Tag Archives: body

A Work in Progress (with Guest Artwork)

ballet3invertedballet2inverted

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ― Confucius

It has been a very busy week preparing for our annual showcase. Long days leave us with hanging limbs, aching muscles, cracking ankles, and lots of homework waiting in our school bags. And I love it. Even when it means the rest of Canada is celebrating a long weekend while we have rehearsals in two out of the three days.

Don’t  get me wrong, I enjoy being lazy. There truly is nothing like lounging around on a couch reading a book, watching nostalgic television shows, and blogging away here on WP, but being busy is satisfying. Having work and goals leads to personal growth that makes us feel like a contributing part of society. Vacation is great, but I think, as human beings, if we had all the time in the world we would still find some project to work on, because we are naturally curious that way.

In ballet, it is much the same way except we can’t decide when we dance from when we want to, but also when we need to – it’s about discipline as much as desire. Maintaining strength and stamina is especially important the days leading up to a performance because often, muscle memory isn’t enough. After getting into the routine, our bodies crave the exercise, and sometimes even the soreness, strangely enough.

Ballet is a never-ending process of discovery. Each day, we get into class practising the same movements we’ve been doing for years. But then again, it’s never the same because bodies change and we are constantly finding new ways to engage our muscles and refine our artistry. Perfectionism is a raging epidemic in dancers because everyone is in pursuit of pure, classical, virtuosity. There is an internal hunger in all of us to reach the ideal, ballerina whose picture only becomes more perfect the closer we get. It’s what keeps us on our toes.

The older I get, the more I realize you cannot have a successful career unless you are head-over-heels-flat-on-your-face in love with ballet. Work is paired with passion, and learning about the art form and yourself is just as important as the performance onstage. With the words from my teacher, I’ve realized that there is never a finished product and that we are not “finished dancers”, especially as students still in a school. There is always more to learn and more to improve on to fulfill the potential that sometimes we don’t see in ourselves. And this does not only apply to ballet.

——————————————————————————————————–

http://greenembers.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/ballet1inverted.png?w=179&h=319
I would like to acknowledge Bradley for his beautiful sketches (that he drew for me a LONG time ago) and that inspired me to write this post. Please check out the original art and his blog here!

As you’ve read, I have incorporated an excuse for my inactivity in this post and am itching to complete all the ideas that I had a few weeks ago in my What Now? list. There is a lot of school work to be done this weekend, and as I’ve mentioned, rehearsals, but I am determined to write at least one little something each day.

Thanks for reading,
thebookybunhead

10 Comments

Filed under Dance

Two Shorts inspired by Iain M. Banks (NaPoWriMo #4)

Prosthetic Conscience

I have a special friend that suspends my moral level
Sometimes I don’t want a halo, but to play a li’l devil
Think for a moment, open the hatch of my head
Take the voice out and stuff in a pocket instead

Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill

Glancing sideways
At a suspiciously beautiful figure
Earnings from apples and million sidewalk steps
Start of a smile tiptoes into her face
But tiny muscles tip swaying balance
And she falls off the cloud
Transfers weight to see
A warped reflection
The funhouse mirror extinguishes proud fire
The ‘her’ she saw and liked was reality’s liar

I found the prompt really interesting today. Two other titles that I would use if I had time are Irregular Apocalypse and Very Little Gravitas Indeed (I write this in case I want to continue this thread of inspiration someday). Visit http://www.napowrimo.net  for more information!

Thanks for reading,
thebookybunhead

PS: Pretty sure that’s a stock image but here’s the source anyway: http://coyoteprime-runningcauseicantfly.blogspot.ca/2012/06/chet-raymo-angels-and-devils-part-2.html

4 Comments

Filed under NaPoWriMo Challenge

5 quick ways to relax (and stop panic in its tracks)

Life is not a straight, flat road which is good since that would be awfully boring. But sometimes it can get a bit too hectic mentally or physically, so here are a few easy ways to catch those runaway emotions, collect yourself, and relax quickly in times of dire stress.

breathe
1. Breathe deeply, very deeply

We are always breathing, but we do not always think about it. Our bodies need oxygen so take in some deep breaths to fill up your entire lungs and bodies like Aunt Marge in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Go outside if you can, sometimes fresh air is all you need.

2. Immerse yourself in music

Grab your iPod and those headphones and blast your favourite tunes. Whether it is your angry, sad, or optimistic playlist, listen, really listen to the music for a few minutes escape from reality to refocus your head.

Girl talking on the phone about a boyfriend, 1951 by Gordon Parks. S)
3. Vent it out

Talk. It is much more efficient than texting and there is something very satisfying in hearing your own voice spew out all the thoughts that have been occupying your subconscious. Just be sure to pick a good listener whom you trust so there is no holding back in clearing your head space.

4. Drink something

It is amazing how much energy is drained from stress, so water is best to hydrate your body. Make a quick cup of tea, drink a  good ol’ glass of tap water (Toronto’s is very good, by the way) or even splash some water on your face for some extra refreshing effects.

Focus

5. Direct your energy

When there is no time, concentrate every particle in your body on the task at hand. Don’t think, just do. Acknowledge your troubles but set them aside, and use any negative energy to do a simple, random task. It will release the bad vibes and you also get to check something off your to-do list.
(Like for literalism!)

It has been a very long day not short of some rough spots. It was a day of big tests and big rehearsals – my brain and my legs are fried. Some of these really helped me today and I don’t want to forget them, so that explains the unexpected advice post. I hope it was somewhat helpful.

Thanks for reading,
-thebookybunhead

4 Comments

Filed under The happenings, Words

A most human art form

A painter has a canvas, a musician, an instrument, an athlete, a ball or a puck, but a dancer? Dancers have their own bodies. Living, breathing art.

ballet

Dancers have nothing to hide behind, what they do is a pure expression of themselves – just people and their movements on a stage. Their work is fleeting, it passes through time and exists in the present – a dance cannot be captured fully, just as a portrait photograph is only a fragment of a breathing, human being. Dancers expose themselves to the world, placing their very identity in a most vulnerable position under the world’s eyes. And yet they are powerful, a celebration of human strength and artistry. Maybe that is why dance strikes a chord in nearly everyone, because there is such depth and sincerity in what can be expressed through the human body.

Ah, but with the pride of a dancer comes a challenge. A body changes, a person changes, and your work along with it. Every day a new balance must be found, muscle memory joggled, flexibility and stamina renewed. One day my pointe shoes are a size 4 1/2 the next day a 5. I can feel the backs of my legs engaging to solidify my ankle alignment, and in the future I may have trouble finding the same sensation. The body is very capable of adapting to situations dancers put them through, but sometimes it needs help in concentration and discipline to reach the perfection that all dancers envision in their dreams. It is a constant journey to discover the utmost potential of our bodies and the truest artists we can possibly be to ourselves. My ballet teacher taught me that. I feel very privileged to be a part of this art form for sharing the simplest joy of expressing myself through myself, as myself, in ways that words cannot explain.

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” -Martha Graham

Read, dance, and don’t forget to smile,
-thebookybunhead

5 Comments

Filed under Dance