We threw a little viewing party last night, and I finally watched our video from Spring Collection.
There were a few WTF moments and a few really beautiful moments. On the balance, the rest was okay, especially given our highly-compressed rehearsal schedule. I’d say that analysis applies both to the entire group to me individually. It’s worth noting that essentially everyone’s WTF moments happened at different times, and the overall effect was surprisingly polished.
For my part, I was at my worst right of the gate: I came in too hot, and you can definitely tell. The first sauté arabesque turned into a bad saut de chat, and while the sauté arabesque that leads off the “arrow” was nice, I failed to failli through and the landing was fugly. Like, I started to relax the working leg to tombé onto it, then just didn’t even really bring it through. Eh.
I was at my most mind-bendingly mediocre in the tombé-coupé-balloné-sus sous part, during which my legs looked beautiful but my arms were way too far back and my shoulders creeped up. I didn’t know about the giant hat yet, then. The average of these two things —beautiful legs and feet, bad arms —is a flavor of mediocrity that must be highly specific to dancers who, as kids, weren’t into being beautiful and lyrical, but instead wanted to master the explosive jumps.
I will say, though, that your average person-in-the-street would not be able to pinpoint what, exactly, I was doing wrong. They might spot that something looked a little off—might even say, “The boy looks tense.” They’d be right, really: I was tense. That’s why my shoulders and arms were so weird. I was convinced that I was going to eat Marley at any moment, since that part follows on the tail of the part in which I threw a shoe.
Meanwhile, your entry-level balletomane would be able to identify the problem precisely—but that’s neither here nor there.
I was at my best, meanwhile, throughout the Homage to Apollo/Balanchine Noodle Experiment segment, in which I suddenly turn into this lovely danseur who seems to know what he’s about. I—who once despaired of every figuring out what to do with my arms at all, ever—do these beautiful, lyrical, expressive things with my arms whilst partnering four girls who, for their part, also look lovely.
The turn afterwards morphed into a kind of really high, lovely rond en tournant thing. According to D, if you don’t know that’s not what’s supposed to happen, it looks quite nice, though the finish was iffy—I gave it too much force and had trouble checking my momentum >.< I basically prepared for a normal turn in second, but gave it enough force to launch a rocket and, for some reason, brushed my leg up way, way too high.
The Apollo jump, meanwhile, was higher than I thought (which makes me wonder how high it would have been if I hadn’t been paranoid about missing shoe situation) and acceptable. Not brilliant, but technically sound, and nice enough.
At the very end of the dance, I think I looked a tiny bit lost, though that may be because I kept, for some reason, turning my head too far in these bits that should have in profile. The movements, though, were nice enough.
There’s a lot of improvement over last year’s video from Lexington: like, I can watch this one without wanting to crawl under a rock. The biggest difference is that I carry my arms and upper body so, so much better. I don’t keep dropping my arms and desperately searching the middle distance for … something.
- The fact that I didn’t run myself into the ground in the dress rehearsal probably helped, there.
In the Spring Collection video, there’s only one spot in which I did entirely dropped my arms, and it’s because I had to shimmy through a traffic jam on the way from the tombé-coupé-balloné-sus sous bit to the Changing of the Trains bit. I mostly managed to stay one step ahead of the weird things that inevitably happen onstage, but not that thing.
As a performer, I’m learning to adjust on the fly the same way that you do in the pack in a bike race. I think I’ve come a long way this year.
That said, I still have bad days and bad classes. Today was one. I’m having a wicked bout of body-image issues right now. I didn’t stretch after rehearsal yesterday, and I felt it all through class. I couldn’t get my brain to engage. I felt like I couldn’t move or engage all the things or maintain placement.
In the other hand, I got through little jumps and the first petit allegro without any major complaints from my foot.
In the long run, I’ve at this long enough now to know the taste of a plain old bad day. Although there’s a small part of me that’s loudly freaking out (you know the drill: worst dancer ever, no business dancing, etc), the rest of me is basically like, “Calm down, Felicia.”
Like: it wasn’t a wolf last time, it isn’t a wolf this time, so keep yelling if you want to, but we’re gonna get back to herding our sheep over here.
This week, we’ve got a bunch of late rehearsals; we’re basically running the show until we can do it our sleep (ah, tech week). Orpheus opens on Friday, runs for three shows, and I’ll be down to one performance to rehearse for the time being.
Then it’s on to summer, as unbelievable as that is.
PS: if we get permission to post the ballet video somewhere and everyone’s okay with it, I’ll stick a link out here.
Finally feeling up to Saturday Class, so I figured I’d make it a double. We’re off for the next two weeks (Winter Break, booooooo).
In Advanced Class, barre, adagio, turns, waltz, and terre-a-terre were pretty darned good, petit allegro was acceptable, and grand-ish allegro was a disaster en mènage. I kept alternately effing up tombé-coupé-jeté and leaving out the transitional step that came after. Blargh. Going left, I kept doing my balancé en tournant inside out like a total n00b, which then forced me to do my t-c-j backwards.
At least I haven’t done any backwards turns(1) in a while?
- I have no idea when backwards turns stopped happening, but they did, at least for now.
In Nominally-Beginner-But-Actually-Intermediate Class, everything was good except petit allegro, by which time my legs weighed approximately 1,354 kilograms each. I couldn’t get them to do things quickly. In fact, they were not terribly willing to do things at all.
Nonetheless, the entire day was completely redeemed by the girl who asked me after class, “Are you in the company?” (She was my partner for all all the across-the-floor stuff, and she was also pretty good.)
I refrained, of course, from asking her to marry me on the spot, since I’m already married, etc. But it was a very welcome thing to hear, especially on a day when I’m not feeling at my best.
Speaking of The Company, tonight we get to see BW and TB Nutcrackering. Yaaaaaay!
I’m a little sad that we didn’t we get to see BW as the Cavalier last night (because A) broke and B) so freaking insanely busy), but we still get to see one of his Partnering Masterclass performances.
My introduction to BW, by the way, followed the first performance in which I saw him dance a pas de deux. The very next class, he showed up and, if I remember correctly, installed himself on my barre (we were on portables, 4 or 6 to a barre,because there were like 30 people in class).
I proceeded to quietly have a heart attack throughout class. I am marginally ashamed to admit that I felt felt more or less how a teenaged girl in the 1960s would have felt if John Lennon sat next to her in music class. Only, you know, ballet, so both we were both more or less in our underwear.(2)
- Ballet: because hero worship isn’t awkward enough.
Yeah, I know. #PatheticFanboy
But I kept it all inside, because I’m cool like dat.
B| <— my cool face
Anyway, I need to go takeashowerchangeandbuyflowersforBW, so that’s it for now.
And then, two weeks to clean, finish the book-keeping for the year, and get back in shape (because holy cow, soooooooo out of shape right now).