Dancer Blog: Life on tour with Michael Wood
Hey guys, back again this week with something that might seem a little off subject. I am a trained all around dancer, I took years of ballet, tap, jazz, etc., and one thing that was driven into my head everyday in ballet class, was that ballet is basis for every form of dance. And, being the sarcastic person I am, I’ve always tried to prove that concept wrong. To this day, I still haven’t found an example that disproves that statement.
Even here in the Riverdance camp it is every where, sometimes obvious, and other times it sneaks up on you. For example, the Russian dancers in the show are known for doing ballet barre as a warm up. And for what they do one stage, that makes complete sense. They are all trained in ballet and very disciplined dancers in the style. I also take barre and do ballet intense jazz warm ups, not only to stay loose, flexible, and warm up, but also to strengthen my muscles and physical body awareness. It is that body awareness that helps us do such difficult things with grace and relative ease. Even the Flamenco dancer has benefited from ballet, acquiring her fantastic upper body articulation from ballets epaulement.
But what I found truly interesting was when I watched the Irish soft shoe dances, and realized that they were doing different variations of many ballet steps. From how they stay high in relevé, to their battements, and most similarly their beats in their jumps.
The professor that beat an appreciation for ballet into my being, also left me with another saying, “ballet is a dancers broccoli.” And that is the nugget of wisdom I leave you all with this week. Whether you want to dance everything, or just one thing, remember to eat your broccoli!