The Russian State Ballet of Siberia -Coppélia & Swan Lake


I am, as always, utterly blown away when I see a professional ballet company perform on stage and to watch performances on two consecutive nights, by The Russian State Ballet of Siberia, was an absolute honour. Having the ‘smallest of small’ working knowledges of ballet that I have, helps to hit home just how good these dancers are. The effortless lines, the musicality, the exquisite jumps, lifts and turns that they execute 100’s of times in one ballet. I really am in utter awe of anyone who has the ability and drive to make, what I purely do for pleasure, a career. I know that ballet is with me to stay now. It’s part of who I am. It’s a part of the jigsaw of my life that interconnects with so many other parts of my life now and I am so thankful that I decided to pursue something that, at the beginning, was such a shot in the dark 😊

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New Year, New Class!

Firstly Happy New Year to everyone! I can’t quite believe where last year went. Honestly, I think I blinked and missed it! 🙂

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This week was the first week back at class and both myself and my wife have moved up to ‘Improvers’ from ‘Beginners’. We were both so excited when we asked our teacher at the end of last term whether she felt we were ready to move up. She, in turn, spoke to the ballet mistress at the school and she gave her approval. We were both over the moon!

Fortunately we have the same teacher in both classes, so at least we knew someone in the new class. I won’t deny that the new class was tough! We ended up doing grand ronde de jambes, penchés, attitudes, ALL THE MOVES! 😉

I even surprised our teacher when she remarked to me, after we did turns, that I ended up facing the correct way! I even got a ‘nice’ for my tendus! 🙂

The other people in the class were friendly and we had a nice laugh with them. Mixed abilities in the class, I would say. Some of the dancers were VERY good and others were about the same technical ability as my wife and myself, so we certainly didn’t feel out of place.

So, here’s to an awesome 2017, where I know that my learning curve will go vertical for a little while! 😉

Private Ballet Lesson at Danceworks, London

I don’t know if I’m going to be able to put into words how perfect my birthday has been. I wish I was more eloquent to be able to express the emotions that I’m feeling right now. My private ballet lesson at Danceworks with Adam Pudney was utterly awe-inspiring! I’ve never danced in such close proximity to a pro male dancer and to try and emulate him was beyond inspiring. When I was chatting to him between exercises and when I was explaining how utterly proud I am to say that I dance ballet and how much it means to me, I was nearly in tears. Just because this really does mean so much to me. I find it tough to explain to a non-dancer what ballet means, but when you are talking to a guy whose life is ballet, he totally gets it. This wasn’t just a dance class, it was a therapy sofa, it was a playground, it was religious experience, it was a chat with a long lost friend, it was all of these things rolled into one. I cannot thank my wife enough for organising this for me. This has been, without a doubt, the best birthday ever. It simply could not have been more perfect!! ❤️

Giselle, English National Ballet, Southampton

 

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I went to see The English National Ballet perform Akram Kahn’s Giselle today at The Mayflower, Southampton.

And bloody hell, what an amazing ballet it was! Totally different than anything I’ve seen before, and really was, as they say, a complete reimagining of the story of Giselle. I won’t give any spoilers away for anyone going to watch it, but I love what Akram Kahn and the ENB creative team have done differently to the story. It is definitely a contemporary ballet, and the first contemporary ballet that I’ve seen, so did take a few minutes to get into the ‘non classical ballet’ mode in my mind. The staging, the score (which is so eerie) and the costuming really lend themselves perfectly to this production. Some parts of the ballet was actually really, really quite scary. In fact they were scary as hell! If you’ve seen the film ‘Silent Hill’, then that gives you a bit of an idea of some of the impressionist – almost surreal – aspects of the ballet. It made you feel uncomfortable and incredibly uneasy (in a weird, good way) at some points, particularly Giselle’s madness scene. Very well choreographed, incredible dancing and definitely worth watching if you get chance to see it (even if just on DVD in the future). Bravo ENB 👏👏👏 Had a fair few goosebump moments and definitely had a tear in my eye in a few places. Plus a special hats-off to the queen of the willies who, whilst en pointe, dragged Giselle halfway across the stage. Bloody hell!!

Game Face On!

Great couple of classes recently! Our normal teacher hasn’t been available unfortunately, so we have had a stand-in. And I have to say she has been amazing! She doesn’t normally teach at the studio, but she was a student herself there who went off to do teacher training. A lot of stand-ins (so I’ve heard from other schools) haven’t been so great, and I have had a small brush with this myself, but the lady who took our class this week and last week was phenomenal! She had us doing jetés and everything!! 🙂

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Just For a Bit of Fun!

Afternoon all! Apologies for the lack of blog posts recently! But good news, classes have started up again! Thank goodness! I was starting to miss ballet class a little bit TOO much.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few ballet-related graphic designs I’ve made. I had to keep myself busy somehow over the 7 week Summer-shutdown that our dance school had over the school holidays.

So, just for a bit of fun, here are a few of the designs that I’ve made…