As is the custom at Bayadère, after a vacation period Lyda wants to make a fresh start. Usually, she varies the known exercises and introduces new ones.
I find it difficult to remember the exact variations. I’ll have to pay more attention to memorizing the exercises.
There was one particular new exercise that I immediately felt fond of, the tendu soutenu, starting from the 5th position: a stretch of the leg and the foot to a fully extended position, while the other leg bends simultaneously (in a demi plié). The movements are performed with the legs turned out. And then of course in a fluid motion from devant, to à la seconde and derrière, accompanied by piano music.
I practice every day in achieving more turn out. The force for the turn out of the legs must come from the hip down and not from the floor up. If the turn out does not come from the hip, you will hurt your knee eventually.
It takes a slow pace to transform your body to the demands of classical ballet.
Last Saturday a few members of the adult class and I went to the theatre of Dutch National Opera & Ballet, located in the historic city center of Amsterdam.
The Dutch National Opera & Ballet presented a short preview of its program for the season 2019-2020. It gives an impression of the vast repertoire. And of the preparatory work that needs to be done. In one hour short interviews were conducted with the management and some appetizing performances were shown of opera and ballet.
There was one particular ballet performance that was really astonishing:
a grand pas de deux from the third act of Swan Lake, widely known as the ‘Black Swan.’ I was impressed by the grand jetés, those long horizontal high jumps, starting from one leg and landing on the other. It was as if the Russian dancer hung in the air, in a front split. Just like those spectacular jumps Nureyev made.