rohan was arrested and taken to the Bastille, along with the prostitute Nicole Leguay, Rétaux de Villette, and Count Cagliostro, though it is unclear whether he was involved in the case of not. Later, the King and Queen insisted upon a public trial to defend their honour. As a result, it destroyed the reputation of the Queen, because the public saw her as the guilty party. Sides began to form and I knew stories would unravel. The court found me guilty and sentenced to be whipped, branded and imprisoned. I was condemned to prison for life in the Salpêtrière, but escaped disguised as a boy to make my way to London where, in 1789,Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 11.12.37 AM I published my memoirs entitled Memoires Justificatifs de La Comtesse de Valois de La Motte. In doing this I appealed to the publics sympathy and attempted to justify my actions while casting blame upon my chief victim, Marie Antoinette.

To this day I still haven’t seen my husband again, nor have I lived the life of freedom I so rightly deserved. I hope the monarchy will rot in hell. I’ve lost blood shed and tears to this cause for this and I now only have one eye. The people are after me, more groups than one, my time is up. I feel myself falling through the sky, the wind rushing through my hair. The hard slap of the cold grey cement is all I remember before things went black.

The date August 23, 1791 now marks the day the thief, rebel, French adventuress, milkmaid, and many other titles, Jeanne de la motte, died.

La Comtesse de Valois de la Motte et Marianne déguisées en paysannes, voyageant à pied, près de Provins en Champagne

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This picture engraved by John Goldar, illustrated by Robert Dodd, and published by J. Bew showcases how much planning and deception was required to achieve my goal of gaining possession to the Diamond Necklace intended for Madame Du Barry and later Marie Antoinette. Alongside Marianne, I disguised myself as a peasant to travel on foot to deliver letters from “Marie Antoinette”. As her fake go between, I required the proper attire to remain desecrate and unsuspicious to people who were both involved and not involved in the operation. As a peasant I appear like the majority of the country. And in doing this I help solidify points made against the monarchy proving the growing power disparity, while also not involving myself personally. Dressing in any other manner could pin me as a radical, or worse, someone who is affiliated with the monarchy. I don’t need any unnecessary setbacks.

During this time period my operation is minute in comparison to those rallying to overthrow the monarchy. The Jacobins are attempting to overthrow the monarchy and in replacement create the Republic. The Club is growing into a nationwide republican movement, with a membership estimated at a half million or more. I have faith that this will solve many issues; however, they promise to deliver unrealistic gains much like the monarchy, which could result in a different yet equally poor government. Given the current development of the country and everyones focus on a new government, I have chosen to instead pursue my own operation, as seen in the picture above. A revolution is coming, and I intend to be rich when it ends. Therefore, I have set myself up for the position of the benefactor of this uprising and not a losing bystander.


Image Source:  Goldar, John, Dodd, Robert. La Comtesse de Valois de la Motte et Marianne déguisées en paysannes, voyageant à pied, près de Provins en Champagne : [estampe], le 7 juin 1790. 1 est. : eau-forte, burin ; 18,5 x 10,5 cm (f.) Notice et cote du catalogue de la Bibliothèque nationale de France [London]. http://purl.stanford.edu/tt151rr8394. (accessed 2016-05-06).

The End, In-Depth Post #6

With just eight weeks left of school many projects are coming to an end, including In-Depth. This year has flown by so fast, I am struggling to process the fact that it will be May in less then 48 hours. That means we are just weeks away from Adventure Trip and, you guessed it, my final In-Depth night as a TALONS student.

In the past sixteen weeks I have learnt so much from both my mentor, Mika Backus, and dance instructor, Bev Soh. Together they have provided me with the skills and dance moves to choreograph my own routine, as well as follow along with a choreographed one. As mentioned in previous blogposts, I have used those skills to choreograph my own solo routine which I will be posting on my YouTube channel in the following weeks. Without spoiling to much, Mika and I have been working together to produce a faster, upbeat dance to the song ‘Dirty Mind ft. Sam Martin’ by Flo Rida.
Initially, I was a bit hesitant about the song choice, but Mika knew it was one of my favourites and motivated me to challenge myself with a trickier piece. At this point, to keep the suspense, I do not wish to spill to much more about the piece. But, to give you a sense of where this dance is going, I will add that I tried to incorporate many of the moves I have documented over the past couple months; including, the following five moves.

     New Moves:
1) Kick-hop Sequence
2) Swipe
3) Lean and Flex
4) Wave
5) Pop

On top of the solo routine, I will performing a trio with Anne Yolland and Alyssa Turcott on In-Depth night. This was also mentioned in some of my previous blog posts, but now that the clock is ticking, this routine has become my main focus for this project. The three of us will be meeting at 5:30pm this coming Sunday night to figure out all the details and make a rough outline of our dance. As of now, we have decided to each choreograph a certain time interval of the piece (tentatively set at 1 min. 30 secs. each), as well as change formations so each one of us has a chance to showcase what we learnt. After we finalize the rest of the details we will each to go our separate ways and practice independently before our next rehearsal to maximize our remaining time.

One topic I have not touched on as much over the course of this project is my workout routine. In my introduction post I stated that one of my goals was to set a workout/practice schedule after the lessons end (month 3 onward) to work on my time management skills. I have been struggling to find time to keep up with this; however, I have now perfected a workout routine that is both, flexible (fits within my hectic schedule) and an appropriate level of difficulty. As indicated by the word flexible, I do not do this routine at the same time everyday. This is due to theatre, TALONS events/meetings, weight training sessions, nap time, etc. Instead, I have been doing it on weekends and the two least-hectic weekdays of the week, whichever those may be. I have noticed that this has impacted my dancing significantly, and built up my stamina for longer rehearsals. To read through the workout routine more thoroughly, please click on the link above.

To conclude my final In-Depth blog post, I am very grateful to have had this experience and the opportunity to learn a new skill that I have only dreamt about learning until now. I would not go as far as to say I am a professional, but you could call me a master of the basics. Fingers crossed that I will remember these moves down the road, because who knows when they will come in handy. For now, I am excited to share the final product in a couple weeks and showcase my learning. Hopefully the suspense isn’t to much to bare.

Workout Routine, Bonus In-Depth Post

One of the key components to improving your dance ability is building up flexibility, strength, and stamina through a frequent workout routine. As much as I would love to wake up one day and become an amazing dancer, it doesn’t work that way. It works with hard work and perseverance. That means, setting aside a time multiple times a week to workout. Personally, I prefer working out weekends, as well as the two least-hectic weekdays of the week, whichever those may be. With that in mind, below is my six step workout routine:

Step 1) Warm-up: Light jog around my neighbourhood (5-10mins.)

Step 2) Abs: This step tends to vary the most, but typically I settle on 45 crunches followed by a 60 sec. plank. Together, these exercises strengthen both the core and lower back muscles.

Step 3) Biceps: In terms of biceps, my options were very limited because most exercises require equipment I do not own. In the end, I settled on 30 low-pulley curls. It is very similar to lifting weights, but instead you used a long elastic, or pulley, placed under the arch of your foot while you pull upward. This exercise focuses on your biceps, brachialis and your brachioradialis.

Step 4) Butt: For this, I use the very simple, yet very effective exercise known as squats. Typically I will do a total of 30 squats. unless the music is very motivational and pushes me to continue further. This exercise focuses on your lower body, more specifically you quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

Step 5) Cardio: For cardio, I take a 2.5km bike ride on my basement exercise bike (5-10mins.) This exercise increases the strength of your heart and lungs.

Step 6) Flexibility Stretches: To finish off, I like to use a variety of stretches to cool down and work on flexibility. These include, back-bend, cobra pose, butterfly, and splits (or an attempt at the splits).

In conclusion, I prefer to keep my routine short and simple for scheduling purposes and because its an effective and affordable alternative to going to the gym that can be done from the comfort of my own home. Hopefully, this was informative and gave a good insight to my personal routine. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments below.

Diamond Necklace Affair

My plan is almost complete. I have almost succeeded in getting the one thing my family only dreamt of. Riches. Many have labelled me as a thief, but I prefer to see it as taking back what should have been mine in the first place. For weeks I have been writing for Louis René Édouard de Rohan under the name of Marie Antoinette. When he requested to meet I set him up on a midnight date with a prostitute named Nicole le Guay d’Oliva. She was the spitting image of the queen. Rohan bought all of it, the romance, the secrecy, and the undeniable connection he thought he had with the queen. When it came time to write my final letter, I asked for a favour. I spent hours rephrasing the letter until it was perfect. This determined the success of my plan.

Louis René Édouard de Rohan,

I do hope we can meet again. I miss the touch of your hand as it caresses the back of my neck and I miss the soft touch of your lips against my forehead. My lips are forever sealed about our secret relationship. I will take every measure to make sure I can continue to write to you. I hope that you will do the same for me. To prove your love, I wondered if you would do me a favour. As you may know, the King generously offered me a special gift, a diamond necklace made by Parisian jewelers Boehmer and Bassenge. I could not accept because to purchase such an expensive item publicly would ruin my reputation due to the current dismal financial situation of our country. However, if you would act as my secret intermediary that would make me ever so happy. And to think, if it came from you it would be that much more special. Please give the necklace to Jeanne de Valois-Saint-Remy in a closed package. I do not wish to inform her of our plans, only of our love.

Marie Antoinette de France

That was the final letter I wrote to Louis de Rohan. His love for the queen blinded him from the truth, making my plan that much easier. He willingly did anything to please “the queen”, running around like a lost puppy looking for someone to give him affection. I knew could provide that, and boy was it easy. The necklace is now in my husbands hands. All the jewels are to be sold individually throughout Paris and London. Once every last one of them is sold, the monarchy wont be able to trace their debt back to us and I can finally live extravagant lifestyle I have dreamt of since I was a little girl. Money is freedom and the monarchy are about to learn how the rest of us have survived without it.

I feel no guilt using Marie Antoinette’s name to manipulate Louis de Rohan. I spent my whole life neglected, barefoot, and forced to beg for food while the monarchs thrived. One wave of a finger and they could have anything they pleased. But when I came knocking I was turned away and shunned. I thought if I approached Marie, being a woman, she would be more sympathetic to my plight. I was wrong. Some argued that Louis VXI did eventually grant me a small pension, but it wasn’t out of the goodness of his heart nor his care for the country, it was his obligation to me due to my royal blood. My father was the illegitimate son of King Henry II, and Nicole de Savigny. Thats when I realized they felt no sympathy towards my situation, they don’t care about the country’s well-being, they care about making decisions that benefit the monarchy. I on the hand care about making decisions that benefit myself and my husband and if that requires deception and lies, so be it. It’s time they get a taste of their own medicine.

Confident, In-Depth Post #5

After many weeks of anticipation it is finally time to reveal the completed dance to Demi Lovato’s ‘Confident’ choreographed by Bev Soh. Together, Anne, Alyssa, Mira, and myself have been attending dance lessons every Tuesday from 5:30pm-6:30pm for five weeks, as well as an extra filming session to produce this music video. Each week we learnt a 20 second interval incorporating many of the moves I have documented in the past four posts. As far as my first ever dance goes, I would say mission accomplished.

I would like to thank Mika Backus for providing me with this learning opportunity. This class exposed me to the basics of hip-hop in a safe and welcoming environment. In terms of other learning opportunities, she has let me take the lead in most of our lessons together to help me learn the moves I am more interested in and take this project in the direction I wish to meet my ultimate goal. This is a very huge learning opportunity because I have had the chance to learn anything I pleased and she is ready and there to teach me as my mentor. With that in mind, this also allows for accelerated learning, as I can direct the pace we go at in each lesson and slow down/speed up depending on the situation that day. She has also sent me many YouTube videos to view before our lesson to use our time more effectively and speed up the learning process. When it comes to reinforcing new learning, Mika has consistently started our lessons by reviewing what we learnt at Room to Move (Confident choreography) and reviewing the moves that we learnt at our previous lesson for my solo routine. She has also taken on Alyssa and Anne periodically to give us the opportunity to learn and grow as a group.

Mika and I knew each other before the project, so when we meet we talk about almost anything under the sun. Our main topic being hip-hop of course. We discuss dance moves, pre-choreographed routines, my routine, Bev’s choreography etc. She explains the steps of each move in slow motion, as well as demonstrats to the beat of the music, so I can immerse myself in the move when trying it. Dance aside, Mika and I love bonding over Starbucks, or coffee in general for that matter. We have discussed the new spring drinks, old spring drinks we have missed, and upcoming sales/deals. This provided us a common ground to bond with each other and build our relationship. Having known her before, we also frequently discuss other school events/drama/projects, so we can plan our lessons accordingly. Mika does a very good job taking into account my stress level and schedule and has consistently remained available for me whenever I have time.

In the mentoring relationship there are many more pros than cons at this point. During the first few lessons, Mika and I struggled to balance pacing, but we have now reached a consensus and developed a regular routine when we meet. Working through our conflicting work styles has definitely benefitted our relationship and made us closer as a mentor and mentee. We have a very open relationship, and I feel comfortable asking Mika anything. There is never any awkward silences or break in conversation. I believe this is due to our trust and faith in each other. I am very thankful to have found a mentor that I share such a god bond with.

I have learnt a lot about Mika over the past couple months. For instance, her favourite Starbucks drink is a Vanilla Latte. Aside from that, I have learnt that she is very passionate about salsa. Of all the dance styles that one is by far her favourite. She also loves giving back to her community and volunteering for various different events as she is very social and loves meeting new people. In return, she has learnt about my hobbies (eg. curling) and favourite Starbucks drinks. I am confident we will keep this bond after this project and I now feel very welcome when I am around her. Can’t wait to see whats next!

Filming Day, In-Depth post #4

I can’t wrap my head around the fact that it is already the end of week nine. Where has time gone?! Two weeks ago was my fifth and final session at Room Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 11.10.26 PMto Move Dance and Fitness Studio we filmed the final dance that will be edited and up on YouTube in the upcoming weeks. Unfortunately some of the sections needed retakes, so we re-filmed them this past Saturday morning (the final video will hopefully be included in my next blog post). Heading into week ten I am very excited to start more one-on-one lessons with my mentor, as well as bi-weekly meetings with Anne and Alyssa (dates to be determined).

Mika and I have met once in the past couple weeks on Sunday, February 28, 2016. We were on a very tight timeline due to prior scheduling issues, so we were only able to squeeze in a 2 hour morning session. This forced us to use our time wisely and effectively to maximize the progress and learning. As this was two days before the filming day of our routine to Demi Lovato’s ‘Confident’ we spent the majority of the time fine tuning the dance and focusing on minor details. I struggled with the last 30 seconds of the routine in particular due to it’s upbeat pace, but I now have the timing down pat. The footwork on the other hand still needed a little more work. Apparently the concept of left foot vs. right foot is difficult. During the last half an hour we worked on various dance moves that we will later apply in my solo routine that I will start learning this week.

    New moves:
1) Wave
2) Box
3) Grapevine
4) Shamrock
5) Double-pony

One of our most difficult mentoring challenges so far has been teaching pace, which in turn makes communication difficult at times. I am a very fast learner, but it has been hard to find a good pace for us to move at during our lessons with the differing levels of difficulty of the various moves. If we go to fast I end up learning the move sloppily; however, going to slow can cause boredom and frustration. Mika and I have not have very many sessions at this point, but during the final months of the project we have planned to meet weekly. Hopefully this will be help us match each others teaching and learning paces. In terms of communication, our differences in pace can sometimes result in confusion or pent up frustration. In some situations can lead to an unhealthy relationships. To avoid this, we have been working towards fixing our differences by explaining when we are not seeing eye-to-eye before the situation has the chance to escalate. We also took the opportunity to stop by Starbucks at the end our lesson as a casual bonding experience to get to know and understand each other better.

Together we could use the following strategies to help the above:

  1. Stop. Explain. Restart. By stopping the other person you can explain where you got lost or frustrated and restart from the point where things did make sense (eg. the beginning of the 8-count in the music).
  2. Patience (this was mentioned in my previous blog post): let the other person finish what they are saying before you start talking.
  3. Asking questions. Ask when things get confusing or there is a misunderstanding.
  4. Acknowledging when the pace is to fast or to slow and stating it

On a more positive note, Mika and I are very positive people. We both share the belief that anything is possible and this has motivated us significantly along this journey. Whenever I meet with Mika the environment is very positive, open, and welcoming. I never feel embarrassed. Our ability to encourage one another is something that is working very well. We respect our positions as mentor and mentee and have created a very healthy bond, which loops around to what I stated above, creates a positive and open environment. The environment has also helped us in bettering our communication in times when it wasn’t working as well and allowed us to be open with one another without saying anything offensive.

In conclusion, I am very happy with the progress made in the past few weeks and I am excited to open a new chapter of this project choreographing my own routines. In the weeks to come I intend to upload some of my routines onto my Youtube channel and later post the links in my blog. I don’t know whats in store, but I know it will be an amazing experience.

 

Healthy Relationships, In-Depth Post #3

It’s only been 3 official dance lessons and we are almost done our first routine. That being said, a lot of my progress was also made outside of lessons during extra sessions with my mentor, Mika Backus. She has been helping me polish the choreography taught after each lesson so I would be fully prepared for the following week.

In the past two weeks I have learnt a total of five new moves that include:

  1. Three step spin
  2. Shoulder roll
  3. Door knobs
  4. Running man
  5. Hair flip

All the moves listed above were included in the choreography for the routine I am learning to the song Confident by Demi Lovato (NOTE: a sneak peek of the dance will be added to this post soon, but due to technical issues the file will not be up till later this weekend.) Between lessons with Bev and extra practice sessions with Mika this dance has come really far in a short amount of time. I feel like the mentor sessions in particular have really helped me better my abilities each week.

 

This past weekend Mika and I met on Valentines day for a hour long lesson to work on the new choreography from the lesson on Tuesday, February 9th, 2016. We started off by walking through the choreography slowly with counting to make sure I understood how to perform each move and what the correct timing was. Following that, I performed the dance once for her at full speed so that she could point out areas that needed improvement. This was a very effective method of figuring out my weaknesses and picking more specific areas to focus on during our lesson. From there we worked on my technique (position & posture) on the moves I struggled with most. Mika focused on my areas of weakness to help me better my dancing the best she could. This really helped me improve both in terms of my technique and my confidence in myself and my performance.

In the middle of our lesson, Mika and I took a break to join Mira for some fresh baked cinnamon rolls and a large class of water each, courtesy of Buzzfeed recipes. This gave us some time to bond and engage on a more personal level. It was interesting to find someone who shared many similar interests in a very different age group. It’s not something that I have fully experienced before. I’ve noticed that this sometimes has to do with adults being less open with children and vice versa, but I feel like our relationship is shaping up to be anything but that. Mika and I think very similarly, which helps us communicate very effectively. I never feel nervous or afraid to ask or share anything. Bonding experiences such as this one (eating cinnamon rolls together) have definitely had a significant impact on bettering our relationship and ultimately creating an open learning environment.

As a whole, I would consider the relationship between myself and Mika very positive. However, that does not mean that there aren’t any areas of improvement. In every relationship there are still weaker areas that both people need to focus. In ours, these include, not talking over each other, and attentively listening to one another. These both go hand in hand with one another in that by bettering one the other gets bettered with it. Both of us tend to get excited and start to speak over each other with the assumption that we know what the other person was going to say. This has not made to great of an impact on our relationship as a whole, but it is an area that could use some improvement. Some strategies that I would like to implement to solve this would be:

  1. Listen more, talk less. Pay attention to what the other person it saying, who knows they might say exactly what you were about to interrupt them to say.
  2. Stay in the present. Avoiding getting caught up in the excitement of the future even if it is only minutes away and focus on the person who is talking now.
  3. Be patient. Let the person finish their train of thought.

Over the course of the next two weeks, Mika and I have planned two more mentor sessions to practice the choreography before the final filming date of our first completed routine. This will be a good time to implement the strategies above and take time to focus on listening, rather than jumping right in as we’ve done in our past lessons. Hopefully this will lead to an even healthier relationship.