Monday Class: A Rule of the Universe
Even though it was completely unnecessary and unreasonable, I decided to do class today.
My lower core, adductors, and turnout muscles are on strike. I worked them really hard last week, and they need a little R & R — which in turn means that I can’t ballet to save my life right now.
I knew that, but I figured I’d go in and just take it easy; move around a little. I figured my balances would probably suck and I was dead certain my petit allegro would suck (it did), but that was okay. I was just going in to stretch a little.
Of course, I had forgotten about one of the chief rules of the Ballet universe:
If you’re having a bad day, the AD or former AD will come to your class.
I’m not actually sure how this works.
Do they have time-turners?
Are they actually Time Lords, perhaps?
How is it that if there are five classes going on (though today we were the only class), either the AD or former AD of the company will simultaneously happen into every single class in which someone is having a bad day?
Anyway, our former AD came and took class with us (which was actually lovely, he’s quite a beautiful dancer and a fine human being). Predictably, my barre was terrible and everything else was even more terrible, with the exception of one or two nice tour jetés that happened after he left (of course).
Oh, and there was a decent-enough attitude arrière balance on the left, though not quite my usual standard. Balances are hard when the muscles that hold your legs on are basically trying to unspool, you guys.
I shall attempt to remind myself that Former AD has seen me dance on good days as well (presumably, someone else was having a bad day on those occasions).
Anyway, I did more or less take it easy, and I’m really rather glad that I went to class, because I think my legs are happier for it. I did make an effort not to overwork them (not that they were about to let me), and basically just got my heart rate up and my blood flowing a little. No Supreme Efforts in the interest of Achieving Transcendant Grace or whatever.
And I emphatically did not walk through Albrecht’s variation, though I did show B the really cool Sissone-thing from it that, sadly, didn’t come off as beautifully on Saturday as it did on Friday … or as it did this morning, but it’s really easy to do in isolation:
giant demi-pliè to gather momentum
spring straight up with the legs in tight sus-sous as if in a really high sourbesaut
just at the apex of the jump, allow your back leg to take wing
Port de bras:
gather your arms in from 2nd to 1st as you load the spring
toss (not throw; we’re not doing tours) them lightly to en haut/3rd/5th/35th
at the apex, give them just a little extra stretch
float them down through 2nd to 1st (or whatever the choreography requires)
The effect is magnificent when it comes off — basically, it enhances whatever natural ballon you possess about a zillionfold and creates this lovely illusion of floating.
For whatever reason, whenever I do this or tours, I tend to arc my body as if I’m doing the fish jump — so, evidently, I need to get back to working on balancing the stength of my anterior core muscles.
My back is hella strong (I guess because arabesques?), and right now it has way too much pull.