Saturday, October 22, 2016

Suzanne Farrell Ballet

I'm just leaving the Suzanne Farrell Ballet's presentation of a Balanchine three-fer: Danses Concertantes, Gounod Symphony, and Stars and Stripes. I really thought I was going to arrive late due to traffic, but I managed to get seated minutes before the lights dimmed. Whew!

I usually prefer story ballets, as I can get bored with nothing but patterns of dancers regardless of technical challenge. Danses Concertantes is an exception. I really enjoyed watching the trios do their thing. There was one duo; oddly I thought the male dancer of this duo was a bit uneven, doing some harder steps well then being shaky on simpler steps. But overall I really liked it a lot more than I expected to.

I expected to like Gounod Symphony more, as it's a classical ballet with lots of dancers. Technically they were very good, but I found myself thinking some of the principal parts were slowly paced. Maybe my preferences are shifting?

Stars and Stripes was fun. Despite the women's corp looking a bit like the June Taylor Dancers -- on pointe --  at the beginning, it got better and better. All in all a fun afternoon.

I do have one question, though. Why can't women jump? A man doing a tour jete has three movements: up, rotate, land. A woman doing the same step appears to do it as one motion, with the landing happening almost at the same time the other foot leaves the ground. Is this stylistic or a physical limitation?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

World Ballet Day

Tuesday was World Ballet Day. In honor of this I dragged myself down to the studio and took a class.

Ballet simply is not one of those things you can do once in a while. I started getting cramps in my calf muscles within minutes of the start of barre, and thanks to the big mouth of one of the other students we finished barre with a bunch of one-legged relev├ęs. Apparently this is what our instructor calls a "restorative" class. I bailed out after barre, feeling less than restored.

Yesterday I was limping. Last night I had to get up and stretch several times. Even now, two days later, I'm still a bit sore.

On the other hand, I think my balance is still improving. I didn't try any turns but I was able to hold various demi-pointe positions balanced on one foot for longer than I remember being able to before.

I think I just need to get back into the habit of going to class on a regular basis.