31 Jan 2017
Nerves have settled and the dancer`s energy is more directed towards performing the movement instead of just embodying the order of the sequences. The moments of tentative commitment and hesitation from yesterday have diminished significantly, hence the determined eye focus and direction in space. Observing the male contemporary class, male contemporary coaching, and female contemporary coaching this morning, I realized an increased connectivity of their bodies in motion. Instead of trying to intellectually comprehend the movement, most of the candidates trusted their bodies. They also emphasized the quality, dynamic, and control in their transitions more compared to yesterday, which is a vital aspect that often occurs once time for material to settle has been provided. Additionally, accents, angles, and new pathways were physically discovered, which as an observer who dances, are features that cause my muscles to contract and twitch a little extra.
Still, I am longing to see more separation, rotation, opposition, contraction, connectivity, and articulated backspace throughout the dancer`s ways of moving. Dancing outside of one`s silhouette by creating the space instead of simply existing in the space, demonstrates the control that a dancer really can have. I also believe that moving from within to then let the body resonate and communicate that source externally, makes the intellect and intuition of dance that much more interesting than just the movement itself. More specifically, the quality of how one is doing the movement instead of what one is doing enhances how the art form can become alive in motion. With these elements in mind, I believe that a more elongated activation throughout their bodies and faces would arise as well as a more natural will to take more risks. Releasing, falling, and being able to catch yourself simultaneously is what I believe adds to the exciting range of motion that dance is able to speak for.
Searching for these kind of qualities today, I was inspired by a certain candidate`s way of interpreting a contemporary variation to Lera Auerbach`s Préludes CV. She agreed to an interview, which I wanted to share in this post. Marina Fernandes de Costa Duarte is a 17-year-old candidate from Brazil, who has studied at the Princess Grace Academy in Monaco since 2013. Determined and supported to go to Europe due to the lack of attention for the arts in Brazil, she was still a bit scared at first. However, today she said: “I have had the best 4 years of my life here”, describing how her life in Europe has made her open to everything. With the discipline that ballet provides, she has remained focused on her dance and academic studies, and has made it into this supportive and welcoming competition environment. Excited to be at the Prix de Lausanne, it is also hard when everything is so new. Therefore, she has consistently had to remind herself to be who she is while simultaneously staying open and learning from all the teachers, coaches, and candidates around her. It makes the process smoother, which I could not agree more with. She has also noticed the important ways in which she needs to take care of herself during and after the 10 hour long days. Staying warm, eating, and resting enough are crucial habits. Some of the companies that she is interested in after graduation are the Stuttgart Ballet and the Bavarian State Ballet in Germany. Later on in her professional career, she also desires to pursue a university degree and something in the lines of the contemporary work NDT produces.
I wish her and the rest of the candidates all the luck for this week!