I decided to do a fun post this time, and that is an alphabetical list of my favorite things in ballet. I am including some I admire and some I struggle with (and are goals to achieve or improve).
There is a British book called “London A to Z”, which guided my mom and uncle through London when we moved. The title of the post is inspired by the book: instead of streets, why not my favorite things?
Side note: These are definitely not everything I wanted to list, but I had this alphabetical order limiting me to do so. There are some letters I needed to eliminate due to the lack of ballet terms starting with those particular letters.
A- Audience: What and who we work for. Our job is not only for ourselves to express our feelings on stage but also to make an impact on the audience. Without an audience, there is no ballet.
B- Bloch: Ah, Bloch! Bloch is one of my favorite brands for shoes and leotards. It does not get old! If you want beautiful, high-quality products, Bloch is the way to go. I used to wear Bloch pointe shoes before I changed to Gaynors, and they were treasures.
C- Corp de Ballet: There is no doubt that being in the corp de ballet is one of the hardest jobs in a company. I admire how they have to be all equal, as one body (corp in French). Think about it… without the corps, a ballet will be empty. My goal is to have a corp position with a company, and I will be happy if I achieve it.
D- Darcey Bussell: She had to be here! I have talked endless things about Darcey and why she inspires me, even when she is retired. I still dream to meet her. (Read more about my feelings for Darcey on My Top 15 Dancers and Inspiration blog posts.)
E- Entrechat: One of my favorite steps in the ballet technique is everything that has to do with beating -shout out to Mr. Bournonville for including beats on his technique and ballets!
F- Fouetté: Ok… I do not enjoy fouettés and they are also a goal in my technique. Although, because they are so hard to achieve, I admire them enormously. The ballerina that can achieve clean fouettés is always worth to clap for.
H- History: I had a professor in my early high school years in Venezuela, whom I will always be grateful to for making me love history. Now, history of ballet is so worth to learn, it is rich in details and changes from era to era. Read more on To the Young Dancer: Why appreciating ballet history
I- Igor Stravinsky: I cannot lie, I love Stravinsky’s music. Apart from being unique and standing out from all composers, the Russian’s pieces are extremely hard to listen and count (for dancing). Musicians, I give you a huge round of applause for taking Igor’s challenges!
J- Jules Perrot: Oh yes… I will put it short. Perrot is responsible for choreographing some of my favorite romantic ballets: The Grand Pas de Quatre and Giselle. Read more on My Top 5 Ballets.
K- King Louis XIV: Again, history hits. King Louis XIV was a dancer himself, and by establishing ballet as an essential practice during his kingdom is just worth to thank for. Without him and his ballet masters, ballet would not be what it is today.
L- Lines: A good leg line in ballet is hard to achieve. Some can get them naturally, while some have to work a little harder. There is nothing more beautiful than a beautiful line.
M- Marie Taglioni: She is a huge part of ballet history and the romantic era. She was probably one of the first ones creating that ‘ethereal’ effect ballerinas bring to the stage, and also the first ballerina to ever master the pointe shoes. Wow!
N- Nutcracker: I do not care how many times I hear the music or watch different versions… Nutcracker never gets old. Besides, listening to Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece makes that holiday feeling warm and exciting.
O- Opera Houses: The most beautiful theaters out there are the opera houses. Whenever you go to one, the energy before a performance definitely runs like electricity.
P- Pirouettes: Definitely not my favorite. Like fouettés, a dancer needs great coordination and balance to achieve clean pirouettes. And this is what I like about them: they are always a challenge.
R- Royal Ballet: You know me. I do not want to make more explanations because I might sound repetitive. The Royal Ballet is like that rock band you follow everywhere. Read more on Why The Royal Ballet?.
S- Steven McRae: What else did you expect for S? Yes, Steven is my favorite male dancer and a true inspiration. He is just incredible. Read more on Inspiration, New York Trip: Royal Ballet Tour, and My Top 15 Ballet Dancers.
T- Turn out: When I was younger, I was never told about the importance of turnout. This is also a goal habit for me since I am still working on it coming from the back of the legs and hips, and not only the feet and knees. Read more on Turnout: The big piece missing in my technique.
V- Variation: It does not only shows your best abilities as a dancer, but a variation also shows the character’s personality at its best. When you dance a variation or solo, All the attention is on you and therefore, the character you are portraying.
W- Waltz: Probably one of my favorite parts in center and in ballets. Big waltzes, like in the three Tchaikovsky ballets, are one of the most exciting parts of the story danced by the corp de ballet.
Z- Virginia Zucchi: Since I had other plans for the letter T putting turn out instead of tutu, I wanted to include Virginia Zucchi. This Italian ballerina declared in 1845 that she “will not dance with a skirt fit for a grandmother.” She definitely started a movement towards the tutu we know today, which we all know all of them are masterpieces carefully created by professional seamstresses.