Bad Days, Good Days
During the last two days of this past week’s masterclass, I found myself wading hip-deep in frustration.
My extensions were good, my turns were clean—but I felt weirdly tense and stiff.
Not, like, inflexible physically, though. Rather, I felt like I kept tensing up. Thinking too much. Obsessing a bit.
In reality, I was having the good kind of bad ballet day: once again, interpolating and consolidating all the reams of new stuff I was learning.
Saturday class was a little better; today, after a groggy start, was all aces. Even my petit allegro looked (dare I say it) good.
The exception was turns: I tossed off a lovely triple in a mark, then got excited and threw myself off my leg (with the attendant hoppity-hop of shame) on the actual run. I made myself rein it back in and go for clean singles and doubles on the second side, then got a decent triple back on the repeat.
There was a lot of new intel this week, but the outcome has been a better, freer way of moving.
I’ve also found, once again, the lightness in my petit allegro. Who ever should predict that the quest for lightness could make for such heavy going!
In other news, after a listen-through revealed that the first act score for Simon Crane was, in fact, hella boring as a ballet score, I revamped it by replacing some of the Satie with Dvorak. Now it’s no longer 30 straight minutes of tinkly adagio.
Don’t get me wrong—Satie is one of my favorite composers—but it just wasn’t doing the job in this context.
So at present the score goes Satie-Dvorak-Ravel-Saint Saëns-Rachmaninoff-Satie. Technically, Debussy is also in the mix: I’m using his orchestral transcriptions of the first and third gymnopédies.
Thanks to the power of technology, I can listen through the whole thing, which I’ll be doing later today (attempts this far have been interrupted). If I find acceptable recordings of all the pieces on YouTube, I’ll make a playlist. I’d love to hear your thoughts, as assembling a score for a three-act story ballet from fine different dead guy’s catalogs has been a challenge!
Speaking of which: I discovered that the Saint-Saëns ‘cello concerto is, in fact, choreographable. You just have to think of reach movement as more than one scene. And the transition from Ravel’s “Bolero” into the Saint-Saëns is brill.
I’m debating an extra class tomorrow. I won’t be doing this week’s masterclass because omg car repairs are expensive, but I definitely need to stay tuned up for the upcoming ballet intensive.
On the other hand, I’m almost certainly taking an extra class on Friday, since JB is teaching and that will give me two classes in a row with him, so we’ll see.