Blog 13, the week of the développé.
Lyda started with a few new exercises this week. And there it came, the exercise I am so in awe of.
“At the barre, from the 5th position lift your front leg fully pointed in cou-de pied devant and slide it up the supporting leg until the toe touches just beneath the knee, the retiré devant” Lyda said, “and then without pause lift your leg through high attitude devant and extend it to its full possible height without dropping the level of the knee.”
There it was, the exercise I dreaded most, this is when the walls of Jericho came tumbling down, and yet it is the exercise I looked forward to and that I identify totally with ballet: it is called the développé.
This adagio movement confronts me totally with my stiff body, with my inability to extend my leg in a perpendicular position. And mind you, of course with your leg turned out.
But I did it.
In the act of extending my leg and lifting it up as high as possible my muscles started to tremble and shake, with the utmost effort I went on, sweating, feeling rising tension in my hamstrings and lack of power in my hip flexors; and then the reverse, ending the movement in the 5th position. What a relief!
And as you might already have guessed, Lyda added the développé à la seconde and derrière to the movement. The développé derrière differs from the devant and à la seconde variation by lifting the leg through cou-the-pied derriere to retiré derrière. From there the knee is raised, pressing it in back of the shoulder and lifting it through high attitude derrière. And then continue to lift the leg into extension. You can accommodate the height of your leg by increasing the tilt of your body forward. Stretching your free arm in front of you completes the pose.
And there we have the arabesque! In my case the petite arabesque…..
I remember that when I started with ballet in November 2017, Lyda demonstrated a high developpé à la seconde. I was stunned; she performed this with such ease! She was genuinely surprised when I exclaimed my “Wow.” I guess that I will need a few years of training to copy that. But her performance was very reassuring in a specific way. The almost indifferent way in which she made that développé made me realize that this was the real deal.
In the second lesson, I had a fall back in muscle power. I was still tired from the exertion of the previous lesson. Yes, after the rise comes the fall.
Wednesday I had some bad luck. A motorist nearly collided me when I was running. I had to jump to the side of the pavement and bruised the little toe of my left foot. It hurts. I’m afraid this will take a few weeks to heal.
Well, that’s all for now. Have a nice week!