The urgency to create + the importance of awkwardness.
Updated: Dec 23, 2021
I know I said that for my next blog post I would do a Vlog, but then a lot of things happened in my life that made me change my mind.
What is important to me right now, is that my thoughts are written, because when I write I take time to be as clear as possible, I re read everything that I wrote, and sometimes I correct some words and thoughts. Sometimes I use the wrong expressions so the next day I correct it and so on and so on... But the main reason why I decided to keep writing is that I want to accelerate the creative process. Editing and commenting a video about my Cecchetti experience can be fun but it is extremely long, if you have experience with Adobe Premiere. But I feel now the urge to create and quite honestly I want to do it with no rules. I have already decided what I want to choreograph a long time ago, and I think I need to dedicate it at least 2 months. I really feel that the Cecchetti vocabulary opened some thoughts of mine about how I can move my body -with the pointe shoes- and I have already chosen the musical piece I want to choreograph as a result of this lab. Now let's get back to the Cecchetti vocabulary. I will leave this post as free as it can be. Right now I can only say that these excercises are pretty hard, that coordination is something that we constantly forget to work on. And that I make amazing discoveries by daring to feel AWKWARD. When you study Cecchetti, you feel AWKWARD, UNGRACEFUL, STRANGE. And it is because the steps are hard, we never do them in class, so it is obvious that we will feel awkward, like learning a new language, you don't even know how to pronounciate your own name correctly. But also, Ballet has become so superficial that even in the training we are forced to pretend that everything is fine. If we are not even allowed to make mistakes while we LEARN, how are we ever gonna be able to be free? Some things in the Cecchetti method are so difficult that they demand extra work and extra thoughts. This is why I love it, because it made me realize that I was uncoordinated in some movements that I didn't even know they existed.
And if we don't dare to feel awkward and silly, then we never suprass our FEARS, therefore, WE NEVER GET TO BE FREE.
And my desire is to be free. So in order to be free on stage, I challenge my awkwardness in the studio, but honestly not many ballet dancers get to have this chance. Which is what I appreciate about being a freelancer, I decide how honest my dancing is, without someone imposing their style on my body. About challenging your frustrations: one thing is to feel awkward. Another very different thing is to LOOK awkward. And a lot of the Cecchetti movements feel awkward but actually look very good. It is a coincidence, or maybe not, that with Placement MEthod some things also feel awkward, even more than with Cecchetti Method, so yeah I am not scared of being unconfortable. But ballet teachers (sorry guys, you will feel personnaly attacked by this) most of the time they say they don't want to see you being awkward, they imidiately want beauty.
And immediate beauty is superficial
There are two kinds of physical beauty that I defined in my head:
Beauty that comes from genetics
Beauty that comes from the surpassing of obstacles and resulted into DIGNITY.
Both are enjoyable to watch, but only the second one is timeless, and ageless.
With my body strengthened by Placement Method, I feel that I can surpass the Cecchetti challenges at a faster rythm than if I was a normal ballet dancer. Because I made it clear already in my previous posts, once you do Placement Method, you never go back to the normal toxic ballet pedagogics. Remember that I said that studying Placement Method made me separate better my pointeless emtions from my real emotions? Well this re education has led me to make the difference between an awkwardness that comes from looking to discover new things, from the awkwardness that comes from not having a clue of what you are doing because someone is pointing at you with their finger. So, now that I explained why it is important to dare to feel awkward, I can finally show my very unperfect attemps of some Cecchetti excercises. I will always repeat this: since I already have the aplomb structured, I warm up always with Placement Method, so I am now trying some Wednesday excercises, in Ceccheti's method those are dedicated to work on Turnout, which is perfect for Placement. But I am trying to complete some Tuesday excercises too.
A close person of mine, who is also an artist (film maker) told me that the music from these excercises sounds stupid and kitschy. I know. The music sounds old fashioned and silly. It probably is. But the point of this choreographic laboratory is NOT to keep this music. The point is to learn this vocabulary in order to create. And when you start openning yourself to the creative process you see so many possibilities that the music from these excercises become just the materialisation of a tempo that I need to work on. I say this for ballet dancers. Because I know contemporary dancers a far more used to the creative process. So most of what I write in here is directed to the ballet world.
I will not comment on each video like I planned, instead I will show myself struggling (sorry if I say some bad words, I'm a real human and I have the right to curse, some close people of mine tell me I am a truck driver inside a ballerina's body. hehe) But just take a look at those adagios, and imagine if you worked on them every day of your professional ballet life. Some pirouettes have ending twists, epaulements that we would never imagine to do in class, even less on stage. The bring me such freshness, because I really thought Ballet could not be better. Well it can.
To keep in mind: All the Cecchetti excercises are done in maximum 90 degrees leg height. This makes it even harder. Specially when we do 90°, because we need strong Placement in order to do 90° developpé à la seconde, and it is even more difficult than to do 180° developpé.
For this excercise I left our laughters because they really look easy but when we try, the coordination is so difficult that we always get confused. It actually takes a lot of time to do one of these excercises because we need to repeat them and figure things out alone. What I mean with awkwardness. It really is fun to discover all these combinations despite the difficulties and specially with no ballet master making us feel bad about ourselves. A thing I always cherish about my friends and colleagues. No need for humiliation, just efficient corrections.
And for the last part I repost this video from a Cecchetti excercise that I posted on Social Media with a Kanye West song, just so you can imagine that some music can really fit well into these Cecchetti excercises, it just depends on how willing we are to open our minds to infinite future possibilities:
Gefördert durch die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien im Programm NEUSTART KULTUR, Hilfsprogramm DIS-TANZEN des Dachverbands Tanz Deutschlands.