Sunday, February 10, 2019

Blog 6 

Only 4 of the 12 students of the beginner's group showed up in class last Monday. It turned out that some were on vacation; others had the flu. 

In the picture, you see me in the ballet studio of La Bayadère. I made this photo after the lesson. Standing there in black tights with a white tucked in T-shirt, a dance belt and black ballet shoes (dress code), trying to capture the scene with my iPhone.
As you can see, a variety of exercises was prepared by Lyda. On the floor, against the mirror, you look at the signs with the names of the activities that we have done this lesson. 

A typical ballet class starts at the barre by default, with the demi plié as the first exercise. After that, the tendu, followed by the jeté, and the rond de jambe.

The second part of the lesson is in the center, the third part on the diagonal. I’ll discuss that in one of my next blogs.

In ballet, the mentioned ingredients can be varied endlessly. This lesson Lyda gave extra attention to a so-called sauté (leap) from the demi plié. After 3 jumps in the first position from demi plié we jumped to the 2nd position, 3 jumps, then to the 5th with right foot in front, 3 jumps and the 5th with left foot in front, also 3 jumps. Then followed by another variation, 1 jump from the 5th position, right foot front, to the 5th left foot front, 1 jump en so on, called changement des pieds. 
The tempo at which you jump is determined by the music. Usually, men have a more powerful and higher jump than women, but then the pace of the music should be somewhat lower. Women have less strength and jump at a higher speed. The depth of the demi plié determines in part how high you can jump.
This lesson Lyda varied the pace of piano music, so I could also jump in a man's pace. In my case, there is still some progress to be made. I feel like a heap of raw material; a lot of tuning has to be done. Same counts for my placement. But I love jumping!

In my previous blog, I talked about the importance of warming up. A warming up is more than just making your muscles supple; it is also a way of focusing on the activity you want to perform, in this particular case ballet. I cannot just make the transition in my mindset from work to choreography, as if this could be done in a split second. In general, it is a fact that with a pleasant warming up I can concentrate better and also have a better learning ability. And my lesson is even better if I can take a short nap (half an hour) beforehand. It bothers me if I can’t show up with a prepared mind and body.

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