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Post performance debriefing


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It was recital day for my school last saturday; globally, it was a success with a large suportive crowd who apreciated the performances and a good show. Unfortunatly, it was not a champagne moment for me.


My first variation was one of Von Rothbart's in Swan lake. This one has a fast tempo (at least for me), and starts and ends up with two series of pirouettes jambe tendue, the first one en dedans and the finishing one en dehors. Well, during pre-recital warmup, while rehearsing the variation, I tripped and fell on the floor. First time this has ever hapened to me even in classes.


To regain confidence, I immediatly reacted by doing the variation twice in a row, with perfect timing on the music and fairly good spotting in the pirouettes which is critical in this variation if one doesn't want to end up completly dizy.


But I have little stage experience in ballet so I could not patch the damage done on my self confidence. I had the fall in mind when I entered the stage, and I was very nervous; so I entered it with a defensive attitude which is, I guess, what one must not do. I fell behind the tempo, and then tried to catch up on it with the end result that I messed the variation a little. What a deception this has been...


We had cancelled the Gisele variations I was supposed to dance with my partner because of her pulling out of it at the last moment, so I only had left the final adagio of The legend of love to do, which was the closing number of the recital. I managed to compose myself during the break, and did all right in the adagio.


Needless to say, I am very disapointed with this result. I guess what I have to do now is learn all I can from this experience, amongst other things, to remain prefectly focused and concentrated even in pre-recital warmups, and get back to work. And if possible, get my teacher to put the very same variation in our comming Christmas recital "et en faire un malheur"; this is, of course, if she still want's me in her recitals; she has her own pride.



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Now you know why most Rothbarts are dressed in armor and owl feathers and just do mime! ("You - here - why? Woman, come here!)

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No kidding. Alexander Gorsky added some dancing to the part, but in the "traditional" setting, Rothbart is a high-octane acting part.

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Dear Dick,

Yes, you are disapointed. I would be too! You put so much time into something like this and are unhappy with the end result. But, you got thru it!


What has your teacher said? I bet you are harder on yourself than he/she would be. Yes, you learned that you are not a machine and will not do it perfect every time! The good thing is you were able to compose yourself well enought to get thru the adagio. This is a ginger ale moment! (Canada Dry of course!)

I am not as advanced as you are in Ballet and I am jealouse that you can have the opportunity to perform. I am also happy for you that you were able to regain your composure under stressful circumstances!


Good Luck on the next recital! I'm sure you will give a stellar performance! :wink:

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Hi Silvergraydancer,


Tanks for your good words. I think you are right about me being a bit hard on myself. When I resumed regular classes after the recital, my classmates were very suportive; they liked my part and didn't think I had messed it at all; from their point of view, it was a good performance from an intermediate level student on a difficult variation. This made me later realize that I had been uncounciously comparing myself with the other solists who were all well advanced students. Off the pressure.....


As to my teacher, she only mentioned the adagio; nothing about the Von Rothbart; for me, this silence says a lot about her disapointment; I guess the debriefing will take place at the repertoire class; I'll see then what she thinks and what her plans are for the comming winter recital.


You are also right Silvergraydancer to remind me how lucky I am to have these performance oportunities; to dance the final adagio of a recital and be handed flowers during the salutations is a privilege that makes every sweat and frustration and pain fully worthwhile. I really wish you have a taste at it; and never let your gray hair make you think this goal is unreachable : you should see mine, or what's left of them...


So long,



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Bon jour Dick,


I'm glad you have decided to let some of your furstration go and are not letting the small errors you made destroy the good work you were able to accomplish. I t sounds like you take class in a very supportive studio and have a fine teacher. Gee, flowers too! Now I am Jealous. As for the Von Rothbart, Your teacher knows you can do it and yes, she is a little diasspointed that the audience didn't see how well you could do that variation. You don't happen to have the Von Rothbart part written down do you?


Thanks for your wish of success. I'm sort of waititng for the green light from my instructors and have been asked to perform in their annual Nutcracker. I know, I'm a guy and they need all the guys they can get! Even so, it might be fun!


I took a high intermediate class last week and did well at the barre and the first part of the allegro and the last part wasn't really out of reach. Yes, I don't have those great extentions but, I guess, I am improving.


As far as the grey hair is concerned, I haven't let that stop me yet! I took up ski racing a few years ago and now I'm rated 6th in NYS and 32nd in th US in my age group. Not to shabby for a 52 year old recreational skier!


Now, If I can just translate that to Ballet, I'll be fine!


Let me know about the debriefing. I would be interested in knowing the out come.


Remember, she did say you were ripe for the advanced class! :flowers:

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Bonjour SGD,


I had last wednesday my first repertoire class since the summer recital; and there was no post performance debriefing. It seems that my teacher very quickly switched to business as usual: she asked me to join her in the center and started to teach me a new solo which is a beautifull variation from La Esmeralda. I don't know the ballet so I can't tell you exactly the name of the variation but her plan is to stage part of the ballet in december, including my solo and a pas de deux if I am not mistaken. We went through the solo a couple of times and are going to start working on it part by part this comming wednesday. So I am very happy with this outcome. As a matter of fact, I feel a lot more comfortable with this solo than with Van Rothbart's.


I gather you are going to start performing this winter? Great! And what a better setup that the Nut to begin with. I am very happy for you. Do you know what role you are going to perform?



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Bon soir Richard,


So, I guess you are not being drumed out of class and the school for your Rothbart performance. I told you that you were being too hard on yourself. I see that she has real confidence in you and is going to push you! Good for you!


Yes, It does look like I will get to perform! I'm sort of jazzed about that! I know I will be in the party scene Act I and she said that she wanted me to do something else. So I think, it's still up in the air. I think she wants to see how much I improve. There is one women in the adult class that she has said the same thing to so, I wonder if she is thinking of a Pas de Deux. I start Partnering in the fall. I'm sure it is some corp work or a standing around role. But I saw the costumes for their production and they are quite nice! What ever it is it will be fun. The production is the first weekend in December. I am tentatively schedule for five classes a week in the fall so I should see some improvement.


Thank for letting me know how things worked out!


Best wishes on your La Esmeralda solo! This must be a pretty strong studio you go to!

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