Back to the Barre

On Back to Barre: Pirouette woes

Due to a day’s worth of interviewing folk (which was fun, but exhausting), I missed most of my first ballet class, did a quick barre of my own to warm up and was then launched into a bit of pirouetting.

Here are my pirouette problems:

  • Head 

I’ve discussed the important need for a technique, known as spotting, before, and unfortunately, that requirement hasn’t changed, and neither has my skill-level.

  • Legs

Whilst turning one spins, on demi-pointe, on one leg, whilst the other is bent and turned out, with the toe pointed and touching the knee of the weight-bearing leg. The idea is that one keeps that placement for the entirety of the turn, but currently, I am not.

  • Arms

Today, Julia (my teacher) described my arms as being Fosse-like’. Fosse, was a choreographer, perhaps most famous for Chicago, and fond of a particularly sharp, deliberate use of arms, creating angular shapes. To have one’s arms remarked upon in such a way would be all very well if I were currently starring in a production of Chicago, or even if the Fosse-ness of them was intentional, but it isn’t. The reason for it is not intention, but tension. Whenever I am concentrating on legs or head, my arms pay the price, and Fosse-ness arrives, all stiff and unforgiving.Fosse

However, the major problem with all of this is that I cannot work on all three of these things at once. If I concentrate on the head, the leg is gone; if I concentrate on the legs, the arms are crazy; and if I concentrate on the arms, then nothing else works. So, currently I’m trying to work out what’s the most important to nail, and focussing all energy on it.

I suspect the head issue might be the win.

In summary: pirouettes, and all that jazz.

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  • Reply Forever Bound Art December 6, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    At least Fosse wasn’t a HORRIBLE insult 🙂 I’d rather see strong Fosse arms then flailing arms like most of my dancers! Arms drive me insane. Seriously, start with that. I have this notion, it might give you something to think on. When the audience comes to see a performance did you know that they rarely pay much attention to all that hard work you put into with those feet!? That’s right, they look at arms and the face. Of course, they do notice whether you can pirouette well or not, you know if you fall they’d notice, or fall out of the turn hard and stomp your foot down, lol! Sigh, the joys and frustration of ballet. Probably why I love it so much! Keep blogging, I was glad to stumble upon you (keep dancing too!)

    • Reply ellidhcook December 7, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      Thanks for the visit! And the encouragement! And no, you’re right, there are certainly worse insults to receive!

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