Saw Giselle last night.
Pros: really good performance, and the hops-en-pointe section didn’t seem random and wtf-y. Which, tbh, sometimes it does.
And as silly as ballet mime feels sometimes (I may have leaned over to my friend L during the second act as Mirtha mimed at Albrecht and whispered, “Make me an omelet, mortal!”), Giselle’s mom in Act 1 flat-out ripped everyone’s heart out with it during the death scene.
Cons: one of my favorite people was the guy in the peasant pas (he was lovely), and between that and the fact that I learned the male variation a couple years back, I was all kinds of paying attention, and now the music is STUCK IN MY HEAD FOREVER.
You guys, I would much rather have Tchaikovsky stuck in my head, for reals. Adam is so … errrrrgghhhh.
It’s that class of ballet music that’s fine as long as there’s a ballet to go with it, but nigh unlistenable on its own. (I should note that the male peasant pas is fairly inoffensive … the first two or three times.)
Also, to be honest, I don’t feel like Adam quite understood the story. Like, seriously, listen to Albrecht’s variation. Then ask yourself whether it sounds like the kind of music that goes with the concept these angry dead ladies are trying to dance this guy to death.
To be honest, it sounds more like, “Jovial wine merchant announces his engagement,” or something.
But we accept it, partly because the choreography is awesome and possibly also because by the time the second act begins many of us have had a drink or two.
Maybe it works better when they play Albrecht as a philandering jerk who just kinda vaguely feels bad about stuff (now that it’s Much Too Late)? Then we’re all on the side of the Wilis, and maybe they think it’s funny.
Though, to be entirely honest, I suspect that Giselle’s BFLF, Mirtha, didn’t even think anything was funny even before she became a Wili. Definitely not as she was played last night. There were some seriously fearsome vibes rolling up off the stage.
- Best Frenemy Literally Forever
In other news, I’m horribly swamped with dancing stuff right now, which I suppose is a good problem to have.
But alas, BW is leaving us for bigger things, so I’m also all kinds of moping about that. I’ll miss him as a ballet mentor, but also as a friend. That said, he won’t be so far away that I can’t go watch him dance once in a while.
I’m glad we have L’Ancien teaching advanced class, but my relationship with him is very different. I had BW entirely to myself for months, and he understands my body better than anyone (better, in fact, than I do) where ballet is concerned.
So until he departs, I plan to make the most of every class with him. I mean, not that I didn’t plan to in the first place. But you know what I mean.
Anyway, it’s late and I’m exhausted, so off to bed with me.
Friday was interesting: I had no zip in conditioning and technique because I was running on three hours of sleep (did I write about this already?); variations went well because in those three hours I seriously only dreamed about Albrecht’s variation.
Today’s performance was okay — I think I should have gone a bit easier last night; as such, my jumps weren’t awesome.
Also, I kept sort of forgetting what to do with my arms and just kind of waving them around in more or less the directions they were supposed to go, more or less. Jeez.
I know this because there’s video. I’m annoyed with myself for forgetting to just carry my arms through the opening two steps of Albrecht’s variation. Also for doing the world’s worst tour jeté and tiniest tours, but I understand why those happened.
That said, there are some nice moments in both pieces (one is the double turn that goes to attitude on the second rotation), and I’ll try to take KvN’s advice from Cincinnati and focus on those things!
Edit: I’m thinking now about ballet goals for the rest of this year, so I’m going to write them down.
- STOP DOING THE CRAZY ARMS AS A DEFAULT.This is a big one. This happens in part because I don’t always mark the arms with any clarity when I’m just walking through things, and the arms decouple from the choreography, and if I’m tired, I lose them. This morning, I lost a really nice moment in Albrecht’s variation specifically because of this.
The first rule of performance is: AS YOU REHEARSE, SO SHALL YOU PERFORM.
So I need to stop rehearsing my arms incorrectly, duh.
- Nail down the double cabrioles, because seriously, it would be good to have those in my balletic toolkit, and I think I should be able to get them down.~
- Polish the frack out of Albrecht’s variation and get a good video posted. I should also do the other one. It would be less awesome with only one person, but maybe I could teach it to someone else?~
- Get ballet video more often. For me, video makes a really good tool for analyzing and correcting my movement patterns.This week I discovered that I can learn and memorize demanding choreography pretty quickly; video can help me figure out how to make it cleaner and better.
- Tune up the basics well enough that I continue to execute them correctly even when tired (I’m looking at you, tour jete and legs that opted not to stay particularly turned out during simple arabesque balances).~
- Triple turns on tap.
So there you have my ballet goals.
Oh, and also: my turnout muscles are tired for realz. I suspect they’ll be very happy to know that they’re getting a day off on Monday.
One last edit: I think I actually forgot to do the turn from fourth to second at the end of my solo and subbed in a regular turn from fourth, but it worked out anyway.
I had forgotten that the variation we’re doing is from act 2 of Giselle, with the Wilis trying to dance Albrecht into his grave, which he may or may not richly deserve depending on whether we read him as a soulless playboy toying with the heart of an innocent country lass or the star-crossed youth torn between True Love and social obligation.
…So if all else fails, just falling down dead at the end is totally an option, I guess.
BTW, this video (no pressure, it’s just that Baryshnikov guy) has the ending I’m currently doing, only mine doesn’t have, like, quite as many turns o_O’
Guess I’ll keep working on it?