Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Skipped a week

I skipped class last week. I know, I'm bad. Tuesday I was planning to go bit got involved in a project and lost track of time until it was far too late to get there. This weekend I had a better excuse: I was in Toronto!

This evening I made sure I was ready well in advance and arrived in time to warm up while listening to our instructor talk about her recent trip to England. Yes, she was in Manchester when the bomb went off, but she was nowhere near it. I told her I was glad she didn't get blown up, "cuz I didn't want to have to break in a new ballet instructor." :-)

It's kinda frustrating to go from taking three or more classes a week and feeling good to taking one and being exhausted. The biggest problem is that it's a bit of a chicken-and-egg issue: the only thing that will fix it is that which also highlights the problem. But you have to just keep plugging along. I'm trying to be more careful about my diet and I'm working on being more active. That includes getting to class more often. Every week I feel the need to sit out less and less of class, and feel a tiny bit better at the end. Tonight I sat out the jumps but otherwise participated in everything and didn't feel totally wiped out. Little steps.

Oh! We had a second man in the class. He's clearly new to this. He was wearing clothes more suited to going for a run, and he seemed to be having a fair amount of difficulty with basic positions. I'm not sure what prompted him to get into this class (what I call Beginner 2.75 level) but he definitely was struggling. I spoke to him at the break to let him know this was "almost Advanced Beginner level" but he barely even acknowledged me and never said a word. Hey, I tried.

Friday, May 26, 2017

TWB: Frontier World Premier

Last night I saw the world premiere of The Washington Ballet's newly commissioned work "Frontier" by Ethan Stiefel. It was quite good! The scenery/video and the lighting designers deserve kudos.

The second piece was "Jardin aux Lilas" by Anthony Tudor. I was not impressed, though I expect my issue is with the choreographer and not the company. I felt like I was stuck in a Madonna lyric. You know the one: "Strike a pose." A friend described it as a series of very pretty still images, with not a lot of dance.

The third piece was "The Dream", by Frederick Ashton, a delightful retelling of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Absolutely fantastic. Julie Kent has added more emotive expression to Maki Onuki's technical expertise this year, and Brooklyn Mack is still amazing. But the unexpected highlight was whomever danced Puck. The program lists Johnathan Jordan but an announcement was made of a substitution. I missed the name but I think it was Andile Ndlovu. I wish I knew for sure because he brought so much speed and energy to the role I felt exhausted just watching him. I think he must have gotten a Big Gulp sized espresso before the show!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Easing my way back in

With the involvement of a trigger-point therapist, a licensed massage therapist, and a chiropractor, the worst of the tension and pain in my neck has subsided to the point where I can return to class. It still hurts if I turn my head too far, but it's not debilitating.

It was gray and dreary outside here this morning, so... I went to class. Barre was fine, but by half way through center my brain didn't want to follow the combinations so I sat out the rest. Felt fine by reverence but I can hear my bed calling me to go take a nap. And now I think I'm going to do just that!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Not sure what I did, but...

Back in the mid 1980s (yes, I'm that old) I had a very high stress job. Before I quit about two years later I developed knots in the muscles between my shoulder blades. I still have those knots but they only flare-ups occasionally, usually when I'm under significant stress. I'm not sure what I did, but I seem to have reactivated those knots. Turning my head, or tilting so the weight isn't naturally balanced over my neck, causes pain that radiates from behind my shoulder blades up into the base of my skull. It makes driving quite awkward.

My intent was to go to class tonight. I made sure I had freshly-cleaned dance gear and everything. But the idea of doing much beyond sitting still, as straight as practical, somehow does not appeal to me right now. So I'm going to skip class. Maybe I'll get there this weekend instead.