Yellow Bird: From 'Nutcracker' to a 'Beat Down'
"If you asked my sisters about my entertainment likes and dislikes, they'd say, “You'll never see Dorreen at a ‘Beat Down,'" which is an anything-goes kind of boxing/wrestling/Kung Fu/marital arts tournament. But I was at one such event Friday.

And I had hardly scraped the muck off my clothing - actually, there really wasn't any blood, sweat or tears on my clothing. I was too far away from the arena - before I attended the Russian Ballet's performance of “The Nutcracker” in the Chester Fritz Auditorium two days later.

I have concluded - with my eyebrows raised - that there are some similarities in these two events: They both involve battles, one against a fellow “Beat Down” opponent (with lots of screaming involved) and the other against the Rat King (with no talking or screaming, just music).

While on assignment in western North Dakota last week, I was given a pass to the rough-and-tumble “Beat Down.” To my surprise, it wasn't a Kung Fu-type event, nor were there any Bruce Lee-like fighters taking part. I saw a few kicks, but no leaping into the air, walking up walls or knocking down several opponents with a spinning kick like Neo (Keanu Reeves) in “The Matrix.”

The Beat Down contestants were checked in the Four Bears Lodge where I stayed, so I saw them lounging in the big chairs and couches, poring over laptop computers. Many of them looked like they could do those spinning and jumping kicks that I expected to see."

Get the Story:
Dorreen Yellow Bird: What a weekend: ‘Beat Down' and ballet (The Grand Forks Herald 11/14)
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