Sunday, June 25, 2017

Getting old sucks

Getting old sucks, but I haven't found an acceptable alternative.

I'm doing a good job of getting to 2 classes per week. I went this morning and got there in time to do some basic pre-class stretches. By mid way through barre my hip flexors were giving me trouble, feeling achy and tight. I did make it through barre, though I was kinda limping when I went to get a drink of water at the break.

One of the things I've been trying to work on is not arching backward when balancing in retirĂ©. Doing so shifts my weight backward, which throws me off-balance. My instructor describes fixing this as merely reducing the space between your pelvis and your sternum, and not any sort of leaning forward. Fixing this changes my balance which feels unfamiliar. The results are worth it, though. I'm really liking how I'm able to stay balanced longer and longer.

I realized this morning that most of what we do in class is pretty simple in concept. Most of the issues I have are with remembering what we're doing and in the timing. And, of course, you could easily spend a lifetime perfecting your execution. Let's look at my timing, for example. I tend to want to pause at the end of a phrase even though I need to be moving into the next already. This is especially bad when a phrase doesn't end at on a musical measure boundary. Today we did a sequence which launches into an attitude turn on beat 3 of the 3/4 music. At first I wanted to wait until the beat 1 of the next measure, and of course that put me behind. On the second run-through it dawned on me why I was behind, but getting my feet to start the turn on beat 3 is a struggle. I did manage it, though somewhat gracelessly.

We are working on two new (to me) steps. One I can't remember the name of nor find described, though I've seen it in a video of the very beginning of act 1 of Giselle, right after she steps out of her house. It's basically a hopping or skipping step with a beat. It looks simple and I can do it about half the time, but if I think about doing it my feet do the wrong things. It'll come with practice. The other step is the saut de basque, which my body seems to remember doing though I don't recall learning it.

1 comment:

  1. I've been thinking about what you say about phrasing and what comes to me is at a masterclass years ago with 19th century guitar expert, Carlo Barone. He understood music as a song and interpreted it as such and expressed it as such. He stressed the importance of breath. How music needs to breathe, and you need to understand when it needs to breathe too.

    I find in my dancing that concept is just as true. If I'm struggling as you express here, often it comes down to when I'm 'breathing' (musically as opposed to literally though that can be causing problems too!)
    Yeah, dunno if that helps, but I'd love to be there watching you as you do the step you're struggling with, see when you're breathing musically, and when you need to breath to execute the steps properly within the music. Would be very interesting :-)


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