Friday, August 2, 2013

A Lyrical Evening

Tuesday evening the world conspired to prevent me from getting to class on time. First, I wanted to finish what I was working on before leaving, so I left my office a few minutes later than usual. Then I got caught in a discussion in the elevator lobby, which robbed a few more minutes. Still, I should have arrived with time to change and stretch briefly. The final straw was traffic: not only was the highway dead slow because of an emergency response on the shoulder (everyone has to stop to look!) but the exit I took to avoid that turned out to be blocked for a period due to construction. By the time I walked in the door I was already almost 10 minutes late. I changed quickly and found a place at the barre, but I'd missed most of the first set of warm-up stretches.

Fortunately, things got better from there. My balance seems to continue to improve. One combination at the barre ended in first arabesque on demi-pointe. Actually, I don't know if it was supposed to end on demi-pointe as some folk were on flat, but I was feeling good and that's how I did it. I was only a tiny bit wobbly on my right foot and used the barre a bit, but on my left it felt steady enough to let go of the barre almost immediately. When I felt my balance go off a bit I found I could shift my foot just a bit and get back on without having to grab the barre or flail my arms. So I just stayed there until the music ended (and maybe just a bit longer). I think I've lost a bit of my awe at the girls who can balance en-pointe like this, but I've lost none of my respect. It's such a new thing for me it's a wild feeling.

We did a new combination; a simple little thing that would almost be unworthy of comment. It starts croisé, right foot in front. The left foot slides out to degage as the body turns slightly right and opens and rises to first arabesque on demi-pointe. Hold for a moment, then faille and jeté. Repeat the sequence once. The third time through, replace the jeté with a glissade and a pas de chat, ending in the mirror of the starting position. Repeat the whole thing to the left.

So why is this sequence worthy of comment? Usually when I'm doing center work I feel like I'm just trying to remember what comes next and get my feet in the right place at roughly the right time. This sequence was simple enough that it felt lyrical. Like dancing, rather than gymnastics. Another good feeling. That's twice in one class.

Unfortunately, this hasn't improved my pirouettes, and I had trouble with my attitude turns too. No, let's just say I had trouble with turns, because I managed to turn the wrong way at the end of reverance and ended up facing the back of the room instead of the front. Oh well, win some lose some.

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