Bringing Movement To Life
WITH YOUR FEET
As adult dancers we get can often find ourselves locked into the safety of the barre. Clinging to it with white fists, relying upon it to support our less than perfect turnout or give us confidence when we have none. The barre becomes our safety net which we are often reluctant to let go of. Centre work is daunting as suddenly you are exposed and all your vulnerabilities are laid bare. We are left using only our own bodies to balance and our own strength to hold positions.
For me however, centre is where I feel most free. Jumping, travelling, turning, carving shapes into the air. It might not be pretty or perfect but it's incredibly freeing. But one step beyond that is when we get to learn actual choreography.
As an adult dancer I never feel the desire to perform on stage but choreography excites me in ways I never imagined when I began my ballet journey. Suddenly it's not a series of random movements but a series of movements that tell a story. Classes for me are thrilling just now because at the moment I am learning two pieces of choreography.
One is a neo-classical piece performed by the Hungarian National Ballet.
This really suits my own style of dancing and so far I am enjoying it's fluid movements.
The second piece we are learning is actually the dance for my graded exam, choreographed by my teacher. It's beautiful! My graded teacher and I have a very similar style of dancing when it comes to classical and since I'm now the only person in my graded class, she has choreographed the piece to suit me. We are using the Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker, which is glorious. In previous graded exams our teachers chose random plinky plonky piano music, which was hard to really feel to say the least. However when I was practising this dance for the first time on Wednesday I immediately found myself performing it because I could actually feel the music. I smiled all the way through it and I'm confident that even if I screw up the exercises on the day of the exam, I'll be able to claw back some points with the dance because I'm going to nail that shit!
What I have realised with starting ballet at such a late age, is that it's not really about the perfect plies or the turnout or the endless search for the elusive middle split, it's about allowing yourself to really listen to your body, to letting go of any inhibitions and just dancing.