Tuesday, June 10, 2008

body toll

Yeah...three weeks of this intensive on top of my normal ridiculous schedule is definitely taking its toll on my body this week.

Up to this point, my body has been surprisingly resilient from the ballet overload throughout the intensive. I really haven't been that sore aside from my bad achilles tendon - I've just been dead tired by the end of the day. In the mornings I've woken up actually being able to walk and sometimes without the crackling rhythms of my back and hips that usually greet me as I roll out of bed.

Until this week, haha.

Between many pairs of dead pointe shoes, too little sleep, and general busy-ness I'm feeling it all today. Ugh. Ouch.

Luckily there's only 3 more days, and one of them is basically devoted to our little performances, so I think I'll make it out alive.

The thing is, I used to do this kind of intense training for way more than just 3 weeks and I'd be fine. You know, tendonitis like crazy and exhausted - but fine. Hah. Now I'm a little smarter and though I COULD go on and on like this I know that it's safer for me to rest and stop while I'm ahead.

For instance, the summers I spent in Boston (05' & 06' I think) I was at the studio 9am-9:30pm...the thing was, we did have breaks but I was overambitious (what else is new) and since I lived at home an hour away and didn't have a nearby dorm to run to for dinner and a rest between rehearsals, I would simply take extra classes. A third technique class during the dinner break, men's class during the morning break (yes, men's class. I love to jump when my achilles is good).

But now I can't really put myself through that and retain sanity, haha.

Now instead of taking those extra physical classes I'm mentally working extra hours (writing, work, etc) throughout the intensive.

I'll be glad when next week comes and I can just crash for a bit. Not much going on the rest of this month besides summer school classes and some reviews here and there. When you go through insanely busy times I've learned you HAVE to slow down when you can. I'm trying to figure out how to pace myself and might need just a little more practice, haha.


Anonymous said...

well there is a difference between "challenging an artform" -- which is really cliche to say at all -- and allowing an artform to degrade into something no one cares to view. Full Length ballets are in fact the basis upon which ballet is built for centuries and really its quite relevant even here and now in 2008. and for ballet to continue on-- challenged, growing or not -- it must reach into new material for that purpose. Iot can not altogether lose its base. Even Rothko spent years perfecting his "copies" of the greats -- Renoir and the Renaissance paitners in sepcfic. Simply put Tharp's piece -- and pieces like that -- are not going to fill 2 theatres in NYC Lincoln Center... nor is it going to PLEASE an audience who really cares for and loves CLASSICAL ballet. and pays a lot to see it. Balanchine has done for NYCB-- exceedingly well mind you -- what Tharp is now attempting to do at ABT...

As to body type etc etc etc and all this -- its such a redundant conversation that we wish there would be no "prefered" bodytype -- I can speak form music world -- some violinists indeed may be passionate about violin live sleep and eat the violin and yet prefer that finger length was of no importance as to becoming a paid professional violinist in an orchestra... but alas it is. That does not mean that there are no exceptions -- indeed im sure you can find small handed short fingered paid for a living concert violinists out there -- but guarantee that they have so much to offer and that their playing is gorgeous -- except that they can't tackle most of the heavier parts in lets say a Stravinsky. So in ballet there is a type that suits the form and indeed arouses the audience and afterall -- performing an artform (versus just learning an artform for ones own edification)requires that the performer honor the audience and the audience's desires -- not just get up to display themselves narcisstically as to what they can do aor feel good doing. To partake in Art is to be called to sacrifice one's self in order to obtain ideals beyond the self - mostly idealas one would never really want to obtain -- indeed can be painful to obtain -- under normal circumstances. However speak to any artist of measure and they will more times than not adore just that part of it -- the WORK, the limits, the rules, the entirety of it. Audiences for ballet usually prefer beautiful feel long legs and fantastic bravura -- its exciting -- its worth the money -- its thrilling ... its not that if a ballet company puts someone without great feet or bravura technique or legs etc they are just booed -- but truly they need to have something else --right? some je n'sai qoi or somehting specuial that moves an audience with or without those "odeals". This can only come from ones soul -- In the music world if there is a truly beautiful muscician whose playing really reaches the audience, then thier technique or even training becomes irrrelvant. If they say move their index finger todo the complicated noting on a stravinsky rather than say thier pinky -- OH well -- HOW DID IT SOUND. I'd imagine the same for the dance world and instead of challenging what has long been honored --only wasting own time when they could be working on other things they can develop-- it is literally the job of performers to find that "something else" to offer in the midst of it all and to go humbly to their audience for permission to do so.

Taylor said...

Thanks for you comment (although I think you meant for it to be on my earlier post about 'Meet the Artist' and the issues I wrote about?) and your comparison to the music world.

Admittedly, I had no ideas that finger length was essential or considerable for violinists. Though regular ballet goers may develop an eye for the ballet aesthetic, I'm willing to bet an average viewer wouldn't know perfect legs and feet from those that simply straighten only decently. Maybe I'm wrong.

Your point about narcissism is very interesting as well. I don't mean to say that just anybody should be able to get up and perform in these big ballet companies. Of course they have to have something else to offer if they don't have the 'perfect body type,' but I what I mean is that so often (in my experience anyway) those without that body type are overlooked despite having other gifts to share with an audience. Even people WITH the perfect body need to have that 'something else' to give, otherwise why bother watching something that is just plain pretty but boring?

More to say but I'm short on time at the moment

Let's keep this great discussion going!