Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ballet tourist reports from class!

Well, not "live from class", but almost!

Yesterday's teacher was of course Madame Greve herself. I have experienced her talent once before (read here about it), last September to be exact. This time I could only take one class with her, but decided to make the most of it. (Even though the level was for beginners.) And I sure did - can feel it in my body at the very moment... :D

I had time to warm up before the class, luckily, because the studio felt a bit too "breezy". When Madame greeted us as a sign of starting the real business, I had a comfortable feeling inside, ready to work. Just like in Autumn, the routines were very different from what I'm used to doing, so they kept me awake the whole time. I knew her favorite phrases and we did hear them all - about our popos (bum), tummies, knees (STRECH YOUR KNEE), shoulders (down), neck (long)... But I was also prepared for them, so I got only 2-3 strech-your-knee's and one popo-remark, once also shoulders-neck-stuff. I was happy that she also paid attention to me, although I'm not a regular. I wanted to show my best effort and I think she was happy with it :)

Most of the class we spent at the barré, but that I knew beforehand. Challenging for me was to keep my "working" hand in 1st position almost the whole time. It was somehow liberating, but as I'm used to using the hand, it was also one other thing to keep me focused. From the routines I'd say grand battements were the tricky ones - we stood with our backs close to barre, faces towards the center. Grand battement devant we did that way, both legs. Then a quick turn, other hand on barre, grand b:s a la seconde (that was easier). On the devant side we also had our both hands on the barre, on our sides. I think I've never done it that way, or maybe as a child... It was interesting!


We had some time left for center work. Tendus (devant) en croise, en face, efface, temps lie, same tendus with the other leg, tendus a la seconde with some heel down action... It was a nice routine :) Then some small jumps (echappe + soubresaut, then a set of glissades). And last-but-not-least, a beautiful reverence from the back of the studio, walking to the front (not just ordinary walking of course, steps with soul in them) with different port de bras.

Can't wait to get back to her class! I have every second Tuesday off, so I could go each of those days, but don't know if my budget would allow that :D But at least once or twice I Am Going to go this Spring. (I'm also dreaming about taking summer classes in Helsinki, but that's a whole different thing.)


  1. Hei - it was nice you made it to our class! Unfortunately my own entrance to class was a pretty hasty one this time, didn't have a chance to see you properly.. (I did my warm up by running all the way from the station, sweating profusely even before I touched the barre!)

    It's actually great to read all the terms what we did in our class - I didn't know all the names, this helps a lot! Even though the stuff we do at this level might be easy for you, it gives you a good mental space to clean your technique. Madame always corrects people according to their own abilities, whether advanced or beginner. I think it might be quite common in France to have a lot of 'open' classes (at least I saw quite a few in ballet schools' lists of classes in Paris) where people's abilities vary a lot.

    So nice to hear you'll be a regular tourist in our class - looking forward to seeing you there again! : )

    1. Heippa Iina!

      Next time we Have to catch up! :)

      And it's very good for me to do basics, especially with a strict teacher like Madame. It gives me motivation for my own classes and future.

  2. Hi Iepukka!

    It was nice to see you in class, even though I did not see much of you! ;) I'm glad you understand about the benefits of a good basic level class, as there are always ways to improve your technique and dancing.

    What Iina said above is true, Madame does give corrections and praise according to abilities and skill levels. My own class is advanced, but I have been taking the basic level in addition. I never feel that I'm too good for it - on the contrary! And Madame makes me feel it too, she gets very strict and demanding and corrects even the tiniest details - which I love!

    Hope you get to enjoy the class again :)

    1. Hello Johanna!

      It was fun to be sort of "surrounded" by friends, though not seing them :D (Caught a glimpse of your legs every now and then.)

      And you're absolutely right about the basics. I'd take our town's basic level regularly, if it was in the studio with barre (and if the teacher was a tiiiiiny bit more demanding ;)). But I've got some "compensation" tickets for classes I missed, so I'll probably use them there anyway.