Sissone and Desist
Posted by asher
In spite of all indications to the contrary (feeling tired and fairly relaxed), last night turned into another insomnia marathon. I just couldn’t fall asleep, and then I did I had weird dreams that woke me up.
That said, I’m feeling reasonably okay today, and class went surprisingly well. I even did turns at the barre without whacking my knees. Admittedly, the barre at the downtown studio makes this easier — it’s a no-nonsense barre for advanced pre-pro and company classes, no secondary rail to get in the way.
Sadly, I am at least as afraid to admit to my teachers that I’m afraid of whacking my knee doing turns at the barre as I am actually afraid of whacking my knee doing turns at the barre. It’s a conundrum. I don’t want to sound like a whiny little crybaby, but on the other hand, I need some strategies to get over this thing (or, at any rate, I need to do turns at the barre more often).
Anyway, turns at the barre happened, and nobody died. The turnouts were content to be ballet-ing today, though during the first set of tendus I kept placing my a la seconde behind me like a flexible n00b, which resulting in a rond-de-jamb thing instead of a proper tendu. HD fixed me, though.
Turns and adagio were functional but not quite up to my usual standard — I am managing, but definitnely beginning to feel the deleterious effects of sleep deprivation on my equilibrium, coordination, and related functions.
Still, these days, even when my turns and adagio aren’t at their best, they’re at least functional. Unless I have an ear infection, I never find myself hopping through and out of single turns anymore. I suppose it wasn’t all that terribly long ago that despaired of ever having clean and reliable singles; now I’m worrying about triples instead.
My petit allegro, on the other hand, was better than it used to be on a mediocre day, but still only meh. I kept failing to get myself over my leg during a jete and thus being unprepared for the assemble and two Sissones that followed it.
Basically, I was leaving my body behind again. I think that was basically a mental-block thing: I was like, “OH NO PETIT ALLEGRO AND I HAZ ALL THE TIREDS!” and proceeded to get all tense. A significant portion of my brain wanted to quit, but I made myself do petit allegro anyway. Sometimes part of being a dancer is doing petit allegro even when you feel like you’re already exhausted.
I’m learning that, for me anyway, the key ingredient in that magical thing we call “lightness” is RELAXING ALREADY FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY.
Unfortunately, I forgot to yell at myself to “RELAX, DAMN YOU!”
…Which, I suppose, might not be the most effective approach 😉
That said, I did at least remember both segments of out petit allegro and both of our medium/grand allegro combinations.
Now I need to work on keeping my Sissones a cote in a proper second, so I don’t lose my turnout. Today, my leading leg kept getting behind me. Argh.
Come to think of it, this problem may have been specific to the right leg, though. I realized partway through class that I’d managed to jam my pelvis overnight, but didn’t have a chance to fix it (there’s a small therapy ball that I can use for that in the studio, but I didn’t locate it ’til class was almost over).
I’m getting better at compensating for the jammed-pelvis thing, but it still does weird things to my legs sometimes. Definitely going to fix it before I perform this afternoon.
Anyway, we didn’t actually finish with Sissones — we finished with a simple moderate allegro: saute arabesque, saute passe, saute arabesque, saute passe, tombe, pas de bourree, glissade, pas de chat or saut de chat.
But “Sissone and Desist” was just too catchy a title not to use 🙂
About asherMe 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 2016/09/24, in balllet, class notes and tagged bodies are weird, measure improvements by how your mediocre days look, why are turns at the barre so terrifying. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.
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I really don’t like turns at the barre, especially not the official turns prep exercise (Miss Ballet dropped this on us at the end of barre every day on intensive week). Not so much for fear of whacking my knee into the wall (although that would be a great way to fuck up both embarrassingly and painfully) but just because it seems so…crowded? There’s furniture in my peripheral vision!
Also, the prep thing is so unlike actually turning, where you’re committed to the manoeuvre once you push off.
Meanwhile, I did Mediocre Modern Monday last night. Maddeningly, you know that floorwork thing where you’re coming out of a roll, you push with your hand on the outside of the turn and the foot on the inside, and kind of jump-thrust into a kneeling position at 90 degrees to where you were? The one I finally snagged in the class after showing last year?
Not happening, probably because come to think of it I’ve done basically no floorwork for a month. ARSE ARSE ARSE. Also the whole first group had a massive collective brainblank going across the floor. All a bit “start of term”. As well as the floor we did a lot of suspensions and attitudes, and this morning my obliques and lower back are feeling it. I feel like something in there wants to go CLUNK but I’ve got to get through work before writhing around on the floor trying to CLUNK.
But according to Lisa I’ve got lighter and *quieter*…which can only be good. That wants hanging onto because, yeah, mediocre monday.
Yes, that thing … Argh. Comes and goes for me, too; I think probably I need to add in another modern class.
And lighter and quieter *must* be good! I think it reflects a more skilful and effective use of the body.
Meanwhile, today was very “Meh” in my neck of the woods. But otoh I’ve figured it why, so I think I’ll be able to sort it.