Pointe class on Monday was the best fun!! We had a pretty full class so our teacher Constance took that as a great opportunity to teach us the amazing La Royaume des Ombres from La Bayadère, where the full corps de ballet is on stage at the same time.
We started the first part, which is my favourite part, where the dancers walk in a procession, stepping into arabesque, then forth then repeat for 4 minutes. It's haunting, elegant and very beautiful. Once we get au fait with the timing and balancing on flat foot on pointe shoes, which is bloody hard, then it'll be just lovely to perform.
The variation itself is fairly simple, which allows you to really focus on technique. I often feel in class - in general not specifically pointe - that when you get a lengthy combination it doesn't allow you to get your technique right because you are too busy trying to work out what the hell you are meant to be doing. For this reason it's so valuable to get to perform something like La Royaume des Ombre, as not only does it feel like 'proper' dancing but you also get to focus on doing it right. I can't wait to do it again next time we're in class after the easter break.
There is a similar part in Giselle Act II, where the ghostly Willis hop in an arabesque formation. (around about 3.20 in the video). It really makes you appreciate the skill involved in getting the timing correct.
Overall, I'm really enjoying most of my classes just now. Graded class, though difficult, is very balletic and I'm actually getting confident that come exam time at the end of the year I might actually be able to do that pesky pirouette from second, well enough to get me a pass in my exam anyway.
I've been practising the second pirouette exercise in grade 5 a lot (which is actually pique turns to me) and I'm happy that I'm really improving with those too. Pirouetting around the kitchen pays off!
So yeah, it's been a good couple of weeks in my ballet life. Get in!
In other exciting news - Dusturbance and I have been collaborating on a range of ballet/dancewear and will be setting up a little online shop in the near future. She has sourced some wonderful fabrics for romantic rehearsal and practice skirts and warm up shorts and trousers. Stay tuned!