Hello Platinum Families!
Ms. Alexandra here. I’m going to be taking over the Ballet Blog from Ms. Tafat this year. I’m excited to dive in and share some thoughts and inspiration with you & your dancer. I hope you will take some time every month to read & discuss the topics I’m sharing with you to help your dancer grow.
This 2020-2021 season is my fourth season here at Platinum, and something I’ve noticed consistently is that many of our dancers struggle to find the right quality of movement in ballet. Quality of movement is exactly as it sounds. It’s the quality (soft, strong, sharp, etc) of a dancer’s movements when executing class exercises or choreography. Often in their comp dances they have to consistently move with high energy and sharp, fast movements. The ballet technique challenges them to practice being clean and sharp one moment, and soft and sustained the next.
Practice makes perfect, but visualization is the key.
When I was a kid, I would run into my parents’ room and jump on their bed and beg them to tell me about their night at the ballet. I was enamored with their descriptions of the ballet. Ballerinas dressed in glittering costumes, adorned with tiaras, dancing gracefully and ferociously across the stage. Thunderous applause. Bouquets of flowers. A night out on the town. One of my first memories of being at the ballet was when I was in middle school. It was Swan Lake. I was recovering from being sick and a small tickle in my throat caused a cough I could not subside. I crept out of the theater to get some water and when I came back in I stood at the top level of the balcony to watch.
Swan Lake is a very famous ballet for many reasons, one of which is because the ballerina playing the lead role has to play two characters: Odette and Odile. This showcases her ability to be as equally sharp as a devious character performing Odile as she is soft and delicate performing the Swan Queen Odette, both requiring exceptional strength and polished technique.
I was mesmerized. I was inspired. I wanted to do that.
As we kick off another season at Platinum, I encourage you – and your dancer – to watch as much dance as you can to supplement your dancer’s technique. A silver lining of the pandemic is that many companies are doing digital seasons. This means you can watch the best of the New York City ballet from your living room in Minnesota (LINK HERE). Or, you can check out local performances (LINK HERE).