Saturday, December 7, 2019

Blog 38 Exam in 2020

Lyda sent an email to inform us about a new series of exams next year; in my case, we are talking about a grade 3 exam.
I took exams in Classical Ballet at Grade level 2 in April 2018 at Bayadère, under the rules of the Association of Russian Ballet and Theatre Arts (ARBTA).
I still remember Gypsy Booth, my examiner. Later I learned that she is the president of the ARBTA. A distinct and remarkable, grey-haired, British lady, who travels across the countries to take exams. I admire this dedication to the Russian Ballet. It's people like her that keep up the high standards and thus protect the Russian legacy in ballet.

I'm looking forward to preparing for my next exam. It gives a sense of purpose, goals to achieve. In a disciplined way, I will learn new exercises and become more proficient in doing them. A healthy kind of stress to do the right thing!
In April 2018, part of my preparations was a pas de deux with Marion, following a choreography inspired by the Knights Dance of Romeo and Juliet. You have to know that I started my classical ballet training a half-year earlier at Bayadère. And felt totally immersed in this beautiful new world. So rich in culture and full of color! And still in awe with my terrific teacher and coach Lyda.
She teaches me that ballet is all about theatre, and that posture and appearance is everything. Look fierce; walk with dignity, she said. Accompanied by that dramatic music from Prokofiev.

The pas de deux was the supreme moment during my exam. First, there was the regular stuff, like doing plié and so on. I still have the script for the exercises.
Dancing in front of someone who is examining you, looking intensely at you, and writing things down while you move and dance can be quite intimidating. And there were only two of us, Marion and me, dancing in front of her. Especially when you are the only man, and to be more specific, the oldest person in the house. And yes, I felt vulnerable and modest, for grade 2 is the beginner's level. But Gypsy showed integrity and respect.
I felt a bit stressed at the start of the exam, but the minute I moved, I felt confident that I would make it. I may have thought in some of my weakest moment that I was actually making a fool of myself, an old man, chasing his outdated dreams. Still, I must confess that my self-esteem never left me in de classroom. Gypsy even clapped her hands after the exam. Chasing your dreams requires the courage to break through barriers. Mostly your own.

Well, that's all, folks. See you next week.

Please feel comfortable to give a comment on my blog. Or contact me on email address: if you have a particular issue you want to share with me in my (or your!) adventurous journey into the world of classical ballet.

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