Well, I am going for a swim at the gym before they close early today. It's a warm, rainy day in Chicago and I am all wet from walking in the rain already. I came from ballet class with a better sense of form from taking class with the artistic director at Joffrey Academy all week. After being in such a class, going back to a normal technique class is just not the same, but I will try to remember the passion and why I dance.
So, during class, I concentrated on becoming loose and extending myself, which I learned from the artistic director at Joffrey Academy. You never want to pinch your movements, he said, showing how to extend the arm or move through the space you have. So, working this way, I found it harder to control my appendages, namely, my feet, because I was thinking more of pulling myself out of my body. So now my body feels great and I don't feel pinched in the waistline like I normally do. Mostly, I need to find a more natural turnout and then the pinch would really disappear...
So we did a classical barre and the teacher commented on the same thing I was thinking, to find your stance and move naturally to a balance. No force. Force, yes, but there is a balance...hard to explain. The hardest thing for me is to find balance in a pose where you must let go of the barre, such as doing frappes on demi-toe without holding on. I find my middle moving more than my legs, it seems. Part of it is fear, too, and lack of trust, as the teacher said. All the teachers always say you can really do these things...
1. Plies in 1st, port de bras front and back; plies in 2nd, port de bras side; plies in 4th, port de bras side and back; plies in 5th, port de bras back.
2. Tendus front through foot, strike heel to ground; en croix.
3. Tendus to 5th with demi-plies en croix.
4. Ronde jambes with fondu attitudes extend.
5. Fondus en croix with developpe seconde to ronde jambes en l'air.
6. The infamous frappes!
7. Tendus and degages en croix; face center and pique arabesque and hold!
8. Barre stretches croise, seconde, arabesque, penche down and grab opposite foot to attitude stretch.
9. Developpes with grand ronde jambe to arabesque; also developpe seconde and cambre to barre, fouette attitude, extend to arabesque while letting go of barre.
10. Grand battements -- think of using just your foot, not the leg, for a lighter effect.
Since it has stopped raining, I will walk to the gym, although it is nice and cozy here in the bookstore cafe with my skinny caramel latte and peanut butter Cliff Bar and a book on stretching I am browsing...
The gym was pretty deserted, so I had a good swim and now I am home, just relaxing and thinking ballerina dreams...The Real Black Swan
1. Tendu croise, seconde, efface, seconde; developpe croise, seconde, fouette to ecarte, promenade arabesque, penche, releve faille, pas de bourre en tournant, pirouettes.
2. Pirouettes in 5th 3x, end in developpe a la seconde; repeat sides.
3. Glissade jete pas de chat pas de bourre, temps de cuisse, beats.
4. Releve attitude, chasse tour jete, tour fouette, jete developpe seconde, contretemps pique arabesque tour jete, chasse pas de bourre grand jete.
I feel restless when I am still; that is why I need and love to dance, because it is a way to occupy my time and use myself with abandon. As the teacher said today, there are not many times in life where you can feel yourself moving in time and experiencing the moment fully. Yes, it is like an addiction, but, since my resolution is to be real from now on, I must go on to other things. As another dear teacher said who is no longer with us, what you learn in life will be applied to your dancing. I believe every artist needs to be well rounded, as did Diaghilev, who made his dancers look at paintings and art. Also, they say a great blues singer must experience pain in order to feel a song, or, as a French friend said, life is suffering and pain, not always a happy face. Happy New Year!