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Modern Monday Returns (Finally) 

So, technically, Modern Monday has been rolling along without me for the past few weeks, but I haven’t managed to make make it ’til today.

Anyway, in the intervening period, I haven’t completely forgotten how to modern, but it did take a little re-acclimating today. There were quite a few moments in which my body kind of went, “Ohhhhhh, that thing! Riiiiiiiight!” 

I was really afraid I would be a disaster, because I’m still struggling at night but opted not to take take a sleeping pill last night because sometimes they exacerbate my depressions. Last night, I did manage to get something like five hours of sleep, though, which is a step in the right direction.

It turned out that I was acceptably able to remember combinations and coordinate most of my movements. I did struggle with an exercise on the floor in which Graham contractions and releases and flat-back were supposed to coordinate with flexing and pointing the feet. 

My feet were like, “What is this flexed crap? Are we doing frappé? No! So what the snap?” I had had to think about the feet, which was simultaneously surprisingly hard and actually pretty funny, because they were seriously not into that. 

I also struggled with Part B of our petit allegro combination, which seemed simple but wasn’t, because it needed precision, which evidently I didn’t have. 

Basically, it went:

Walk, walk, walk, walk, 

Jump,  spot, jump, spot, jump, spot, jump, spot <= with quarter turns

I struggled to coordinate this and then, when I did coordinate it, I kept turning off-center. 

It turns out that I was spotting forehead-first, tilting my head and neck off the vertical axis, causing my whole body to veer off track.

Modern T suggested that I think about leading the spot with my chin. This sounds immensely counter-intuitive, but in my case, it works. It keeps my head and neck on the vertical, which makes the turn stay upright. 

Anyway, this explains why my turns and my tours sometimes (okay, often) teeter off their axes — so, one again, modern is benefiting ballet in unexpected ways.

So, anyway, more little details to tune up. I think this is good. The more I dance and watch dance, the more I believe that the bodies of dancers are educated bodies in a very real way. I feel like I should be able to explain what I mean, there, but I’m having trouble with words today, so I’ll have to reflect on that and come back to it. 

So, basically, I have a PhD in controlling my legs, but my arms are still in kindergarten. In this position, I felt like my arms were straight out to the sides. Oy, vey.

something I forgot

I should have mentioned this in my class notes, but I forgot.

At barre, as we did a wicked combination with fondues to relevé extensions, I realized I had — at some point in very recent history — learned how to feel really specifically how my hips were placed and make minute adjustments.

You would think I’d be delighted; by all means, I should have been delighted: but instead all I could think at the time was:

Dammit, now I have to do this precisely right, too!

Mais dans la monde du ballet, c’est la vie!

Oh, one last thing: the oldest lady in our class schooled us all going across the floor. She was just lovely — which goes to show you that you can dance beautifully at any age.

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