Modern Monday Returns (Finally) 

So, technically, Modern Monday has been rolling along without me for the past few weeks, but I haven’t managed to make make it ’til today.

Anyway, in the intervening period, I haven’t completely forgotten how to modern, but it did take a little re-acclimating today. There were quite a few moments in which my body kind of went, “Ohhhhhh, that thing! Riiiiiiiight!” 

I was really afraid I would be a disaster, because I’m still struggling at night but opted not to take take a sleeping pill last night because sometimes they exacerbate my depressions. Last night, I did manage to get something like five hours of sleep, though, which is a step in the right direction.

It turned out that I was acceptably able to remember combinations and coordinate most of my movements. I did struggle with an exercise on the floor in which Graham contractions and releases and flat-back were supposed to coordinate with flexing and pointing the feet. 

My feet were like, “What is this flexed crap? Are we doing frappé? No! So what the snap?” I had had to think about the feet, which was simultaneously surprisingly hard and actually pretty funny, because they were seriously not into that. 

I also struggled with Part B of our petit allegro combination, which seemed simple but wasn’t, because it needed precision, which evidently I didn’t have. 

Basically, it went:

Walk, walk, walk, walk, 

Jump,  spot, jump, spot, jump, spot, jump, spot <= with quarter turns

I struggled to coordinate this and then, when I did coordinate it, I kept turning off-center. 

It turns out that I was spotting forehead-first, tilting my head and neck off the vertical axis, causing my whole body to veer off track.

Modern T suggested that I think about leading the spot with my chin. This sounds immensely counter-intuitive, but in my case, it works. It keeps my head and neck on the vertical, which makes the turn stay upright. 

Anyway, this explains why my turns and my tours sometimes (okay, often) teeter off their axes — so, one again, modern is benefiting ballet in unexpected ways.

So, anyway, more little details to tune up. I think this is good. The more I dance and watch dance, the more I believe that the bodies of dancers are educated bodies in a very real way. I feel like I should be able to explain what I mean, there, but I’m having trouble with words today, so I’ll have to reflect on that and come back to it. 

So, basically, I have a PhD in controlling my legs, but my arms are still in kindergarten. In this position, I felt like my arms were straight out to the sides. Oy, vey.

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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 2016/09/19, in balllet, class notes, dance, modern and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I finally did it. Tonight I was that guy who was late and found the studio door locked in his face. Lisa did it to karate girl and she did it to me. Got to admire the awful clarity…

    • Alas! (Though, at the same time, I rather wish out instructors would do that, because there are couple of students who habitually come in way, way late, which is particularly disruptive during Saturday Class, when the instructor has to leave the room to go unlock the outer door).

      BTW, How was Ailey? Some day I will see them in person!!!

      • Ailey? Well of course they’re hella good dancers and also performers.

        I saw two new works of Ron Brown’s, plus Revelations. The first two didn’t convince; if you mix styles, sometimes you get something new and brilliant, but sometimes you just get a big bucket of random stuff.

        This was like that: here’s a bit of jazzhopballetmodernbroadway all at once. Did you see we can do all that? Did you? And it looked a bit…Strictly. (Dancing with the Stars for export customers.)

        Revelations, though. Hell. That does work through about one style transition per canon and it works. Story arc: starts adage, for the pain, gets worse in floorwork, after that it gets better:-) and the music, yes, the music.

      • Oh, yeah. Revelations is one hell of a piece. I saw a live-in-HD broadcast of it earlier this year.

        And your description of the other 2 … Ha, I know what you mean! (Also, I feel that way about overwrought attempts at haute cuisine much of the time. Like, okay, pick A THING and do THAT, and if you’re going to throw in something else, they’re better be a damned good reason!)

      • Also, a lot of Revelations looks like it would be so. Much. Fun. (The gang reprised the last bit in a different, V-shaped spacing around one of the women because the Wells hollered for more.)

  2. Also, the chin thing. I can see it. I think that’s how a cheetah would spot?

  3. “Educated bodies”, yes, I think that’s a good way of describing dancers’ bodies.

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