Ballet Squid Chronicles: In Which The Gauntlet Is Thrown Down; Dansuer Ignoble
This morning a friend of mine on Google Plus challenged me to make a ballet video à la Sergei Polunin. Being as I am a sucker for a good challenge and also in need of some intermediate-term motivation, I (of course) immediately accepted said challenge. I still need to put together an audition video anyway.
I’m assuming that everyone on the internet who is even remotely interested in ballet and/or in hot Russian guys has already seen the video in question, but just in case, here it is. You know, for informational purposes and stuff. Consider me, like, a handy reference librarian.
Obviously, I am not Mr. Polunin, and I doubt I’ll master the art of launching myself from a supine position on the floor into a gigantic flying cabriole OMFG any time soon o.O So my video isn’t going to be anywhere near as impressive. Just saying.
But it does give me an excuse to get organized and finishing whipping my butt into shape and use my time more effectively. I am really bad at handling time without external structure, and only doing class a couple times a week has thrown a huge monkey wrench in the gears of my ballet plans.
Like, I do this thing where I’m all, “Okay, I have five days this week that I’m not in ballet class, I should definitely work in some calisthenics on at least three of those days.”
So I get up on Tuesday morning and I’m like, “Hooray, I have all this time to do my embarrassing calisthenics before Denis comes home; I think I will clean up a bit and work on some homework.”
And then, being me, I get paranoid, so I start on the homework first.
And then suddenly it’s Saturday morning and I’m back in ballet class and I haven’t done a single freaking push-up all week (though I have at least gotten rather good about actually working in some crunches; I do them in the kitchen while I’m waiting for dishes to dry or whatever).
Somehow, the thought of creating a video that OMG PEOPLE MIGHT ACTUALLY SEE makes the need to, like, actually not slack off on the physical training end of things seem rather more pressing. In short, being stronger (in a targeted kind of way; just building muscle for the sake of building muscle can become counterproductive pretty quickly for dancers) makes dancing easier.
Right now, my other pressing motivators are Burning Man (which isn’t ’til August), the deadline for submitting an audition video to Columbia (December, 2015), and then a performance with the adult ballet program peeps and Sun King in 2016. Given my total inability to conceptualize time, even Burning Man might as well be some time next century. Like, I try to get my head around it: you know, it’s at the end of August, and here’s how many months that is, how many weeks, and here’s this other stuff I need to do between now and then — but actually that’s pretty meaningless to my brain. I can imagine space really easily; time? Not so much.
In other news, I am also an idiot.
It appears that I do, in fact, know how to do grand jeté en tournant, which is simply the full name for what we all call “tour jeté” (I feel like I should have already grokked this, but somehow I never made the connection until I heard someone mention “tour jetjeté” as an example of ballet shorthand).
I have, in fact, known how to do that since I was, like, seven or eight years old (it is my most favoritest leapy thing, because it looks impressive but it’s actually really easy). The thing I don’t know how to do is something else. I’m not sure what it’s called, so I’ll have to consult with Ballet Technique for the Male Dancer and also the whole freaking internet until I figure it out.
Might actually be some kind variation on grand jeté en tournant; there are a lot of things like that in ballet. Everything is basically a variation on something else, in the long run, since ballet essentially builds on a handful of basic elements: a single tour en l’air, for example, is basically just changement with a spin (QV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMjIzufr20Y); changement is just soubresaut with a change of feet; soubresaut is just sous-sous with a little more oomph; sous-sous is just fifth-position releve with everything pulled in tight.
And sous-sous is actually spelled sous-sus, and some day I will remember that.
In other other news, I feel that I’ve sort of graduated into the realm of vertebrates now, and it’s not entirely accurate to call myself a “ballet squid” anymore. I’m really not, which is surprising and startling and stuff. So I guess I will hereafter refer to myself as a “Danseur Ignoble,” which about sums up my plebeian condition in the world of ballet.
Kind of has a ring to it.