Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Today I learned a lesson about perfection.
Currently at Richmond Ballet, we are working on the pieces we are performing at the Richmond Folk Festival in a couple of weeks. And of course one of the pieces is Paquita. Yes, the same Paquita I learned back in freshman year of high school. Yes, the same Paquita I have been working on since about May. The difference between this Paquita is that I am a corps member and not the soloist. This is the real dance world now - not just a little baby non-profit pre-professional company. This is where my dance career will start and hopefully grow.
Today we had a three hour rehearsal of Paquita, and although I am getting really sick and tired of it, I have to suck it up and deal with it. Igor (the wonderful Ukrainian teacher that I have been in love with for the past forever...) has been running the rehearsals, and with only 2 weeks until the performance, it's coming down to the wire. We're cleaning and polishing it up like crazy. Igor is really being really meticulous and picky about everything, and we all get somewhat annoyed and tired of doing the same parts and the same things over and over and over and over again for three hours straight. And when we did it about a thousand times for him to notice us getting tired and annoyed, he gave us a mini lecture about the beauty that is in the perfection of classical ballet and corps work.
I've heard people wonder about how I deal with the pressures of perfection of the classical ballet world, but to be honest, the perfection of classical ballet is what I love about it. Dancers in general strive for perfection, but the most extreme form of perfection can be found in classical ballet. The lines, the alignment, the position of the head...everything has the be perfect for it to be truly breathtaking and beautiful. Igor explained the beauty that exists in creating a perfectly straight line of girls on the stage - knowing exactly where you are in the space on the stage and in relation to the other girls next to you. One girl out of line or a shoulder at a different angle makes lessens the magnitude of the effect. The perfection of it is what makes peoples' jaws drop and people sitting at the edge of their seats. It's the truly amazing part of ballet.
And as I contemplate about the truth about perfection in the ballet world, I am icing my thigh and sewing new pointe shoes.
To perfection and beauty,