I have to pay special attention again on my placement cause this was the second time this month that Lyda had to correct me in my placement. The knee of my working leg is slightly bent.
I understand the importance of correct placement. It really uplifts your performance. So here is a rehearsal, to remind me of the elementary lessons learned, but apparently seeping away. A wake-up call!
In a correct stance the weight of my body has to be correctly centered over the feet, with the armpit and the hipbone vertically aligned, shoulders low, the ribs in and flat, thus controlling the lower back and stabilizing the vertical placement of the torso directly on top of my supporting legs. In the aplomb stance, the patella is in an uplifted position, and this is a result of the contraction of the quads. You need to develop your quads in ballet to lift up your legs. Strengthening your quads requires exercising over some period of time. And these exercises are, in fact, the regulars of each lesson, tendu, jeté and so on. The trick is to perform the exercises with contracted quads, keeping your patella uplifted, so you build up strength.
And looking in the mirror, of course, I tried to correct myself.
I also noticed that a proper placement helps when you have to keep balance standing on demi-pointe.
And this brought me back to another eye-opener. When in tendu, I seem to have my working leg a bit bent in de knee. It's hard work for me to stretch that knee. Until Lyda remarked that my working leg was not properly turned out. So when I focused on turning my leg more out, the bent knee simultaneously became a stretched knee.
And again, I discover that it is not yet part of my system that in ballet, all movements are performed with the legs turned out.
We practiced the pas de chat (step of the cat) extensively in the Monday lesson.
When going to the right on the diagonal: right leg fifth position back: the right leg is lifted to high retiré (not touching the supporting knee) as the left leg pushes off the floor and is lifted to a high retiré. The landing occurs on the right leg with left leg closing in the fifth devant. We did this in a series to the same side. Lyda added a special nuance with respect to the starting position: the right leg in the 5th position in front, from then on, as mentioned above.
And then the assemblé (to put together, assemble) at the barre: the jump from one foot onto two. There are times when the assemblé seems to be so easy, but this day it was not. There are times when body and mind don't seem to work together.