Today I went to see the Black Swan movie with my sister. It's her birthday and I bought her a bouquet of lavender roses and had it gift-wrapped nicely. We stopped to eat and then saw the movie about the toll obsession can take. At the end, my sister said, you can't let obsession do that. I admire my sister because she has a lot of self-control, whereas I tend to be more emotional.
I could identify with this movie and the character. While it is good to immerse yourself in something you love, you must also face reality. I am not going to give this movie away, like I did the last movie I described, because it is so popular. You will have to see it yourself; but, I can say that this dancer paid a high price for perfection. The director of her company kept saying to let go of the technique and stop pretending, something I hear a lot, too!
After taking another ballet class at Joffrey Academy this morning, you would think I would want to think of something else, but my sister wanted to see the movie and she asked me questions, like, when the dancer put her feet in the rosin box, what's that -- or, when she was banging up her pointe shoes, what's she doing. Technically, the dancing was okay, but I would rather see Makarova dancing this role, not an actress, although the acting was impressive and I really believed the character.
So, you wonder, why do I take class and work out when I should be thinking about more practical things? Well, since I lost my job of 13 years and, although I have a job of sorts, it's hard to find better work, I feel that now is my time. Like in the movie, now is my time...although my resolution for New Year will be to be more realistic and after watching this movie, I saw what can happen if you're not realistic about your goals.
So, this morning in class, we started with slow tendus and cou de pieds facing barre, then onto plies, cambres, ronde jambes, beats, developpes, battements, balances and the artistic director, who has been teaching this class all week, even approached me at barre and corrected me today, telling me to keep my heels forward and stop looking at the floor. I thought it was nice that he was considering me as someone worthy of improvement in this class of want-to-be dancers.
In center we did a variation on our usual adagio and it was not as straightforward and so it's hard to describe. It was something like tendu fondu forward, detourne, step arabesque and passe through to developpe efface, then developpe a la seconde and then rotate to arabesque, promenade, step to turns en dedans, chasse pose foward. It is still hard for me to understand these torso changes in this class, especially when we got to the last combination.
This was pique arabesque, fouette, fouette again, developpe croise to grand jete. Straightforward enough, but I remarked to another girl that I had forgotten the mechanics of fouette, because my torso was not turning the same way as the other dancers. Also, when the teacher said, let's move and we did temps leve arabesque, faille, detourne, temps leve arabesque to other side, I struggled with directions again...something to work on as usual, my movement quality. I am great at static poses but lose it when I have to cover the floor.
So, tomorrow I will go back again for the last class with this great teacher and try to understand how to use my torso. It will probably be the last time he will be my teacher so the expense will be worth it. Moving the torso is very important and since I know I cannot give up ballet, it will improve my dancing, as will the gym classes I am taking. The gym is always a place I can relax and experiment with what I am learning from dance. It is the space I go to as a non-dancer, although dancing will always be special to me...
Watching the movie, I thought the artistic director in it resembled my current teacher, a sure sign I have been taking this class too long, although I love dancing for people like this who want to draw out what is inside of you. You are your worst enemy, forget the technique, too stiff, let it go, do it again...yes!!!