Turning the calendar on a new century automatically sends out test graders to assess how the recent and current generations are using their window of time to positively change the world and future forever.
As much as every generation is the same, in as much, they are entirely different.
No matter the time period, it makes all of our life existence on this shrinking and over populated planet, successful or less so, circular and connected.
Born Mabinty Bangura in Sierra Leon, the Dutch National Ballet Dancer Michaela DePrince is inspiring to watch and a reminder that each generation is gifted with those that see their calling in life, do not shrink back from it, don’t waste time on distractions like many do, and make the sacrifices packaged in determination and creative magic to forcefully climb through their ever shrinking window before it closes.
Having recently been captivated by the enthralling Cinemax series The Knick which takes place fittingly during the turn of the 20th Century in 1901, it made me think of the sensational Michaela.
You see the obvious connection, true?
The innovative cable network cinemax.com explains it well in 21st century terms. “Set in downtown New York in 1900, ‘The Knick’ is a new Cinemax drama series from Academy Award and Emmy-winning director Steven Soderbergh. It is centered on the Knickerbocker Hospital and the groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff who work there, pushing the bounds of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics.”
The compelling story lines are believable, engaging, taunt, exceptionally written and continue to hurdle towards unexpected results and inevitable and often undesirable outcomes.
New York City in any time period is always an overpowering yet well-timed constrained major player.
The New York Knicks during their Walt Frazier and Pat Riley, Patrick Ewing eras certainly vaulted the Big Apple sports product to first place on the national scene.
Where do the terms Knick shortened, and Knickerbocker expanded, emanate from?
The term “Knickerbockers” traces its origin to the Dutch settlers who came to the New World – and especially to what is now New York – in the 1600s. Specifically, it refers to the style of pants the settlers wore…pants that rolled up just below the knee, which became known as “Knickerbockers“, or “knickers”.
So we make our complete circle back to the Dutch and our Dutch ballet star Michaela.
Our Princess Michaela’s informative site michaeladeprince.com shares, “Michaela DePrince was born in war-torn Sierra Leone during the decade long civil war that took place there. After rebels killed her father, and her mother died, her uncle left her at an orphanage. There she was taunted and abused by the women who cared for the children because she had a skin condition called vitiligo, which made her appear spotted. While there Michaela found a magazine stuck to the orphanage gate. On its cover was a photograph of a beautiful ballerina en pointe. Once she saw this, Michaela became determined to be just like that ballerina.”
That was the fork in the road where her young life was about to change.
Her story continues, “Soon after the discovery of the ballerina, Michaela was adopted by an American family that encouraged her to pursue her passion for ballet. There she became the eighth of their eleven children, nine of whom were adopted.
After she was featured in the ballet documentary, First Position, Michaela debuted professionally as a guest principal at the Joburg Ballet in South Africa. Afterwards she danced with the Dance Theatre of Harlem professional company for one year before joining the Dutch National Junior Company as a second-year member and apprentice to the main company.
In 2013 Michaela collaborated with her mother to write her memoirs.”
When you are having great success, you are in great demand. Fortunately this is happening with Michaela as well.
First Position, follows six young dancers vying for a place in an elite ballet company or school.
Michaela also performed on the TV show Dancing with the Stars.
Have you ever been to Amsterdam? Why don’t we travel there now?
Amsterdam has a population of 837,155 within the city proper.
As the commercial capital of the Netherlands and one of the top financial centers in Europe, Amsterdam is considered an alpha world city.
The city region has an approximate population of 2,431,000. The city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country, and is also North Holland’s largest city. It comprises much of the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, with a population of approximately 7 million.
Is that your eyes rolling back in your head a little? What is a conurbation?
It’s not a complicated word, just a little uncommon.
A conurbation is an extended urban area, typically consisting of several towns merging with the suburbs of one or more cities. And what a conurbation it is.
The wonderful travel site lonelyplanet.co guides us beyond the map and traverses the heart and soul. “Seventeenth-century buildings. Few cities meld history with modern urban flair like Amsterdam.
Two wheeling is a way of life here. Its how Amsterdammers commute to work, go to the shop and meet a date for dinner. With all the bike rental shops around, it’s easy to gear up and take a spin. If locals aren’t on a bike, they may well be in a boat. With its canals and massive harbor, this city reclaimed from the sea offers countless opportunities to drift.
You can’t walk a kilometer without bumping into a masterpiece in the city. The Van Gogh Museum hangs the world’s largest collection by tortured native son Vincent. A few blocks away, Vermeers, Rembrandts and other Golden Age treasures fill the glorious Rijksmuseum. The Museum het Rembrandthuis offers more of Rembrandt via his etching-packed studio, while the Stedelijk Museum counts Matisses and Mondrians among its modern stock. And when the urge strikes for something blockbuster, the Hermitage Amsterdam delivers: the outpost of Russia‘s State Hermitage Museum picks from its three-million-piece home trove to mount mega exhibits.
There’s a sense of time stopping, an intimacy of the here and now that leaves all your troubles behind, at least until tomorrow.”
That sounds like a great idea.
Older buildings are not torn down in the interest of new buildings signaling progress which is very subjective thinking. In Amsterdam you walk with the past, not on it.
The Dutch have given the world so many wonderful gifts including Michaela.
In a conversation with the New York Times published in a March 2015 article, Michaela expressed that one of her greatest life determinations is wanted to prove people wrong.
It’s what drives her.
That determination is what has driven so many great artists throughout history.
It has put the Knick in Knickerbocker. It is what helped New York possess a rich heritage.
It is a reminder that time periods come and go but like Michaela, our responsibility to a have positive effect on the world, never does.
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Sources: brainyquote.com, Wikipedia, fciwomenswrestling2.com, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.