I Lost Me a Ballet Shoe

24 Jun

Today I concluded my journey with Washington Ballet.  I actually intended to go yesterday as well, but as you may know, there was a terrible and fatal accident on the red line of the Washington Metro, and Washington Ballet is located on the red line (Albeit, in the opposite direction of the accident).  I was completely unaware of the accident, which unbeknownst to me, had occurred about half an hour earlier to my arrival in Metro Center.  Announcers only told us that the trains were experiencing “mechanical difficulties” (um, understatement of the century!) and as the crowds of people waiting started to increase logarithmically, so did my desire to just go home.

I did go to class today, after a tour of the botanical gardens and a little window shopping in Georgetown.  However, even before all of that, I apparently decided to NOT close the bottle of water in my bag, and my dance clothes got wet.  Fantastic.  Despite today’s high temperatures, there was too much humidity in the air for my clothes to try out, plus they were all bunched up in a bag, and I wasn’t about to tie them to a flag pole and let them flap in the breeze.  I couldn’t find a flag pole within reach anyway.  Furthermore, as if that wasn’t enough, apparently I only brought one ballet shoe to class.  Double fantastic.  Finally, at the time I thought I must’ve left the shoe where I’m staying, but upon further investigation it is nowhere to be found, so Billy Elliot only knows where in DC it is now.  TRIPLE fantastic.

Regardless, I was already there (and more importantly had already paid) and just went on through class with one shoe and a sock.  I wore the sock for barre, but then it started coming off and I just gave up and went halfsies barefoot for the rest of class.  Fortunately, my foot actually turned on the floor ok and jumping was fine.  It did feel weird to have even just a few millimeters of leather sole on one foot and not the other though, so I think my alignment was all “YEEK!” but my alignment is always “YEEK!” so really, it’s all in a day’s work.  I don’t think anybody cared that I was wearing only one shoe so it probably wasn’t actually embarrassing but it sure felt that way.

Anywhozle, the weirdest thing also happened when someone I’ve taken class with at OSU was in the class as well!  Actually, I knew her sister was going to be here for the summer and would drop in for classes so I thought I might see her, but I didn’t know the younger one was here too, so that was so much funny.  The older sister showed up after class to go home together (and she actually look class with Marden before too and we laughed about doing attitude pirouettes to passé and doing a body wave out of it to “move your body!”) so we chatted for a moment.  Turns out we’re all going to go see the Royal Ballet perform Manon later this week as well (Although they go on Sunday, and I on Thursday).

Back to the topic at hand, I briefly mentioned taking classes at Washington Ballet but never really discussed class itself.  Structurally, ballet classes are almost always the same but it’s always fun to see different habits different teachers have.  I first had Linda Baranovics, who is a very nice lady and according to her bio started dancing in college as well (like me!) and to see that she’s accomplished much and is teaching now is rather inspirational.  We did get stuck in class on this pique combination she was trying to work out at barre, and every time she tried to demonstrate it was different.  After a good 5 minutes, she finally decided on pique-pique-pique-brush-brush-brush-brush-close, pique-pique-pique-brush-brush-brush-brush-close, pique-pique-pique-brush-pique-brush-pique-close, pique-pique-pique-brush-brush-brush-pique-close, and a major kuditos do you if that makes sense to you!  At some point thunder rumbled outside too and she said that the heavens were angry with her combination (or something to that effect).  Perfect timing, madre nature!  There was a funny moment in class where she was giving us a petite allegro and should have given us a royale but had already said “entrechat” and rather than correct herself, paused and finished with “six.” (to which I can only say, BAH!) She also gave us a really fun grande allegro…try it! (sissonne fermeé en avant, en avant, en arriere, en arriere, tombé-pas de bourée-glissade-assemblé, tombé (left) coupe-sauté arabesque, run run tour jeté, tombé-pas de bourée-glissade-saut de chat)

As for the other classes, they were taught by Stephen Baranovics, who was a little aloof but a charming old fellow.  Whereas Linda’s class felt mostly familiar, his had some slight, but manageable differences.  Mostly, in petite allegro.  The first time I had him he did like 4 different petite allegros and kept saying he was in a very “Giselle” mood.  The second time, class was 15 minutes shorter so we only got to 2, but again he told us (er, the ladies rather) to think “Giselle.”  It was kind of funny at first, but I decided if I can get in moods for chocolate, people could totally have cravings for a certain style of dance too.  He didn’t get to grande allegro which was kind of a shame, but I need to petite like you wouldn’t believe.  I literally can’t do entrechat quatre or jeté battu to the left anymore, my body is so messed up.

Anyway, I had a really great time at Washington Ballet, and would totally recommend their classes to anyone, even you.

Royal Ballet in TWO DAYS!! VENGA!!

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