Well 2012 has certainly started with a bang!
I posted earlier this week about my first class back, and my mini-masterclass on pirouettes. Well I didn’t want to let the awesome list of things to work on go to waste, so first thing on Wednesday morning I called into the Uni reception to book the studio. I’m really lucky that I’m able to use the studio (for free!) and, because it is out of term time, I managed to get it for every day this week. So Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and today (Sunday) I’ve been in the studio for a couple of hours.
It’s been really great for me, and I’ve definitely felt myself improve as the week has gone on. When there’s only you and the mirror it’s impossible to escape your flaws. There’s no “I hope the teacher didn’t see that” or “I’ll just stand at the back out of everyone’s way”. It’s also been great being in there every day, building on the work from the days before. This has helped me really work on some of the key areas where I struggle. Mainly, those damn double pirouettes!
So I started working on the pointers I had been given. To start, that was to lengthen into the ground to feel secure when turning. I stood for a while in retiré and repeatedly rose to demi-pointe (by thinking of lengthening), trying to feel that security. Then I practiced singles, concentrating on remaining in position for as long as I could manage. Finally, I went for some doubles. And they weren’t too bad! I’ve still got lots to work on, but I’ve helped to eliminate my hop at the end of a turn, something that I think was a manifestation of my nerves. One thing I’m concentrating on now is keeping my elbows up mid-turn. Here’s a clip from Thursday and although much securer than my doubles used to be, you can see the exact moment my elbows drop - Pirouettes (sorry for the random Catherine Zeta Jones in the background – I was listening to A Little Night Music while practicing!).
And things got even more exciting this week, when I got an email last night about the performing group in Bristol I’m in. Our first performance of 2012 is at the end of February and the director wants be to be in the Pas de Déesses – Dance of the Goddesses. We’ll be dancing an adapted version of the Robert Joffrey ballet, which depicts three great ballerinas (Lucile Grahn, Fanny Cerrito, and Marie Taglioni) trying to get the attention of danseur Arthur St. Leon. Sounds a pretty good scenario to me! I’ve found a little clip on YouTube of some highlights:
With music by John Field it’s described as “a classical and gentle satire”. Obviously I won’t be doing the original choreography (I can’t do double tours, for one thing!) but I’ll be learning the adapted choreography over the next couple of weeks. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes (and maybe post a video!).
And as if this week couldn’t have gotten any more crazy, I found out on Wednesday that I’ll be heading to Canada to speak at a conference in June! So if anyone knows of any ballet classes in Halifax, Nova Scotia then please let me know! Also, I’m hoping to travel back via NYC to spend a few days. Hopefully I’ll be able to take class back at Princeton Ballet School and Joffrey Ballet School and see ABT/NYCB. Awesome!
So that’s been my crazy week – a pretty good start to 2012, I’d say! How’s your 2012 going?
Until next time, keep dancing!