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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Bournonville training and just an overall amazing week


DaPixie

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Oh my goodness! What a week! At my school here in Cambodia we invited a guest teacher from the Royal Danish Ballet to teach for a week.

 

I don't think I've ever had to jump so much and so quickly. Bournonville footwork is absolutely wicked, but I love it! It is very challenging. And it takes some getting used to starting so many exercises in éffacé position and starting them derrière instead of devant. Even plain tendu exercises in centre were a real Chinese puzzle for me. I'd never really been much aware of body positions until now. Ah and pas de bourrées starting with a tendu to second en fondu. Really hard to do four of them consecutively and so very very very fast.

 

Every day we did a mix from several days of the Bournonville school barre and centre and then also exercises based on steps from Bounronoville ballets.

 

And now we just finished a two-day workshop. We got to learn the beginning of Act I of Konservatoriet and part of a variation from Napoli.

 

I like the Bournonville épaulement a lot. Came very easily to me for some reason. A lot of students were messing up the head positions. It just came naturally to me.

 

Oh oh oh, and on Wednesday night I did the whole of my second class (after the technique class with guest teacher) wholly en pointe. For the first time. Usually I only do the barre part of this class en pointe and then do the rest (still in my pointe shoes, but just on 3/4 pointe. Okay, it scared the daylights out of me at times (especially in centre), but I managed! AND I am finally, finally, finally, entirely over the box!

Managed a couple of assemblés soutenus en pointe without wobbly bourrées at the end, and one en dedans pirouette. And it ended up being a double (probably never to be achieved again - but I'll allow myself to bask in my glorious success until my next class en pointe)!!

 

And the icing on the cake was when our guest teacher actually thought I'd been dancing since I was 15 years old instead of since I was 31 years old 15 months ago and thought she could not see much difference with the girls in class who've had years of training when they were younger!

 

Anyway, this has just been an amazing week and I am feeling good about ballet, my school, and myself! Okay, that's all I have to say right now. :)

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Oh my goodness, I'm so jealous! About 8 years ago or so I got to do a lot of Bournonville and I loved it. I'm such a Bournonville baby (well, minus the penches and stuff in his ballets.... I'm totally a petite allegro person). This sounds crazy, but I would LOVE to learn James' solo, just at a slightly quicker version for a female! :) I'm so glad you enjoyed it, and so glad you are feeling so content.

 

I'm hoping to travel to Southeast Asia in the next year or two... Might have to make this ballet school part of the trip! :)

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Sounds a wonderful experience! Lucky you and well done for keeping up with the others in your class!

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Yes I feel very lucky. This week really breathed new life into everyone. It was also nice for my business partner to be able to take classes for a whole week as opposed to have to teach all of them. Being the only ballet teacher in the whole country does make him feel quite isolated at times. To be able to watch and learn from another teacher and get feedback from her was just great for him. And the classes with Liselotte Sand (the guest teacher) were very small, so we all got so much individualised attention.

 

And to me and him this week also confirmed that we are doing the right thing with our school. Even though we have lost some students because they were not willing to commit to a minimum of two classes per week as we require or because they thought we were too strict and demanding too much discipline. I feel confident we are taking our school in the right direction. We were really encouraged to keep doing what we are doing and try to maintain the standard we have set.

 

But yes, I love Bournonville and it suits me well I think. Just beautiful small movement without crazy legs by your ears and just beautiful port de bras.

 

Ami1436, of course if you (or any other member of this forum) come to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, please do come and visit. We only have 5 ballet classes for adults per week and usually have fewer than 7 students in any given class, but we work hard, we just love to dance and we love having visitors.

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