March 17, 2012

My Ballet ABC: From Attitude to Chiens

A for attitudes, and I wish I could finally nail mine everytime. Knee above foot, don't open the hip too much, cross back leg behind body, push opposing shoulder forward, think of a spiral twisting up, up and and I'm out of breath already just writing about it!

A for the right attitude, not copping an attitude. The one that shows you mean business and love to dance and are willing to work and learn!

A for arabesques, because it's about the line and not the height. All arabesques can be beautiful - think of energy flowing through your hands, head and legs. You are reaching forward, away from yourself. It is not a dead pose but movement, a story to be told. My teacher tells us never to finish the arabesque.

A for allongé, as in breath, elongate and dance tall. Fill the space around you, burst your little bubble!

A for adagio, the calm between barre and allegro.

B for ballet. As if you did not see that one coming! Love, love, love ballet! As if you did not know that already.. ;)

B for La Bayadère. Going to see Finnish National Ballet's production next. Nikiya, Solor and Gamzatti - love, betrayal and opium-induced visions of multiple shady ballerinas. Fabulous!

B for barre. Trusted friend, but not one to depend upon.

B for bourrées, especially on pointe. Love bourrées, I would bourrée to the bus if possible. Sadly, not a widely appreciated form of transport.

B for brisés, irritating little beated jumps which I only ever get right traveling to the left.

B for beats, which are fun once you figure out the timing and stop beating your feet black and blue..

B for Baryshnikov. Need I explain?

B for ballon, bounce and air-born jumps. My strong suit in ballet.

B for brain-power. You need some to learn and remember steps and stuff, but don't overthink. Do it like Samuel Beckett says: "Dance first, think later. It's the natural order." One of my favorite dance quotes.

C for class. Can't dance without.

C for cinquiéme, as in fifth position. The most stable position there is, but don't force it.

C for chassé, first linking step I learned. One leg chases after the other. Catch me if you can!

C for the pas de chats and chevals and other fauna-inspired steps. Curiously there are no pas de chiens. Unless you think of badly aligned attitude, as in dog marking tree..

C for cabrioles, in all directions except to the back. Somehow it's hard to rid myself of the face-meets-floor image. Might stem from a few nasty tummy-splashing dives into the pool..

C for choreographer. Where would we be without Petipa, Perrot, Fokine, Bournonville, Balanchine, Bejart, Ashton, McMillan, Forsythe, Wheeldon, Ratmansky, et al? Stuck to the barre, doing gym class instead.

Tell me, what does your Ballet-ABC look like?

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