What is hard is to go deeper and deeper into movement vocabulary every day without repeating what you did the day before. Pushing harder than yesterday is the way to progress further tomorrow. We are working on this in the studio. To enter this deep work you need to be organised. “Organised with your mind, limbs, yourself in the studio, and yourself with other dancers you interact with.”
The dancers are learning that they need to be organised from the beginning or else you can’t reach the finish line with your head held high. From the start of the warm up, into the barre, ordered thoughts needs to set you up for success, not failure. Creating clear pathways with the legs and arms; a logical and practically designed map. “Know where your battement tendu devant, à la seconde and derrière arrive at! It’s never a whatever movement!”
Another focus is to control thoughts that drag you in too many directions. In the studio we work to create a distraction-free concentration to push cognitive and physical abilities to their limit. Even a dancer’s eyes change when they are are focussed and ready to work.
Work that is shallow and done with distraction, doesn’t allow real creativity and tends to reproduce content that has been shown before. Like my father used to say, “don’t bluff yourself.” It is definitely a matter of being honest about the work that you put in every day.
The wonderful thing is that our brains are capable to build up stamina for this kind of work, we just need to take the opportunity and delve deep to excavate the gems.
((Pictures by @Lee Wai Leung)