We learned a new step in ballet class last week. It is called a failli and is something like a very elegant falling over out of an arabesque, at least the way we do it. According to the internet and to some important ballet technique book, failli means «giving way». According to my teacher, it means «failed». The dictionary sides with my teacher.
We did the step again today, as it is part of our little choreography. The word failli rather fitted my day, which included headaches, lower-than-expected productivity and silly, annoying little mistakes. I even contemplated missing ballet class, but only for half a second or so.
A quarter of an hour after class started I was already even more unhappy with myself. We were through pliés, tendus and jetés and well into fondues and everything was terrible. My feet would not point, my arms were made of angles, my core was wibbly wobbly timey wimey and why. was. everything. so. damn. HARD?!
It was then that I looked in the mirror and really consciously realised in my apparently rather thick head that we were doing all our usual barre exercises in the center. Not only is this much harder for obvious reasons, it also allows you to see in the mirror precisely how bad your turnout is, how far your hip strays and what exactly those arms are doing when you’re not paying immediate attention to them.
After this admittedly brilliant realisation my grumpiness subsided somewhat. The skeleton in the closet helped. Literally. There’s a little store room in the studio which has no door. It houses yoga mats, balls (the rubber kind), the stereo system and for some reason a life-sized skeleton which I swear wasn’t there last week. I used its skull as a spot during soutenus. This was slightly surreal and more than slightly improved my mood.
We learned the rest of our choreography, which now amounts to two whole minutes and 19 seconds! On the last run, we decided to film it again and another girl physically shoved me closer to the camera with the words «I don’t wanna be in front, you go there, you’re good at this.» I’m not sure if that was a mix of flattery and slander (flander? slattery?) or a subjective truth, but it sure felt nice.
I also realised after coming home that I did those grand pliés in the center, no less, without a single complaint from my knee. I take this to mean that my (possibly incorrectly diagnosed by the internet) patellofemoral pain syndrome has left me off with a warning again. So, in the end, the class and by extention my day was not all that failli.