Friday, April 3, 2015


Day 3 of Dance Intensive Month, and boy was it humbling.  I decided to take Beginner Ballet at Other Big Name Dance Center tonight (a level above Absolute Beginner there).  This was mostly because I wanted to go to dinner with some friends, and the timing worked out better.  But there was a part of me that thought, maybe I'm ready for this even though it'll probably be a challenge.

Guys, this class was really hard.  So apparently the instructor teaches in the Bournonville style.  And their footwork is SO fast in parts.  Tendus and pliés weren't too terrible, even though the combinations were longer and a bit trickier than usual.  There was one tendu exercise I rather liked.  It went from fifth, tendu on 1 close on 8 en croix, then tendu closing on 4 en croix two times, then closing on 2 two times, then four degagés to the side (so you can see the speedy footwork at play already, right?).

The quickness of the batterie combination KILLED me.  It went, preparation tendu to the side, sur le cou-de-pied wrapped, tendu, sur le cou-de-pied back pointed, tendu, sur le cou-de-pied wrapped, tendu, sur le cou-de-pied front, tendu, then repeat without the tendu (so just wrapped, back pointed, wrapped, front pointed), and then repeat with out the wrapped (so just beating front back).  Oh yeah, AND THEN REVERSE IT.  So I totally messed up on that at the barre, and a bunch of other stuff that I can't even remember.

The adagio stuff went a lot better though.  The fondu combination was really pretty and I was able to do it well, even though I can't remember it exactly.  I think it went something like fondu, tendu, fondu, passé, fondu, attitude (front and side) and then to the back from the back attitude it went into an arabesque, fourth position lunge, use the lunge to turn to the other side??  Maybe.  My attitude position is rather nice, if I may say so myself.  The developpé combination was pretty too.  Each developpé was prefaced by a port de bras in that direction.  It really helped to find the space for the developpé.

Centre was pretty much an unmitigated disaster except for the adagio.  The adagio had these really pretty (apparently Bournonville style) port de bras.  They felt very natural and soft.  I can't even remember the other things really, because they were just so fast and hard.  Oh!  There was a sissone combination that I remember.  But I only remember it because I've never done a sissone before, and this went sooo terribly.  (Sissone to each side, sissone back and front in effacé, changement, other side.)  Oh yeah and one of the combinations ended with a pirouette.  Like, okay now you're just expected to do one, after a bunch of other hard stuff.

The thing is (and I don't mean to brag), I think my fundamentals (alignment, feet, etc) were as good as or even better than some of the people around me (who I was watching to follow).  Like for example my tendus were better than some, but I didn't necessarily put them in the right place or to the right time!  There were obviously also a bunch of amazing dancers as well; as is usual at this place, there were some second company / prepro program people taking the class.

So this class was obviously too hard for me.  But I really want to take this teacher's absolute beginner class because I think I like Bournonville.  I initially felt kind of bad and a little embarrassed about how I did in class.  But honestly, who cares?  I had some fun and learned some stuff.

Anyway, this was a huge contrast to yesterday, Day 2 of Dance Intensive Month, when I took a really basic class with very few people who apparently didn't have a lot of dance experience.  I did everything confidently, and dare I say, pretty well.  I guess that's life...sometimes you're up and sometimes you're down!

Sorry for my writing out all of those combinations in this entry.  Is it boring to read?  As this serves as my dance journal, doing that helps me remember stuff.  I personally do like reading combinations on other people's blogs though.  I like to imagine them in my head.


  1. I love when people write out dance combinations for the same reason. I imagine it as I'm reading it. :)I've actually never heard of Bournonville before.

    1. The Royal Danish Ballet still dance in that style. From the Wikipedia, the thing I felt the most from this Bournonville class was "visible contrast between the speed of the legs and the grace of the arms and torso." Also, maybe because I know he choregraphed Les Sylphides, it felt very wood nymphy?? Haha!