Today was our last day in the studio, so it had to be especially thoughtful work in order that tomorrow goes as smoothly as possible on stage. It is easier to rehearse in the comfort of a studio compared to a stage. The past few days have given opportunity for all involved to discuss and talk about their thoughts after the day’s work. These are always great learning and sharing sessions. Here are a few points of discussion that arose:
Aiming for the strongest, most precise “healthy” technique gives a dancer a good chance to develop in the right way. With this secure foundation one can advance very far, preventing injury. Classical ballet is the base of many dance forms and is the style that crafts the body beautifully, allowing it to adapt and be versatile.
Often, if good technique is not in place, one could loose the chance to show artistic ability. A dancer should be disciplined before she can be free. Technique facilitates freedom and allows you to say what you want. You have to know a language before you can speak and express with the body. Technique is not something that you add later like an accessory. The more detailed you know the body and it’s anatomy, the easier the brain can translate this information physically.
Technique manifests itself in all the work; class, rehearsal, good improvisation, classical or contemporary repertoire. The work of applying sound technique stays the same throughout. Continuing to work well over time allows the body to create the right muscle memory and a snowball effect occurs where the dancer becomes accumulatively better. When good work is constantly applied with the right intention, things fall beautifully into place.
The crucial point would then be to really embody the movement vocabulary with technique. Be true to the work. “It’s not what you do, but how you do it…finish off the movement, finish the sentence you want to say.” There is a great difference between cheating a movement as apposed to being in it wholeheartedly and giving full value. “Half work” does not get you far. “There is no point!” It’s not about having an idea only, but rather having an exact picture in your head about what you want to “say.” Even if a phrase is danced with the colour red in mind, dig deeper and ask yourself what tone of red, is it faded or bright, does it smell like iron or is it a smokey red? “Be specific!”
Let’s have fun while dancing smartly.
(Picture by Johnatan Molina)