Week Two- 5 Levels of Energy

Tuesday, Jan. 21st (Karen 1:30pm): The prompt for the beginning of class was to finish a few statements.

My Greatest Strength as a Dancer is my commitment to the movement and musicality when performing on a stage. My Biggest Challenge as a Dancer is finding an authentic way of performing themes/concepts/emotions on stage. I normally have a blank face when performing. I Can Use My Strength to Meet My Challenge by committing to themes, concepts, and emotions as fully as I do the movement to create a whole performance with depth of character.

While in class, I tried thinking of most phrases as just pieces of choreography, and the studio was the stage. Half way through I switched to performing as if I was in the selected group of a dance workshop class.

(After Class) My Strength is Also grand movement moving in such a large way helps me understand things more clearly in my body. When I do small movement, either quick or slow, I tend to over think in my head and mess up movement, like during the petit allegro. I will try thinking of slow sustained or small and quick movement as large.

Wednesday, Jan. 22nd (Kyle 7:30am): Have a strong supportive leg during battements! No wobbling in the knee. My balance was a bit off today, I have to really settle in the idea of expanding from my distal ends like I did last week. Kyle also gave me the tip of lengthening from the back of my knee in relevé, during a tendu, and the like to help create a stronger and straighter line while also releasing tension in the quadriceps muscle group a bit. Visualize someone pulling on the back of your knee ever so slightly to prevent gripping in the quadriceps.

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(Carley 2:00pm): My petit allegro is much better than last semester! I love seeing improvement. I have to work on using more plié during my balances because they ware looking mighty stiff. How can I find that kind of sway?

Thursday, Jan. 23rd (Karen 1:30pm) What are you reaching for? I am reaching for a better understanding of ballet technique in my body so I can apply what I learn to contemporary/modern dance. Energetically, I am reaching through my distal ends at all points, expanding into the space all of the time. I am thinking of 5 layers of energy:

Level 1: Energy shooting as far down into the earth/ground below the floor as possible; anchoring us to the ground

Level 2: Energy shooting just below the surface on which we stand, rooting us into the ground.

Level 3: Passive Energy resting right atop of the ground that we stand on

Level 4: Energy expanding up just above our head and pulling our awareness up into the space.

Level 5: Energy growing into the infinite space above our head and constantly growing

I strive to exist in at least 2 opposing levels at once to help maintain balance in class. For example, I use levels 2 and 4 for tendu/degage/rond de jambe exercises because it roots my supporting leg into the ground and lengthens my spine through my head. That tension helps for balance while the more mobile leg does it’s job. When balancing on releve, whether on two feet or one, I use levels 1 and 5 to help increase the expanding energy as infinitely as possible to maintain stability no matter what actual position I am in.

Karen asked me to think about the “gateways”. A vague instruction for me to interpret. I began looking at the port de bra during petite allegro, and grande allegro. I will continue this next week.

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