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Sunday, January 16, 2011

It doesn't feel like Sunday

Watching the Golden Globe Awards with all the actors is fun. I went to ballet class this morning and then kind of lingered, chatting, stretching, and watching a rehearsal. I never want to leave, and then I walked to the running store and bought some electrolyte candy and headed for the gym, stopping to buy a nourishing salad on the way. My cold is almost gone so I went to the club with the heated pool and was sure to dry out, in the rocking chair, eating the salad I had bought, which consisted of spinach, kale, Romaine, shredded beets, cilantro, parsley, garlic, some kind of Indian spinach gruel, Indian stew with carrots and potatoes, whitefish, pulled pork -- a little bit of everything from the Whole Foods salad bar. Lots of nutrients -- sometimes I splurge and indulge myself in some good food like this. I really love veggies!
Ballet class was very productive in that I tried to make my turns better by trying to spot and trying to hold my body straight, including my legs. I find that, after a turn, I want to collapse, so I thought of standing up even taller when doing the final plie. Also, the teacher said you have your form, your stance, and while you are turning this doesn't change. You cannot use your arms to hoist yourself around. You have to find the coordination of your shoulders and push your legs into the ground and spot your head and it will be natural.
Spotting is hard for me because when I think of holding my body, I think of holding my head, too, instead of moving it; also, the head is heavy and if moved incorrectly, will throw me off, or so I think. But spotting is part of turning. You cannot watch a ballet dancer turn without watching this movement of the head -- it is just incorrect. As much as I may not relish doing certain things and enjoy other movements better, such as jumping, to dance is to turn and so I must learn it. A dancer friend of mine once commented under his breath, it's like a job and you don't like to do certain things but they are part of the job and you must do them.
So, I experimented with things again, which I said I wouldn't do, because it looks weird and distracting to the others in class. I was in the corner practicing turns, like turning a 1/4 of the way and then trying to "flick my head around," as a teacher once told me. I noticed how, first of all, my head was tilting sideways instead of being straight, another thing which will disturb balance. Also, I realize now that although the hips are not supposed to move in classical ballet, as another Russian teacher said, you have to be loose enough in the hips to allow the movement, as another teacher said. At that point, I thought, I'm going to just do it over and over, which is really the only way, as this teacher said in another class.
Ballet is really very simple, just do what you are told, my pointe teacher says:
Barre:
1. Plies facing barre with releves. (don't sit in the plies, knees out)
2. Tendu plie en croix.
3. Degages front, back, side.
4. Ronde jambes with fondus and balancoire.
5. Plie coupe balance; plie passe balance; plie passe attitude balance -- extend to arabesque, balance.
6. Frappes en croix, frappes to side with plies, balance to side on demi-toe.
7. Developpe front, developpe back, developpe side with ronde jambes en l'air.
8. Fondu attitude, ronde jambe leg to arabesque, penche, arabesque balance, passe balance.
9. Grand battements 2x front, 3x side, 2x back.
Centre:
1. Alternate tendus side, tombe pas de bourre; tendu front, passe, pirouette from 5th position, pirouette from 4th position. (still falling all over my pirouettes)
2. Grand plie, developpe a la seconde, promenade in seconde, change to arabesque, plie pas de bourre, sou sou passe, pirouettes.
3. Tendus sideways with glissades, pique 4th arabesque, pas de bourre, pirouettes en dedans. (don't forget to try to spot -- hello)
4. 16 changements; 2 changements, 2 echappes, repeat, echappe to 4th, pirouettes.
5. Changements with assembles, pirouettes.
6. Sissonnes in arabesque, to side.
-STRETCH-
So, this class is hard because it exposes your weaknesses in terms of physicality, strength, nd execution. It is a good way to see where you're at and now I have my homework for the rest of the week...Thank you, teacher!

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