There really isn’t much dancing involved with my part in Sleeping Beauty.
That’s sort of by design.
There are four court men in Act I.
I am the only dancer. The other three are dads, and I think the notion of having to do any difficult steps would have frightened them away.
Our wives, like me, are dancers.
But in Act I, we’re basically props.
But that doesn’t mean we just stand there.
Because I am the lone dancer and most experienced performer of the court men … my lady and I are front and center. We have the most to do.
Even when you are performing more of a character role in a ballet, you can’t forget three important elements to what makes ballet, and dance in general, beautiful and graceful.
Musicality, movement quality and line.
With my part it means when and how you walk, gesture and pose.
Twice in the scene, we’re in lines, we halt and go into first arabesque. My lady and I are at the end of the line. No one in front of us.
Two questions run through my mind: Will our line look good to the audience? Is my knee straight when we tendue?
I know the latter is such a small thing, and the audience wouldn’t notice. But as a dancer, to me that’s important considering this is one of the few things we’re required to do that is balletic.
I don’t think people realize how much the three elements I’ve mentioned really are important to a dance performance.
Must of us focus on the steps and technique.
You can do all of the steps correctly, but if you don’t those three elements, you can really look bad performing.
If you don’t believe me, watch Dancing with the Stars.
That’s become my daughter’s and my guilty pleasure.
My daughter is amazed how many times I will mention whether or not I like a couple’s movement quality, comment on their music quality or line, and one of the judges will say basically the same thing.
They may not be dancing ballet, but those elements are just as important when you’re doing other forms of dance from contemporary, ballroom to even hip hop.