I spend a lot of time thinking about turns, because I think they’re probably the thing that I’m kind of struggling with right now — like, that transition from having a solid, reliable single to having solid, reliable doubles and beyond.
I’ve been trying to quantify what it was that I found so unique about Baryshnikov’s turns when I watched The Turning Pointe the other night,and I just realized that it’s this: he dances with immense intensity, but before every turn, it’s like he dials it back, just for a second, and finds a still point from which to turn. His preparation is vividly obvious, but he uses it and makes it beautiful — if he was a boxer, he’d get knocked out every time, but he’s win on style points alone (you know, if there were points in boxing for artistic expression!).
I tend to do everything with the intensity dialed up to 11 all the time. This week, I’m going to work on cribbing Baryshnikov’s still place; on dialing it back and doing it beautifully.