Monday, March 19, 2007

Pas de Deux Redux

Again with SONNETS. So now Rachel has finished her solo and we have another pas de deux. If you haven't gotten the drift yet, the pas de deux is a backbone of ballet staging. I guess people like seeing a man and woman dance with each other. Even though, strictly speaking, pas de deux just means two people dancing with each other. They don't even need to touch. But most of the time when people use the word, they are really referring to a dance with some partnering in it. You can see me on the floor because I am giving notes. So they are actually just fixing one piece of the pas in this photo. This pas de deux is set to two sonnets and some lovely folk music. One of the sonnets used is actually my favorite...

Being your slave what should I do but tend
Upon the hours, and times of your desire?
I have no precious time to spend;
Nor services to do, till you require.
Nor dare I chide the world without end hour,
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you
nor think the bitterness of absence sour,
When you have bid your servant once adieu;
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
But, like a sad slave, taty and think of nought
Save where you are, how happy you make those
So true a fool is love, that in your will,
Though you do anything, he thinks no ill.

So I guess you now know why I am single :) Once burned...

Pali and Gabriela do the dance of subjegation. After we hired Gabriela, we discovered that we are distantly related. She is married to the son of the cousin of my uncle's wife. She reminds me of something that Fred Astaire once said of Cyd Charisse. "That Cyd! When you danced with her... you stayed DANCED WITH!" Gabriela is like that. She goes for things full out! She is also originally from Mexico, so she will often speak in Spanish with me. Which is an extra plus. Makes it feel like home. Pali (who we sometimes jokingly refer to as Prince Pali) is from Hungary. Pali has the greatest posture and bearing. We always laugh because wherever we are on tour, you can always pick out Pali in any hotel lobby or crowded hall, because he is always is standing straighter than anyone around him. Not at attention, but more like something out of a finishing school for Hungarian dukes and barons. You half expect him to pull out his saber and mount some horse. So together Pali and Gabriela make an arresting couple.

Here Ahita is helping out with a particularly tricky step. They begin on balance... then go off balance... promenade off balance... prepare for a lift by going further off balance... lift... and then get back on balance for a moment. What makes it a bit more difficult is that the pas de deux is very smooth. it just sort of flows from one thing to the next. So transitions must be seemless. It is a fairly difficult piece, but it has to look easy.

Here is the preperation for the lift. If you notice Pali has let go of Gabriela's leg but it has gotten higher. That is why dancers go to class everyday. You have no doubt also noticed Pali's blue shoes. That isn't a fashion statement. He is recycling shoes that were used in another ballet... Sleeping Beauty (where he played the Bluebird.)

And here is the balance at the end of the lift. Now, if we are cleaning things as well as running them, that means that there can be some down time for other dancers. Do you see that group of dancers in back? They are being very naughty.
Bad dancers!
Bad dancers!
Talking inside the rehearsal room is frowned upon.

So here are a few of them out in the hallway. If someone is trying to do their best dancing, not only is it distracting, but it is disrespectful to talk in the rehearsal room. After all, the dancers performing might think that they are the subject of the discussion. Back when I was dancing I could go the entire rehearsal day without uttering a word.



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