Monday Madness

I didn’t do Modern T’s class this morning because I had a scheduling conflict, so I went to M. BeastMode’s evening class today.

We were all just coming back from Spring Break, so M. BeastMode went easy-ish on us (which meant class was pretty relaxed, for me; M. BeastMode’s class at its hardest is still only about half as physically grueling as Ms. B’s Killer Class).

Barre was great. Everything went beautifully at barre. I worked on the let it happen principle, and suddenly my fondues, developpés, and grand battements were beautiful, high (or, as required, low and elastic), and really effortless.

Ditto turns, as a general rule. Fine and effortless, mostly. Turns from fifth are back; turns from fourth are trending towards reliable doubles again.

We did a quarter turn-half turn-full turn combo that was perfectly intuitive as long as you didn’t think, but went straight to Helena Handbasket (good ol’ Ms. Handbasket, heh) if you second-guessed yourself or started thinking. Mostly, though, I acquitted myself beautifully doing turns.

Ditto across the floor, at first. We did a cool combination that I am now nearly unable to remember, but it was set to a tango, and the goal was to focus on economy of movement. Since this is a thing I’m working on anyway, that was great.

Then we did another thing across-the-floor, and it just … I don’t know. There was a renversé. I love renversé, and I can do it quite well, and did beautiful renversés while marking the combination … and then, for some reason, when actually dancing it, my body kept insisting that the step in question should be fouetté, even though there was no fouetté in the combination.


I didn’t work that part out until after class, though. I just knew that something cray kept happening to my beautiful renversé moment.

This is what happens when I don’t go first and don’t mark all the way through the combo while the first group (or, in this case, groups) are going because I’m afraid of kicking somebody or getting in the way.

So, um, yeah. I shall work on that. It is getting a heck of a lot easier to pick up combinations, though (honestly, picking up almost any ballet combo seems like a breeze after a complex modern combo — not because modern is harder, but because ballet is my “first language”).

After, I ordered most of the remaining parts for our trapeze costumes (which should double for ballet stuff, later; it looks like things might be shaping up in terms of getting an adult students’ performing group together, but more on that later, as I don’t want to screw it up by speaking too soon).

Likewise, it would seem that I now have a choral performance iron in the fire for next year, which is great — not something that will require a year-long commitment, but something I’ll enjoy immensely.

So that was Monday. I’m super tired, so I’m off to bed.

G’night, everybody.

About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Neuro-atypical. Fabulous. Married to a very patient man. Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2015). Proto-foodie, but lazy about it. Cat owner ... or, should I say, cat own-ee? ... dog lover. Equestrian.

Posted on 2016/04/11, in adventures, balllet, class notes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I had a bad turns day yesterday. I was either failing to unstick from the floor, or else putting in too much welly to make sure I got going, and over-rotating. This annoys me because I danced northern soul before I started this, and if there’s one thing we can do, it’s spin. From a technical point of view I think I’m mixing up the pencil/piqué turn and pirouette techniques. Also, last week’s efforts were all either open 4th lunge prep, or else a la seconde, and I kept looking for the trigger-movement into those and forgetting it’s just a simple turn.

    • It never ceases to amaze me how many different ways there are to screw up pirouettes, heh.

      On my bad turning days, I often find that I’m either unsticking too much (basically, doing a half-baked tour en l’air from one leg), winding up to as if for an Olympic-calibre discus throw and over-rotating (note: I have never really thrown even one discus, so this is probably a bad analogy), or getting over-excited and letting my core fall apart. Occasionally, I still pick up the wrong freaking leg for no good reason.

      Everyone seems to hear about the too-much-oomph thing from time to time, particularly when the music is fast and energetic.

      There are two mental images that I find helpful when my turns go crazy — first, Baryshnikov in The Turning Point (1977) collecting himself and finding a split-second of stillness before every turn (be it single, double, or ridiculously greater than double); second, basically, Balanchine’s entire oeuvre.

      The Balanchine thing helps because he puts so much emphasis on the vertical axis, which is helpful for my specific turn issues but might be less so for yours. I remind myself to dance like I’m auditioning for a company that specializes in Balanchine, and for as long as I can keep that idea in my brain, it helps.

      I’m curious about northern soul now, by the way! I shall have to check this out.

      I hope your turning powers return before your next class!

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