They say the best way to learn a new language is to be completely submerged in the culture. Be forced to hear and speak only that language. And before you know it, you'll be asking where the bananas are in that foreign tongue!
I was shocked to learn this is true for the world of ballet as well. After almost 2 months of playing for ballet rehearsals, I'm finally catching on to what in the world they're talking about. As an accompanist, I have to pay very close attention to the words (mostly French) and demonstrations of the instructor in order to choose an appropriate song to play for the combination. There have been several times when I've played an introduction and the instructor stopped me, "Nope, wrong kind of rhythm for tendu..."
Yesterday, I walked down the hall to my living room and suddenly had the urge jump up onto one tip-toe with my arms rounded in front of me and finger tips touching. Eddie looked up from the computer, puzzled at the abrupt motion. I sheepishly realized what I had absent-mindedly done and explained, "That's a relevé sous-sus in first position." He still looked puzzled. I found myself continuing, "This is how you open to second, plié down, stretch, and finish." He nodded like he was humoring a small child.
Oh yes. I know all about dégagé, grand battement, jeté, and posé. I know when you put them together in different ways, they mean different movements...I suddenly feel like a Von Trap child learning all about do, re, mi! (Cue the music) "When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything!" When I know what the French words are, I can play much better by far!
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