Advanced Class: Don’t Leave Your Body Behind

Today’s class was pretty good.

EF taught, which meant long and complicated combinations at barre, some of which were VERY fast.

After we had all sort of traded a moue of despair after flailing our way through something that I’ll call a degagé combination (with the understanding that it was SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT), he pointed out to us that we shouldn’t feel disheartened and give up mid-combo if we’re not fast enough yet.

Even if we flail through and don’t quite make it, even if the combination is so freaking fast that 75% of the advanced class can’t actually get their feet either to point fully or to relax fully, by trying, we’re developing the strength and the speed that will eventually allow us to execute these insanely-fast combinations correctly.

riddikulus

Us at barre today(1, by PhantomMoon, via Pinterest).

I was awfully glad to hear that, because that’s exactly what I keep telling myself: even if you’re just flailing away like a wind-sock, keep going, because it is through flailing that we reach transcendence.

Or something like that.

Even if you’re just flailing away like a wind-sock, keep going, because it is through flailing that we reach transcendence.

Or something like that.

(I felt like that could use some fancy formatting.)

This is how EF teachers, and one of the reasons that I lurve his classes(2). As I have probably mentioned before, he teaches to the most advanced dancer in the room (in this case: a home-town boy on a brief vacation from American freaking Ballet Theater, apparently) and allows everyone else to rise to that level.

Curiously, it generally works.

Anyway, adagio went well, once I stopped being a spaz and forgetting to actually use the muscles that make my supporting leg, like, support me (yeah, totally fumbled in a tour lent today … but I jumped right back into it and fixed it on the second side).

Turns and terre-a-terre also went well: we got music from Swan Lake today, and my insides went SQUEEE! because I ❤ Swan Lake so hard. My outside, on the other hand, went, “I’m not sure I have this! I’m still not sure I have this! Oh, wait — I’ve got this!”

 

Basically, I was having some trouble remembering where this one failli went, and also trouble remembering that my new dancing policy is supposed to be:

Look like you know what you’re doing.

…Even when you don’t.

Which, this week, has been frequently.

Anyway. Petit allegro was a moderate disaster, but only because for some reason on the first pass my brain couldn’t contain the combination, and on the second pass my body kept executing the incorrect version.

It began:

assemblé
jeté
assemblé
jeté

and then made with the glissades, but I somehow thought it began with glissade – jeté and thus kept doing it backwards and getting horribly lost.

EF tried to sort me, but my legs refused to comply until the very. last. repeat. Thus, I wound up working it alone, as everyone packed up.

EF called me over and gave me a note on my brush-jumps (the ones like jeté, assemblé, and so forth). I’ve been leaving my body behind, which has been forcing me to make extra weight-changes in petit allegro and putting me behind the count.

Evidently, my jumps aren’t actually slow anymore (EF said they’re actually quicker than a lot of my classmates’); it’s the extra weight-changes doing me in at this point.

So in addition to continuing to work on solidifying my supporting leg, this week I’ll be concentrating on bringing my body with me when I jump (something I need to think about in general, really; I do this on grand jeté and saut de chat as well).

Anyway, he spent several minutes working with me in on this, and (of course) I thanked him profusely. He takes a lot of time with me: fixing my arm at barre (which needs doing with alarming frequency; it’s better than it was, but it still likes to drift too far back and lose its shape and so forth), tweaking my jumps and turns, and so forth. I really appreciate that, as a great deal of the ground I’ve gained has been the direct result of these fine-point corrections from my instructors.

It’s also nice to know that I’m not invisible in a gigantic advanced class — there were a billion of us today (even adagio required two groups).

After, I went to juggling class, in which I managed a new-record-for-me 27 cascades, then worked my choreography a bit in Open Fly. I think I’ve solved the last of the timing problems (added a sissone to arabesque; not 100% sure it works with the music).

And now I’m at home, writing this, contemplating lunch, and preparing to undertake a cleaning binge as a way to keep myself from just obsessing about tomorrow’s audition.


Notes, References, and Asides

  1. Sadly, I can’t find a proper source for this; if it’s from etsy, I want one! OMG I FOUND IT!
  2. Sadly, after next Saturday, we won’t have him again for a while, because the regular season and so forth take off again next week, and he has So Many Responsibilities.
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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 2016/08/06, in balllet, choreography, cirque, class notes, steps and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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