Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Contemporary Intensive

Last week was my winter/skiing holiday, as we say in Finland. I had decided to keep it Free - usually there's been a day or two of working, but now it was all for me! :) So I took that contemporary course I mentioned earlier, 5 days with 90 min. class a day. Could have done with a longer set per day, but this was good too.

As it was a LONG time since my last modern dance (as it was called back then) classes, Monday was a day of getting to know the relaxed-yet-active feeling again. And the style our teacher had. And the other participants in class. Luckily there were 2 familiar faces (besides the teacher) and in the end of the week they all felt that. There were about 10-11 of us, one quit after 2 days (but she'd Never been dancing before, so it felt a bit too much/difficult for her). The studio isn't too big, so 10 really is enough when doing stuff in the middle and everyone at the same time. Especially when you're tall like me, with long arms and legs and wanting to move properly (big steps instead of tiny).

Tuesday was (mentally) a bit more loose, the routines were somewhat familiar and it felt more dancing than just trying to remember a bunch of moves. In the very end we started a short choreography, with Japanese style "music". It felt like meditating, taiji, dancing all combined. There were no beats in the music (well, harmonic background noises), no counts in the moves. You just streched until the farthest point you could, then drop or move on. That was kind of the basic idea. So there were slooooow moves and fast, twirling, moves, swings and others.

Wednesday came, the routines stayed the same. The choreography got a bit longer. My favorite routine of the whole class (besides the taiji-meditation :D) was in diagonal. Balancé-type steps with small jumps/leaps.
-> balance, balance, 3 slow leaps, 1 faster (as an upbeat for the next balance)
The music was a quick-ish waltz, balances of course on beats (in three), but the slow leaps in two. 

Thursday with the same stuff. One bit more to the end-choreo. And the diagonal routine had another version (probably already on Wednesday).
-> balance, balance, 3 quick leaps ending in plie (in 2nd pos.), small jump and back to 1st pos. (as an upbeat to next balance)
Then we put both versions together (first the newer bit, then the one with slow leaps) and the teacher wanted us to moooooooooove a lot with the 3 fast ones, it was Fun! :)

Last day came way too soon. Would have been great to have one day more, or at least 120 minutes a day. Just to work a bit more on the routines. By the way, we had two (yes, 2) men in class! On Monday the older one came wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Didn't look too comfortable in them... :P He also looked like he'd never been dancing this kind of style, but still sticked with it. Have to respect that (though he was a bit on our way sometimes). The other one was in his 20s, shorter than me (but then again, I am 177,5 cm), very nice. On Monday we were starting the diagonal bit and no-one wanted to go first (really, what's wrong with you people??). So I said to him that let's be brave and laughed - and that's what we did all 5 days, went bravely as the first pair.


Two of the biggest thoughts during the intensive were "how to move economically" (always as close to your body/floor as you can, use the natural force that comes from swinging the leg etc.) and when opening/turning out, think of a spiral going through the Whole Leg, right from the hip joint to the toes. Not only opening from the hip. Feels like it worked for me quite nicely, but have to try it out in ballet class :)

This week I've been a bit sick. Yes, again. My lungs didn't want to work, just a terrible itch inside. Coughing all the time, feeling tired, some slight fever... Now it's a bit better, but not all gone yet. I hopehopehope I won't get the influenza that's going on. Don't have time for taking sick leave. Tomorrow there'll be a ballet class, after TWO WEEKS!!! I am going to give it a try, even if I'd had to sit for most part. But I want to get warm from the plies. (Of course I have to listen to my body, so I still might Not go. But I just waaaaaaaant to. If you know what I mean.)

There's also a dream of getting new pointes. But let's not get into it too much.


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