Monday, May 21, 2007

Rainy Day As It Should Be

Today, just like the two days that passed, it rained. Today, unlike the two days that passed, I was able to feed my artistic hunger and nourish that part of me that needed to be nourished.

I took Chris's contemporain classe which I enjoyed so much because this genre is something out of Chris's comfort zone. He is just beginning to transcend his fascination on contemporary dance and transform it to love. And I am very happy to be part of his exploration on contemporary dance. I love it that he is now able to translate his ideas into a movement vocabulary that's totally different from that which he grew up with. I admire him for his drive that never wanes. He has progressed amazingly fast and there's just a lot more to learn out there. And he knows it. And he's very eager to learn more. Bravo, Crith!

Later in the afternoon, I joined Julie's lyircal jazz class. She continued the class combination from where we left off yesterday, which truly challenged everything in me: stamina, athleticism, center, flexibility, speed, pick-up, artistry. Just about everything I have learned and developed in my years of training as a dancer. In short, she challenged my "being" a dancer.

Doing Julie's combination (which was practically the whole of Stevie Wonder's "Lately") made me recollect on my days with Enrico Labayen as his student. Rico used to call me "Balance Queen" because, modesty aside, staying sur les demi-pointe (for my non-dancer friends, sur les demi-pointe means "tippy-toe", as shown in the image on the right) in any position on either leg is, for me, a piece of cake. And he referred to that as my "sacred place". In his classes and choreographies, he even gave me the license to stay in my sacred place however long I wish and just catch up on my steps whenever I decide to come down.

I smiled in class today when I remembered the summer when I learned a solo piece that he created for himself which was supposed to be his swan song (image on the left shows Rico doing this piece). It didn't turn out to be such because it won him another choreographic award and he was asked to do it in various festivals and major dance concerts all over the world. There was a moment in the piece where I was supposed to go on attitude derriere sur les demi-pointe (image shown on the right shows the attitude derriere position; of course my line isn't as beautiful as that, but that's how it's done). In one of our rehearsals, I stayed in that position thrice as long as I should. I was just there, unmovable, in a meditative state, loving every second of it. That run ended in an emotional breakdown --- something I've never experienced before that moment, and something I've never experienced again since then.

I sort of reconnected with my "sacred Place" again after a long while in Julie's "Lately" combination. Towards the end of the chorus, where Stevie sings "...Coz this time could mean good-bye..", we were asked to stay in this almost-grotesque position (attitude front on a lay-back) for one whole bar while swaying subtely right and left.. almost like this picture below but on a straight supporting leg.

Was it easy? No, not like before, I must admit. But I did it somehow. And Teacher Julie commended me for that! :-)

Tomorrow, it will be raining again. And Julie will be finishing the last few bars left unchoreographed. I might be needing another one whole day to learn the whole dance by heart. By Wednesday, whether by the artistic juices that will come out of me if God decides to send us some rain, or by the stored artistic drive I gathered from yesterday's downpour, I will dance it the way I did Enrico Labayen's "Butterfly". From the silence of my soul.