Ballet Intensive Dispatch: Day 1

This week involves four hours of class in the evening, so I suspect I’ll mostly report in the morning.

Yesterday, after a great class with Ms. T of Advanced Class, I took B out for a celebratory lunch, then dithered around buying the things I had meant to buy already but forgot, then hopped into my trusty Subaru and drove to Lexington.

After a near-miraculous parking space appeared (in which I parallel-parked like a boss), I snagged a tiny salad at a nearby Panera*, crammed it into my face, and wandered back to ArtsPlace, where the Ballet makes its home.

A quick aside: under most circumstances, I wouldn’t recommend “tiny salad” as the ideal energy source for four hours of conditioning and dancing. I was still feeling fairly stuffed after my enormous lunch calzone, which I nearly finished.

As a fueling strategy for this particular schedule, “Huge lunch; light supper” works brilliantly. I think, though, that I will also bring a light snack to eat before rep tonight.

We’re a group of fifteen or twentyish, and I am not The Onliest Boy this time — there are two of us, both fairly well matched in terms of technique and ability, though quite different in build (C is much more Hallbergian than I, and also a head taller).

Class began with an hour of Pilates-based conditioning led by Ms. A1. I spent the hour reflecting on how grateful I am for the conditioning we do at Suspend, without which I might very well have silently wept through most of the hour in question.

After a brief break (and a small wrestling match with my dance belt — I wore the oldest one, which is now slightly too big, which in turn frankly boggles my mind), we proceeded to technique class with Mr. J.

He explained that he’d be giving a fairly basic class so he and Ms. A could get a sense of where we were as dancers.

He kept his word, but it was still a very good class — I enjoyed his barre, centre, and adagio combinations, felt good about turns and terre-a-terre, and the tempo of the petit allegro (simply: glissade – assemblé, glissade – assemblé, glissade – changement – changement -changement) was such that, instead of being an ongoing train wreck, I got to show off some beats here and there.

It was also such that I didn’t crash and burn when I discovered the inevitable slippery spot on the floor.

I enjoyed the heck out of our medium allegro — the famous sauté arabesque/sauté passé that I love so ridiculously – and added cabrioles because everything needs more cabrioles.

Grand allegro was equally pleasant, and for once my saut de chat was fully functional, if a bit Third Reich-ish about the arms at times. Of course, there was also pas de chat, which is, at the moment, the joy of my existence.

After another brief break, we divided by gender for variations/repertory. Mr. J gave the two of us a lively, vigorous dance based on Petipa, with just enough bravura to make it shine but not so much that we won’t be able to master it by Saturday. I’m enjoying it immensely, even though it took me the entire class period to get my head around the fact that I’m supposed to do my first turn more or less backwards.

It should make one heck of an interesting foil to the ladies’ piece — the famous entrance scene from “The Kingdom of the Shades.”

We got to see their piece (which was totally unfair to them, as we didn’t show them ours!) and I was quite impressed with how well they had it down, this being only the first night, and theirs being a much larger group with a much greater range of skill. The moments that always give me chills succeeded in doing exactly that. I can’t wait to see the final performance!

I’m much less stressed-out about rep here than I was in Cinci. First, it’s ballet, which is my “mother tongue,” so it’s simply easier to memorize. Second, it’s a shorter piece than we did, and I don’t think there will be as much adding of a whole new scene on the day before the performance!

I feel like we’ll have our piece not only learned, but well-polished, on Saturday.

Funny little sidebar: in class, I noticed that C was wearing white shoes and I was wearing black ones.

Does that make me the bad guy? 😀

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About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Getting along pretty well with bipolar disorder. Fabulous. Married to a very patient man. Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2015). Proto-foodie, but lazy about it. Cat owner ... or, should I say, cat own-ee? ... dog lover. Equestrian.

Posted on 2016/07/19, in balllet, class notes, performances, summer intensives and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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