First off – this is a good article. I remember the “modern” versus “contemporary” debate from my sophomore year of college, but it’s becoming more clear which is which. For the future of modern companies… http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/future-modern-dance-companies-paul-taylor
Going to Tracy’s Saturday class is always a little dangerous. The nature of her warm up has us doing arabesques, swinging them around to the front, back to the back while promenading into an attitude, then finally settling in a high fifth posse. Or else going from arabesque to a low contracted second to a Horton plank, rotating to an arabesque, then back to plank and up to high fifth posse. It’s all very strenuous, and it’s hard to feel that Horton line without seeing it.
It’s neat, though, that I am getting to do this warm up that has been around for the last twenty five years or so (she’s always so ambiguous about her age). There are some changes, of course, even within the last few months, but he structure is the same. We move between parallel and turned out second, we contract all the time and try to find our fullest wingspans. Now that I’ve been showing up for awhile, I’ve made friends with people and I’ve talked to some of the “real adult” ladies, several of whom used to be professional dancers and were doing this warm up before they had kids.
This warm up persists not only in Tracy Durbin’s jazz class, but in Franco’s and Rachel’s. They add their own flair, and they have other parts of the warmup that are truly only theirs, but nonetheless we always do at least a few of the Tracy-isms. How amazing is it that she has been able to come up with this method? There’s enough repetition but not too much, there’s direction changes and tendus and plies but it’s never just a tendu or a plie. She makes ballet seem easy (almost boring) with as much as she’s able to cram into the first forty-five minutes of warm up. I have seen myself do things I never thought myself capable of through this warm up. The warm up is such that by the time we get to the FINAL COMBINATION (the dun dun da of every technique class), you’re relieved because this is at least going to be a little bit more simple.
I see improvement in myself, but I also see lots of roadblocks. I have such a hard time finding a flow in this class, especially during the adagio and the final combination, and during the plies and most of the warm up…okay, I have a hard time finding the flow during most things. I think this is that issue that my ballet teacher Melissa pointed out two years ago, but the fact that my feet grip hard on the floor doesn’t help. My insecurity with my turnout and my parallel in that deep second doesn’t ground me. My feet cramp up from gripping so much during every single class that I can tell it’s no longer me just adjusting to the new movement, it’s that I really do have a problem being in the deep second and moving between parallel and turned out, especially while doing the contraction exercises. I should be very grounded during this class, but I cannot find the ground.
After class Tracy asked if I was auditioning for MuddyFeet. I told her yes, and she said that I would be good for that movement. I feel like it’s within my realm of movement, and that’s freaks me out the most about the possibility that I might not get in. I have another month to train, and two more auditions to go to, so there’s time for improvement. I need to make sure I don’t miss any classes. I’m basically out of money and out of classes on my bodyvox class card, so I’m going to have to appeal to the generous parents so I can do Tracy’s Monday and Friday classes, as well as Rachel’s Thursday and Ballet on Tuesday evening.
I have sent out more resumes, but I have heard nothing back. My bosses have offered to give me good recommendations, so I can only imagine that my name just isn’t being picked out of the hat. I have little faith in the online job application process – who wants to do it like that? Who wants to ask for interviews from people they’ve never seen? I don’t understand it. It probably serves the corporate office better but the individual managers worse. I am putting most of my hope in for a retail job in the Pearl, to which I sent my resume, and the times they need are the times I can work.
I’m not willing to sacrifice too many of my classes, but that’s my problem, isn’t it? I am so impatient and I do put the cart before the horse. But now that I’m back on the wagon, so to speak (or off the wagon? whichever is the good one), I’m refusing to get into a position where I can’t do my 12-15 hours of technique a week. I already hate that I can’t take class on Sundays. I have a groove, I have friends, I am getting my technique and my body back, and I’m not willing to sell that for ten dollars an hour. Something will come along that is right for me, and I will scheme and look for it until I find it.
Class of the day: Saturday – Jazz at Northwest Dance Project