March 2, 2011

You Did Well Today!

You may have noticed that I´ve been playing around with the look of my blog, changing title pictures, fonts and templates. That´s what four days of staying indoors will do to you - not only do I have the flu but I´m suffering from cabin fever as well. Not being able-bodied to dance is driving me up the wall! So, in the meantime you will be surprised and possibly irritated by ever changing blog templates. My apologies! I promise there will be a more final version soon, although I still reserve the right to change things whenever it gets too tired. Also, I am working on the content - it´s just that after last Friday´s class my brain did not cooperate anymore. Over the weekend I was  mostly asleep. That is when I was not watching episodes of Bones online.
Another discarded blog title banner:

But I do remember that Friday´s ballet was awesome! Despite a persistent tickle in the back of my throat and headache that was just announcing itself - for some reason I did better in class than usual. I guess the pressure was off, and I was just so glad to still make it to ballet class before the flu got the better of me! Or, it is actually possible that my teacher´s corrections are finally sinking in.. It´s like there is this persistent voice track playing in my head, right alongside with the "normal" stuff that usually keeps my brain occupied. It sounds something like this:

Turn out. More! Present yourself. The back is long. Stretch your knees. Heels forward. Arms are breathing. Elongate the line.. match the phrasing of the music. Work the floor in degagés. Use oppositional forces. Weight on the working leg. Legs are long, longer! Pliés are juicy, and deeper. Positions bigger. Do your maximum. No in-betweens! Turn out. More!

I knew I was doing something right the moment we did our first grand pliés. I felt centered and stretched and placed, and everything seemed just a little bit easier. In the center pirouettes turned like there was no tomorrow, even though I lacked the nerve to go beyond doubles. Adagio was beautiful (the exercise, not me), and I did not loose balance on the arabesque penchée. I even managed the attitude pirouette en dehors finishing in plié. I have always trouble with that one! Petit allegro was fine, grand allegro less so but I´m out of practice. Really need to work on those grand jetés! Still it was the kind of class you wish you had everyday. Our teacher gave us some amazing demonstrations, the usual 6 o´clock positions which she does so effortlessly and a couple of surprise grand jetés which looked like they just sliced the air in half!

Picture of Lucinda Dunn, photo James Morgan
Pointe class was much better than last time, now that my shoes have been cut and molded to my feet. We did some crazy new stuff, like stretches on the barre in relevé. Crazy, because how on earth am I supposed to get up on pointe with one leg when I have my other back on the barre? In arabesque no less! Also I could not do the foot-in-hand stretch, not on pointe. Then Madame had us do pirouettes in the center, without ever prepping them at the barre. She gave us the option to do just relevés (when did this become "just"?), but I gave it a try anyway. To the right I could not even get up. To the left I managed one and a half turn, sadly with turned in legs. Not good! But over the years there have been a lot of things I thought I would never be able to do. Only to be proven wrong. See, sometimes it is really good to be wrong! 

Best of all, after class Madame came up to me and said that I did well today. Which is why I´m still smiling five days later.

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