I am always doing things I can’t do, that’s how I get to do them.
Happily, I recovered from my flu. Now Lyda had a cold and was sniffing all the time. Must be autumn, with the sudden temperature rises and falls, rainy weather and stormy times. I hope I won’t become sick again after this fresh start of ballet lessons this week.
The first lesson was on Monday. The class was full, and I started at the back end of the barre. Modest and ready for the lesson. After our first movements at the barre, we moved to the center. There Lyda explained the four ways a dancer can stand in front of the audience. She drew a square on the floor with a piece of chalk to indicate the degree of the turn of the body: en face, de dos, en profil, and en croix. Ballet is also theatre. The audience wants to see the dancer. It's important to be aware of this when you perform.
It was a peaceful lesson.
Thursday evening, I collected a few corrections in just a half of an hour. What was I doing wrong? Things went humpy dumpy that evening. Maybe her cold made her a bit grumpy?
Work on your plié, she said. At Bayadère, the Russian demi plié is practiced, but Lyda advised me to use the British demi plié at the barre. My demi plié is not deep enough. Bending the knees and at the same time, keeping the heels on the floor puts a lot of strain on my calves. That’s due to my boxing and running activity, I guess. But I already forgot what the difference is between the British and the Russian plié.
Another thing to work on is my battement jeté. The working leg opens to a height of 45 degrees, fully stretched, then returns to the closed position. It can be performed to the front, side, or back and usually begins in the 1st or 5th position. I act too slow, I have to speed up.
Do systematic repetitions of the same movement a high number of times in succession. That’s her advice.
Well, a frustrating lesson. Luckily I had a few laughs too.
We also practiced the pas de bourrée. As you may remember in an earlier blog, I wrote that the pas de bourrée causes me trouble. The pas de bourrée has several variations and can be done in all possible directions; it is a step in three counts, during the lesson, we exercised the basic form with a change of the feet. If you start with the right foot in front, you will end with the left foot in front.
According to Lyda, she wanted us to do the pas de bourrée au dessous. And I think she uses a specific extra element in this movement as she incorporates a cou de pied starting position in this exercise. The working foot is flexed and wrapped around the ankle of the supporting leg with the heel in front and the foot winged derrière.