January 8, 2012

Six Classes Into the New Year

Corks were popped, and the last of the ballet-pink cava drunk a week ago. Darlings, it's time to skip, hop and jeté back to the barre! Which is what I finally did this past week. I had missed those classes so badly! Don't get me wrong, I revere holidays and enjoy R&R as much as the next person - but I prefer to dance first, chill after. Ballet class is my favorite past time, and to have all that time off to lazy around, but no class to go to? It ain't right.

You know what my dream vacation would look like? All dance, with trips to the beach in between. To mix it up a bit, a week or two in Paris or NYC or London - local ballet classes and performances included of course. And to top it all off, a summer dance intensive for adults. A girl can dream, right? Although - if you leave out the trips to glamorous cities, the dance intensive and the beach, it's pretty much where I'm right now. I'm taking a 3-month long sabbatical, studying and looking into possible new career prospects. The icing on the cake: lots of time to dance! It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time.

This means that beginning of next week I have a new ballet class schedule, with the additional option of taking morning classes. I'm also thinking about renting studio space at our school, us students are getting a really good deal at 10€ / hr. Might get some friends with flexible time-tables together and do class on our own. A simple barre for warm-up, then practice pirouettes or allegro or whatever else needs working on (which is pretty much everything).


Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Ballet intermediate Ballet
advanced
Rest
or:
Ballet
adv. beg. - int
Ballet
advanced
Optional


Ballet
adv. beginner
Pointe
adv. beginner
Lyrical jazz Pointe
beginner
Pointe
int. beginner
Ballet int.

There is also a short variation from Bournonville's ballet Napoli that I want to study and learn! Pointe-wise it's technically not impossible, but the big challenge is in the tempo and the épaulement. Royal Danish Ballet's Lis Jeppesen does a wonderful interpretation, the best I've seen: musical, lively, spirited and lovely. Whatever I can learn from this will be worth it, I'm sure.



How about you? Have you ever tried to learn a variation on your own? How did you do?

As for those six classes into the New Year.. The first one was wobbly and wonky. Pirouettes were off balance and turn-out was last seen in 2011. Hate when that happens. The next day I was almost back in form, and class was beyond awesome. We got to do modern ballet choreography in pointe class, with elements from Forsythe and Bejart and from our own fabulous teacher Marie-Pierre. It's something I've never done in ballet before, and totally exhilerating! Oh, and the music is awesome too, it's from Forsythe's In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.

By the third day, my muscles were complaining, which was to be expected. Took a day off and then headed to a beginner's class. It was almost harder than my usual class! Exercises were slow enough to think about every correction I've ever received, and dance as clean as possible. I might have tried too hard, as my teacher had to remind me twice not to tense up! But it was good to slow down and get back to the bare basics.

My sixth class of the week ended with one perfect pirouette. From fourth, en dehors, turn, turn, into a neat fifth position. Balanced and controlled. Afer one week of almost there, it was so sweet. I'm ready for 2012, bring it on!

16 comments:

  1. I'm sooooooo jealous! :D Love that schedule.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @iepukka - thank you, I suppose.. ;)

    Seriously, I don't want to make anyone jealous! I hope everyone gets to dance as much as they want.

    But my new schedule is a huge improvement on the one I had 1.5 years ago: back then I always had to negotiate shifts at work, run to classes and miss far too many. It's an even bigger improvement on the schedule of 2005, when I had no dance at all!

    Which is why I love it too. <3

    ReplyDelete
  3. Have to add that I'm only jealous in a good way, haha... I think you really deserve this kind of schedule and opportunities! :) Hope you'll have lots of fun with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Iepukka :)

      I've been waiting for a schedule like this for a long time. Dream come true and all that.

      Delete
  4. Oh wow! I wish I had that schedule! :) Hopefully next year I will. I will graduate in June and I am planning of taking a semi-sabatical year for the sake of ballet!

    Nice variation, great choice!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I want a sabatical months years too...but don´t have enough courage to do so...and yes,ive got a healthy jealousy too!! hehehe looks like the perfect schedule to me too.
    I did an intensive summer course last summer, 3week, 70m ballet each day (not Sat or Sundays) i couldn´t walk by the end of the first week but it got better and i must say iloved every second of it. Being able to dance every single day is a dream to me :) I hope you´ll enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  6. @lalatina

    A semi-sabatical year for ballet sounds fantastic!

    There is a time to study/work, and then there is a time to dance as much as you want! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Baluka, summer intensives are the best! It's hard at first, but like you said really worth it!

    I have never taken a summer ballet course, but I make my own schedule. Last summer, I took daily classes and combined with my vacation it was great :)

    Thanks for your comment, and I hope you're enjoying your classes as well!

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  8. Its funny how sometimes those slower classes are harder. Sounds like your off to a great start for the new year. I hope your dancing goes well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny because they are both easier & harder at the same time. You already know what the newbies are still learning, so there are really no excuses but to work you butt off and get it right! :)

      Thanks Elizabeth, it really has been a great start!
      Hope you're having an equally good time (or better).

      Delete
  9. I tried to learn Diana's variation in the diana and acteon pdd. The variation is not hard so it was easy to learn, but what i find hard is to learn from a screen because evething is the opposite of what i have to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is tricky! With this Napoli variation, I imagined myself in the place of the dancer, with the audience/mirror in front of me. In practice, I just marked the directions and which foot does what on the left/right.

      Left leg degagé, bourré to the right, right leg developpé, etc.. After a while it gets esier to figure out. But I haven't practiced it yet in the studio, we'll se what happens then. Or does not happen ;)

      But, wow. I cannot remember Diana's variation being not hard! I suspect you're a much more advanced dancer than me :)

      Delete
  10. Good for you, Johanna! I would so love to take a sabbatical but this year there is just no way. Still I'm at 4 classes a week and could get it up to 5 if I got my courage up for the Intermediate/Advanced! I'm ready to see some great strides in 2012 too! Let's dance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, didn't your ABT give you the green light on that int/adv class? Just go for it! It will be difficult, and most likely you'll mess up a lot - but that's how it works! You get better with practice, right? Right? :)

      Delete
  11. He did, he really wants me to challenge myself more and work on more complex movements in center. I just wimp out. For some reason, I can remember complex barre exercises but when I get into center, I get brain fade so it's a little more frightening for me. But I do want to get better so I guess I'm going to Int/Adv class :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You go for it, girl!

      I have one suggestion for you: prepare yourself mentally when you are still at the barre. Think you are in center already. Then when you are in center, remember it's the same, just without the barre! Hope this makes some sense.. :)

      Also, enjoy the space around you - which is there on both sides, at the same time!

      Pay attention to the transitions and directions, it's probably what causes the unintentional fade-out. The rest you already know from barre prep.

      I'm rooting for you, Lorry! And it does get less daunting, I promise :)

      Delete

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