Monday, November 7, 2011

Magical Moment 591, "Reach"

I play for 8 ballet classes a week, 4 pointe classes, 1 variation, and 1 character class. It's a proud and content feeling I have to be in the position of doing what I love professionally, and one I hope to never take for granted and always strive to become better. At one time, it was just a daydream that I could be paid to play piano, or to record an original album of my very own with a New York City recording label. And yet somehow, it's become a dream come true, and new dreams for the future are ever forming in my head. 

During a ballet class, while watching young, aspiring ballerinas perfect their technique, I heard the teacher describe the Arabesque position. It is one of the most beautiful, graceful, and difficult poses in ballet in which the dancer's arm creates a long, lean line in front of their body. The fingers must be just the right amount of relaxed, yet shaped with precision. The leg needs to stretch. The foot must not be sickled. The toes fiercely pointed. But those fingers, that arm, must reach.

She walked up and down the wooded barre, making personal corrections where needed. Moving an arm half an inch here, a finger or thumb half a flinch there, until a picture perfect statue was formed by each dancer. But it didn't stop with limbs. 
"I want to see it in your face." She said. "What are you reaching for? I want to see your hopes and dreams written on your face." In a mere second, expressions of indifference, hesitance, and concentration were transformed into those of longing and passion. The teacher nodded at me, giving me the go ahead for their musical preparation of the exercise. "Look at your finger tips, and show me your hopes and dreams."

5 and a, 6 and a, 7 and 8...I knew I would never have the physical grace and beauty of a dancer, but feeling certain that the longing on my face was identical to theirs, I watched my fingertips as I played, day dreaming about future hopes and dreams.

Yuan Yuan Tan in arabesque position 
in Nutcracker (photo, Erik Tomasson)


~~~
From Behind the Piano...

17 comments:

Susan in the Boonies said...

Yes. That's beautiful: so parallel to your experience!

Look at your fingertips, and show me your hopes and dreams!

Linda said...

May all your hopes and dreams be realized, my friend.

Daniel said...

Constructed by mathematical precision, your words grace the ivory as dancers transform themselves by becoming fixated in the moment.

I enjoyed reading your words filled with grace and strength. They magically evoked an emotional response. Thank you

Michael Manning said...

I'm enjoying your site as a newcomer! Very nice!!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

oh yes, WHAT ARE YOU REACHING FOR?????

TexWisGirl said...

this gave me shivers as i read your relation to the lesson. just wonderful. thanks for sharing this...

Busy Bee Suz said...

Beautiful....and beautifully written.
We all must remember that 'reach'...inside and outside.
xo

Dawn said...

It sounds so beautiful....and this dancing- what a great parallel to life!

Leonora said...

The beauty of the dance and the music has spilled over, into your writing. Wonderful!

missing moments said...

Enjoyed your writing ... we must always stretch and reach ... always!

Leontien said...

oh how i love ballet! And your post!

I hope all your dreams come true...

big hugs
Leontien

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I want to see it in your face! I like that thought.

Rick said...

Very well put - if the reaching for hopes and dreams isn't expressed in the face and especially the eyes, then going through the motions will be mechanical at best. As the saying goes, the eyes are the window to the soul.

Nicely written !

laughwithusblog said...

I'm so glad you're doing what you love! We do keep dreaming don't we?

Jayne said...

Ah yes, stand on your tippy toes, reach for the sky! What you give to the dancers and what they give to you is a thing of beauty. And you express that gorgeously. :)

Kold_Kadavr_flatliner, sub/dude said...

Hey, you, miss gorgeous... Lookit ‘MySoulAccomplishment’ - God only gives bawls to those who see the need for humility. God blessa youse -Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL

Steve Gravano said...

Good post, it's the reaching that brings us closer to our dreams. All that stretching and reaching will be worth it!