Monday, 7 November 2011


Yesterday was performance appraisal day, and overall I'm pretty happy with how I did. I didn't fall over, I didn't stare at my feet and I'm pretty sure I actually did move around a bit rather than staring glassy eyed at my class mates. It was a real honour to watch everyone else's dances - not only was everyone just so much fun to watch, but the music selections were great and the atmosphere in the room was really "up". No mean feat, given there were fewer than ten people in the studio. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but ... I actually had fun, even though I ran a bit late thanks to a bit of a "cat-astrophe".* So thank you, Razia!

Watching back the video of my first performance later, however, I could see two things straight away that I'll need to do A LOT of work on: my arms and my footwork. Oh, the arms. How many times have I pratcised lifting with my back muscles and keeping my elbows elevated? Too many times to count. And what happens when I get in front of actual human eyes? My chest collapses in on itself and my elbows wind up somewhere near my hips. Pffft. Now I'm looking forward to receiving my feedback form, because at the moment all I can think about are my limp, inert upper limbs, dangling as uselessly as John Wayne Bobbit's original penis.

Luckily, help is to "hand" (fnar!): the Guardian's rather excellent "MoveTube" dance blog recently spotlighted the importance of arms to the performance of the Dying Swan.

The post is in two parts, the first featuring legendary ballet dancer
Uliana Lopatkina in a traditional interpretation and the second focused on a Brazilian hip-hop dancer, John Lennon da Silva, who self-choreographed a contemporary version of the Dying Swan when he entered a reality show competition. Magic begins at about 1.50:

As Luke Jennings says: "The city of São Paolo, where he lives, is one of the most dangerous in South America, and the closing moments of Da Silva's piece seems to speak of young men like himself, dying before their time." No wonder that judge is weeping.

Meanwhile, I'll be making myself weep by giving this a crack:

*I mentioned we moved - the new pad came with a resident elderly black cat we've named Bernadette. She's poorly at the moment and decided to leave some, erm, leavings indoors. Just as I was about to do my stage face! And then this morning she brought in a mouse and devoured it whole in front of my horrified eyes. Despite all this, I think she might be the greatest roomie I've ever had.

1 comment:

  1. Dude-- feedback is in your inbox ;) Ballet is epic for arms, but then you've probably heard me harping on about that for EVER. Rock on!