Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Concert

Friday evening I attended a performance of the Suzanne Farrell Ballet. The first piece was Balanchine's one-act version of "Swan Lake" at the Kennedy Center. I didn't recognize the other pieces on the program, other than that the second and third were also Balanchine's, and the fourth was by Jerome Robbins.

I enjoyed "Swan Lake", though I'm really looking forward to TWB's production with Misty Copeland. The second and third pieces were modern, with atonal music that sounded like the soundtrack to a 1970's detective TV show. Even my girlfriend, who prefers modern to classical ballet, wasn't terribly excited by the piece, though it was technically well-performed.

The fourth and final piece was Robbins's "The Concert". I hadn't had a chance to read the notes on it in the program, so I had no idea what to expect. I soon realized that this was a comedy composed of shorter scenes. All of the scenes were fun and had me and many others laughing out loud. But one scene had me in stitches, because it reminded me of so many dance classes where everyone is going one way except one who is going the other. At the end one dancer has the wrong arms, and slowly corrects it as the others hold their positions. I could hear the voice of one of my instructors saying, "Whatever you're doing, commit to it. Don't look around and second-guess your decision."

Monday, November 10, 2014

Classes while traveling?

Sorry about the rare updates. I used to write most of them on my phone using Bloggeroid, but for some reason I haven't been able to get them to post unless I have a WiFi connection. If I try using the cellular data connection, everything goes poof!

I've been getting to class a bit less regularly, but for good causes. Like an absolutely killer Halloween party only a 3.5 hour drive from home. No way to get to a weekend class when you're two states away late on a Saturday night. Still, I've managed to improve in some areas. It's becoming more common, though not yet routine, to be able to hold my balance in passé relevé on demi-pointe for longer and longer; Sunday I held it for several measures (not beats — MEASURES). I even got a called out by name for it! Woot! If I'd managed decent turns later in class I'd be even more excited.

Speaking of turns, last Tuesday's class is worthy of noting. We were doing a sequence which alternated piqué and soutenu turns, and the instructor wasn't happy with us. She felt we were sort-of going through the motions, rather than dancing with energy. I decided to really attack the combination while paying attention to spotting. Based on the whoop and compliment from the instructor, I must have done pretty well. Unfortunately that burned a lot of energy, and by the last exercise in class I was wiped out.

While I have your attention... does anyone have a recommendation for adult drop-in ballet classes in the Raleigh, Durham, or RTP area of North Carolina? It seems I may spend a few weeks there in the next few months.

How about the Boston suburbs out near I-495 nearish Rt 2? I guess I could trek into Boston proper for class, if it starts late enough in the evening.