December 15, 2011

Vaganova Love.

Ok, so I'm a little pissed because I've typed up almost the complete entry to this post but then Chrome decided to crash on me and the only thing that 'saved' was my embedded video. Gahhh. =.=

So anyways... The Vaganova workshop was AWESOME. There was 2 Junior classes and 2 Senior classes, but since I registered late, the first Senior class was already full, leaving only ONE more place left for the other senior class. And I was lucky to have even cinched that spot. Also, the rest (Lika, Seow Hui and Ice) had opted to observe both Junior classes, and since the first Senior class was full, I thought I'd go observe it instead.

Hey, at least I'd get something out of it too!

Oh, and here's a little about the Russian Vaganova method:

The Vaganova method is a method of teaching classical ballet that was 
developed by Agrippina Vaganova in between 1922-1951. The Vaganova 
method includes the development of lower back strength and arm plasticity, 
and the requisite strength, flexibility and endurance for ballet. Its technique 
encourages dancers to move their arms, legs and torso together in perfect 
harmony. A strong torso is a necessity for the Vaganova method, as the torso 
forms the foundation of all movements.

And here was the schedule for said workshop:

For a workshop based on THE famous Vaganova Method, the fees are pretty darn cheap. But I admit, I was pretty nervous about dancing in public after about a year's hiatus from dancing. And no, the little dancing in between do not count.

The teacher/choreographers would be Ms Ena Hirose and Ms Jie Choong Wan-Chin.

Sad to say, I had no idea who they were before the workshop. *A*

The hotel was LOVELY, and I took to it immediately upon seeing it.

However when we observed the Junior class the next day, I got even more nervous. It was JUNIOR class, and already the bar was set up rather high. Seow Hui even joked that if THAT was Junior class, she was going to tell the teachers that she wanted to take up Pre-Primary class instead. xD

There was one little girl, though, that I think literally stole the hearts of everyone there. Little Alicia Poh. She was ADORABLE. The smallest of the Junior class, she was also one of the best. And one of the best at the variation they were taught too. I thought it was nice that they taught variations for both the senior and junior classes. Coming from Kuantan, we learn purely from syllabus and have no chance of otherwise properly learning any variation. The variation that the Juniors did was the Cupido variation from Don Quixote. Imagine little Alicia doing that. Eurgh I had cavities watching her. xD

I would post a video, but 1) We weren't allowed to take pictures/videos, and 2) I couldn't find any video in Youtube that was similar or the exact version of what they did. But yeah, search that variation up in Youtube and you'll get an idea what it looks like if you don't already know Cupido's variation.

Later that day was also the first Senior class; the one I would be observing. The things they taught, I hadn't expected any less, what with the grade and all. But what I WAS surprised was that during the variation, they allowed to do en demi pointe. Those who wanted to do it en pointe were welcome to do so, and if you think that you'd rather do it en demi pointe to get the steps first, you were welcome to do that also. So basically they had a choice.

The teachers said that the main aim of this workshop, other than to teach us the Vaganova methods of ballet, were, first and foremost, TO HAVE FUN.

She's having fun. Really.

Me? Heck, did you even have to ask? If I were given a CHOICE, of course I'd do it en demi pointe! xD

The second day, we only had one Junior class to observe, so things weren't so tiring. I was poofed the day before, and I hadn't even danced at that. I could imagine the others who danced. We also decided to take pictures with the teachers, so here it is:

Ms Ena (red shirt) and Ms Wan-Ching (far left)

And although we had literally an entire free day to ourselves, we spent most of it lazing around in the hotel room. Ice, on the other hand, spent it bugging the rest of us that she wanted to go swimming. We finally caved in to her (very noisy) demands at around midday at 4-ish. 

Only to find that:

1. We had to cross the mall to go to a lift that would take us to the pool (and we were clad only in bathrobes and hotel slippers on top of our swimming suits),
2. It was actually Fitness First's swimming pool, not the hotel's itself. But hotel guests could swim there.
3. ICE CAN'T SWIM. Yes, the person who had been bugging us since after the Junior observation that day couldn't actually swim.

We also found out, much to our horror, that the water was freezing, and later on, that it was filled with mucus. So we dubbed it 'Pei Si Sui' (Mucus Water). xD It was disgusting, so we never really lasted long in the pool after we found out. And then we also found out that the towels rented had a kind of damp, foul stench to it once it got wet.


On the last day though, and on the day I would be dancing, we found out previously that we'd be doing the same variation that was taught the other day; meaning that we'd be doing Kitri again. So we practised in the hotel room beforehand, and made do with whatever limited space we had.

I was excited to do the variation; it looked fun, although I knew it must have been really tiring because it's so fast.

But come middle of barre work, I was beginning to feel it's toll. one year's absence from dance really had it's effect on me as I felt my legs becoming weak and couldn't even last en demi pointe to do an ecarte.
But come center work, I felt much better. I figured it was the strengthening exercises that took a toll on my old muscles. ;p

I was most excited for variation... which then proved how much HARDER it actually was compared to how it looked. I was tired by then, and when you repeat the variation about 3 times, you get even more tired. And my toes were starting to hurt.
Actually, they felt like they might disconnect from the soles of my feet anytime.

And of course, the only pain I felt were my toes at that time, but I knew that my body had a slow reaction to almost everything. It wasn't until we got back in Kuantan early Thursday morning (around 1-2AM-ish) that I began to feel the pinch. My body ached from my hip down, and I could feel my muscles ache with every move I made. But at the same time, it felt GOOD to feel my muscles hurting. Nothing says 'you worked hard' better than aching muscles to come back to. ;p

P/S: I was lucky this time to be able to find the exact version of the Kitri Variation that we did in class:

And finally, some pictures of us after class! ^^

With Ms Ena Hirose^^

'Sor por' Ice.

With Ms Wan-Chin. ^^