Danseur Ignoble: Dialing Down The Intensity

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.

Posted on 2015/03/02, in balllet. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. It’s hard to dial it all back when you’ve got the intensity and the passion, but I do find it leads to more consistent quality work. The best thing I’ve found is to let yourself go full-bore and then “edit” when your mind is a little slower; a little more calm.

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