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About Michelle_Richer

  • Birthday March 26

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  • Location:
    Spalding, South Lincolnshire, England
  • Interests
    Social Dancing and Ballet

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  1. Gradually some of my regular class are closing down for the summer break, at least the Alive Ballet Company is not. For some it may be a bit of a rest bite, for me it’s a little more time to devote to my 4m studio extension. Everything was going to plan until I returned home from ballet Friday tea time. I had ordered a forklift to carry the 12 one ton bags of aggregate (road stone hard core). The fork lift was there, the delivery driver was about to go until he see me arrive, Adrian came out and said, its no good, he showed me the lawn, it had been badly chewed up with big furrow left in it where the wheels have gone. Apparently the driver got the fork lift stuck on the lawn where there was bit of an incline, they had to winch it out from his lorry, we couldn’t have done that. Thank goodness the driver did it when demonstrating to Adrian. The driver got out of his cab and came over to me and said “what you need is a dumper truck; we have one in the yard”, I was under the impression that the forklift could go back and be replaced by a dumper truck, wrong we needed both, as illustrated in the picture. Although we hired the equipment for the week end, we actually moved the 12 tons of aggregate in half a day, furthermore I had underestimated how much we needed based on one cubic metre per ton, checking at the builder merchant it looks closer to 0.75 cubic metres per ton, in reality I think it’s a bit less than that, as we have added another 4 tons (me by hand), and it probably need another 3 or 4 tons before compacting. At least Adrian got to play with his Big Boys Toys. For me my catch Phase is still alive and well “I’m a ballerina, I can do anything”. I must say when I went into ballet I never dreamed I would be doing this, what next I wonder, a theatre perhaps.
  2. Oh that seam easy enough
  3. On show day my foot/legs were trouble free inspite of a near miss with Adrian on the Friday evening. Although we were deep cleansing the Black swan PDD with mostly walking and marking it. There is a piece just beyond where Odette or her ghost appears where Odile burees back and does a penche kiss to the kneeling Seigfried, then turns and does a step step jete enturnant to a full down pigeon pose ( Like spits with back leg folded under her body) , well my leg wouldn’t fully fold and I went down quite hard as this had never been a problem before, I yelped and rolled over, it was really painful, but thankfully there was no lasting damage. As we were basically marking through with attention to detail rater than dancing full out, I guess I wasn’t properly warmed up. Sadly though we lost two of our female dancers due to injury for our show, one on the previous rehearsal night, the other during rehearsal before the show. On the brighter side our Artistic Director had a surprise in store for us all. We had a professional male Cuban dancer joining us to open the show. He did barre with us as one of the dancers, at the end when we were all doing our own stretches I had a little chat with him. During the Tech run, most of us were watching him, I see him do a grand jete with flexed feet, I thought “What on earth is that”, it looked awful, other pieces he didn’t fully execute them but go into a strange pose and wave his finger near his mouth, clearly he had a cheeky sense of humer. When it came to the dress run, his minute or so of a Don Quixote variation was awesome with his triple beating cabriole and grand jete's that form a rotating mid-air splits, it certainly had a huge wow factor for us mear mortals to follow. The idea of a professional guest dancer was brilliant and the whole day was fantastic but tiring by the time we finally got home in the early hours. Monday for me was full on 5 sessions to catch up with my pieces for Ballet West, as I had neglected much of Jewels for the last 3 weeks or so with constant focus on Paquita for our show. Only one session on Tuesday as there was no rehearsal this week, however London was still on with a review of the show and the last six months of rehearsal at the Actor Centre in Covent Garden, something we do after each and every show. Then a meal together in a restaurant around Covent Garden, this time organised by our LinMM, well done Lin. In all the hustle and bustle of the past few weeks I forgot to check my time-line when booking the last two ENB workshops which were open for booking on Monday. ENB Nutcracker Workshop on the Coliseum stage 29th December ENB La Sylphides, full day Ballet Intensive at Markover House 14 January, sadly Im at Elmhurst on that day with Giselle, so have had to cancel ENB, I just hope they are able to do a refund.
  4. I’ve eased back somewhat this week, although I did four hours of ballet yesterday, my foot seams to be holding up well. I’ve a couple of hours tonight with Adrian , deep cleansing our Black Swan PDD, but I wont be going full out, not until our show is out of the way tomorrow. I’ve warned Emma my rep coach that I may not be in on Monday, but on balance I think I will be OK, as I’ve a lot of catching up to do for my pieces for Ballet West.
  5. Hi Linda I’ve pulled everything back this week, although I did my body conditioning class this morning and my one-to-one rep session; however I have cancelled Fridays one-to-one. Fortunately the studio I hire for a couple of hours on a Monday afternoon is not available this week as they are doing RAD exams, lucky I guess. I phoned them this afternoon to tell them I wouldn’t be at class tonight. I know when we finished rehearsal on Sunday I was starting to limp a bit. Strangely, resting doesn’t appear to help at all, but what appears to be effective is walking, firstly when it gets troublesome, if I walk on it, I can only describe it at hurting nice, the pain seams to ease it, then it allows me to fully articulate the weight through that foot and the discomfort largely disappears with only a minor presence left. I must confess it’s not unlike the effect of overuse I experience about 3 to 4 years ago when I was clocking up something like 7 hours of ballet a day, now it’s somewhat less at 4 to 5 hours a day.
  6. I think I may have had a lucky escape from injury today, one week before our summer show and the day before dress rehearsal. I guess this all started Thursday evening after my ballet class at Sleaford, as the studio is not used for the last session 8pm to 9pm I've started booking it. As we are getting close the Alive Ballet’s Summer Show (Paquita for our classical group), I’ve started to use that time to practice for the show. As the studio is an upstairs studio the floor is quite springy and I’ve noticed I can get better elevation on cabrioles , so I must admit I’ve have been giving them some wellie so to speak, that has been fine. I have also noticed one of the assemblies that uses my worst foot combination is much much better with that floor too. Friday I had my usual studio (downstairs) which I have been using for years, but I think the floor is only semi-spring as it does feel quite a bit harder. I did an hour practice Friday afternoon before the children classes started with mainly our pieces from Paquita but ending with a couple of run thru’s of the Black Swan solo for Ballet West in a few week time. I’m not sure what the last thing was I was doing, but I put my left foot down, not even from a jump and something felt as if it went with a crunch at the bottom of my foot. Although there was some discomfort there, I carried on for a short while but holding back a bit as it was quite near the end of my booking. After that I went home and didn’t really give my foot a second thought. At 5pm Adrian and I went to our local hall for his two hour PDD practice, however I had already decided as we both knew the sequence, we would do some deep cleansing, that is break it down into short phases, and check it against to source or the original choreography. It became apparent after an hour or so things were not right with my foot and the pain was getting progressively worse, probably aggravated by the halls hard floor, we continued walking and marking it for a further half an hour and then I had to call a holt to it, by this time I was really getting worried it may impact my performance the following week end and of course the dress rehearsal this Sunday. My hope was, rest overnight the issue will have righted itself the following morning, it didn’t, it was as bad the following morning. However during the day out shopping and arranging building supplies, its managed to improve considerably, there is only a minor presence left. However I think it would be prudent to avoid jumps in my normal classes before the show, but otherwise I’m rearing to go and looking forward to tomorrows dress rehearsal and our summer show next weekend.
  7. The early morning start on Sunday for rehearsal didn’t go quite as planned. Getting up at 2am did, however Adrian had decided to go home to his flat during the day while I was away, which meant we had to be on the road at 3.30am while it was still dark. I arrived a little early at Peterborough Train Station for the replacement bus service to Stevenage. When I found the bus stop, there were quite a few revellers waiting for the bus, they had clearly been out on the town the night before. When we started to board the bus, there were a few high spirits and bad language from some of the young guys and one of the guys was asked to leave the bus by its driver, he refused and the police were called to remove him, it was very unpleasant. Eventually we were all asked to get off the bus, there was another one that had drew up parallel with our bus and many of the passengers were boarding it. I looked at the time it was 5.10 we were already 20 minutes behind schedule, I was mindful I might miss my rail connection at Stevenage and be late for rehearsal. I ask the driver if we would make the Stevenage connection and he told me to board the bus I had just got off, with that others joined me on that bus. Although it was a long bus journey, we made Stevenage on time, and rehearsal too. In fact I was the first of the dancers to arrive, only my Artistic Director arrived before me. At rehearsal for the first time we really are starting to put the show together, at least we are learning were to come on especially were the music doesn't stop and we have to be in position for a seamless transfer from a previous group. I think that rehearsal went extremely well even though we didn’t get chance to cover everything. Dress rehearsal next Sunday. Although the Studio extension has come to a bit of a hiatus, I’ve been able to do a little bit of re-planning. As we need a lot of road stone for ballast in the foundation, 14 x 1 ton bulk bags of it, firstly that is going to take up a lot of room on my property to store it temporarily. So rather than moving the contents via machine like a bucketed digger which will move several bucket loads per bag which will be very time consuming, I went today to see our local plant hire company to explore the options. Now we are getting a counterbalance forklift so we can move a complete 1 ton bag at a time, take it where it needs to be dropped, cut the bag to empty its contents directly were it need to be. Delivery of the road stone will be planned for the week immediately after the show, and if the weather looks favourable the hire of the machinery will be the weekend after the show, so for the moment things are looking good. Another development not planned for, since adding the additional slabs referred to on my last post. I have an area that would look absolutely fabulous with a white marble life size ballerina statue on it. I know Marble and Bronze statues of that type are likely to cost tens of thousands. Im looking for a material that looks similar, that one may find in somewhere like a garden centre, any ideas would be gratefully received.
  8. There is a famous saying that “only mad dogs and English men go out in the mid-day sun”, I think that should include “Ballerinas” too. At least this is what it felt like this weekend. This was the weekend that my brother came down to do the brickwork on my studio extention and I was his labourer, that is I mixed and provided him with the mortar as he needed it, and kept him supplied with bricks and hollow blocks between mortar mixes. In all I moved cover 400 bricks and over 40 hollow blocks via a wheel barrow from the front of the property to the side where the studio is being extended. That weekend was really hot 30+ with very little shade, the work was really tiring and all you wanted to do was drink. I remember each time I took my marigolds off, water (sweat) would run out of them, and your fingers would look as if they had been soaking in the bath for hours. Although my nail varnish ended up in a bit of a mess, at least I didn’t break any nails.. Fortunately my brother completed his brickwork by Sunday lunchtime, it really is starting to take shape. He left soon after lunch, but I was mindful that this would be the last weekend I could work on the studio extention for three weeks as I have the next two Sundays on extra rehearsals in London , then the following Saturday our performance of Paquita. In the afternoon I was admiring my brothers brickwork from our barbecue area that is adjacent to the extension, with steps leading down to a narrow piece of lawn dividing them. I dropped some slabs on that lawn and thought "mmm" that works and then started piling so similar brick to the brickwork around a stone birdbath feature when Adrian came along. He said “Wow that looks nice”, I wanted to stop and finish what I had started but I was so so tired, at least I did get to cut the slabs before Adrian said “come on, I think you’ve had enough”, after that we just tidied things up and went out for a meal, I was just too tired to prepare anything, I was absolutely bushed. When we finally got home all I wanted to do was to go to bed, but I had still got prep to do for Monday,s full day of ballet (5 sessions) but namely music editing and prep for my version of Rubies from Jewels. All though I went through the motions my heart wasn’t really in it, all I needed was sleep, sleep, sleep. Monday came and went, the development of Rubies choreography was disappointing, it just wasn’t working for me. Tuesday, rehearsal day and finally I have all the remaining tutu for our dancers. I set off with a large suitcase carrying 16 tutu's, it was really heavy. Eager to avoid stairs on the underground I decided I would walk from Oxford Circus past Bond Street station to M and S for tea before rehearsal at Dance Works. However I made a major boo boo, instead of going to Oxford Circus on the Victoria line, I went to Piccadilly Circus on the Piccadilly Line. Not sure why, probably a combination of tiredness and the fact I used to go via the Piccadilly line to classes at ENB, and Victoria line to RAD. Anyway I walked it pulling my large suitcase from Piccadilly Circus via Regent Street and Oxford Street to class. At least I had a lot of happy ballerinas going home with their new tutu's. During the next three weeks the focus is on our show, so work has basically stopped on the studio extention and also rep for Ballet West other than Adrians PDD practice as I dare not let that slip behind. My next hurdle is Sundays rehearsal at the Place starting at 9am, which for me means getting up sometime between 2 and 2.30am as its a restricted train service between Peterborough and London for that time of the morning. I have to leave home around 4am for the 4.51am coach from Peterborough to Stevenage arrive at 7.29am, then depart Stevenage by rail at 7.39 for Kings Cross at 8.18am. The return journey is no problem.
  9. I remember last year when I took Gamzatti’s variation to Ballet West and I had quite a search for music that covered the initial port de bras, as the original one I was going to base my dance on, did a change of weight and with left hand literally hitting fifth on the very commencement of the music (sharp blast). There was no way I could anticipate that. In my search there were several different version with some that had a nice pre-port de bras section, it was one of those that I chose. A couple of years back, I took the Three Odalisques variation from Le Corsaire which I did as a solo, that has quite a pre-port de bas section, but not all companies us it. ENB for example the right arm is raised for a considerable length of time however Bolshoi raised the arm to what sounds like a raising strum of the harp, which makes it far more interesting. Not only did we incorporate that at Ballet West but during the pre-amble , but we managed a walk around into position too, followed by a chasse thru and a raise of the arm as an extension to the harp strum, that really made use of the music and I think was far more interesting to an audience.
  10. Diamonds is just about done in terms of choreography, although I’m quite pleased with it, it has been troublesome getting it into the body, consequently it still need a degree of cleansing still. Friday we start on the last Jewel “Rubies”, which is a major re-choreograph from contemporary to classical. I have found a piece of music from within that act that I may be able to use, but I think this one is going to be seriously challenging. Adrians Russian Dance PDD is starting to show promise, however I have had to slow down the ending to 80% of it normal speed where I do a sort of Cossack dance while Adrian stamps his foot and claps his hands in time with the music before we both do a couple of turns out from the centre and into our final complementary pose to punctuate the music, that at least is beginning to work for Adrian. The Black Swan PDD is a really big challenge for him, at least now he knows the full sequence, even though there's the odd hick-up on the way. The one thing I would like from Adrian more than technique as Adrian bless him is not a ballet dancer although he does try very very hard. Is the ability to display the feeling and passion of the character, case in point is where Siegfried and Odile break away, just before Odette makes a brief appearance. I (Odile) , break away, go through a soutenu and do 3 full swan wing flaps before going towards the up-stage left corner to do 3 more. Adrian (Siegfried) should abruptly break away from me and take his hand to his heart (feeling hurt emotionally), then the other hand to his forehead (feeling dejected “why?”), then slowly walks to wards down-stage right corner dragging his legs behind him. Instead it looks as if Siegfried develops a headache and is off for an aspirin or for a lyre-down. I do wish he could get a little bit more into character, but I don’t want to push him to the point he no longer enjoys dancing from the classics with me. When we perform these pieces at our Summer Intensive at Ballet West, the last run-through of the day is usually done in costume. Adrian has a nice tunic for Siegfried provided by “Just Ballet”, but Adrian and the other two guys of our Glen Ballet Group always said “ I would never get them into tights”, however in the search for decent white legging, I came across what looked like white lycra leggings when I visited the “Dancing in the Street” store at Sleaford. I wasn’t sure if they would fit him as he is a big guy 6ft 3in and fairly well built, but hey presto, they did, further more he liked them. I really think he fancies himself as a ballet dancer after all, its growing on him. Ive since ordered him a black pair for the Russian dance. Incidentally the description of the product is “footless tights”, but I wont tell him that, at least no just yet. The weekend was disappointing as my brother could not start the brickwork for the studio extention and it would have to slip a week. However it was probably a blessing in disguise, Adrian suggested it would be nice to go to our local town (SPALDING) park as there was a Brass Band playing there Sunday afternoon. We did, we took a picknick blanket to sit on, most other people had deck chairs, I laid back closed my eyes listening to a brass band from Lincoln, it sounded gorgeouse and I have never felt so relaxed for ages, my batteries certainly got a full recharge that day before the hustle and bustle of 5 sessions of ballet on the monday plus chasing tutu orders for the Alive Ballet company in London. Although Tuesday should seem the lightest day of the week with only 3 hours of ballet, I was able to chase Revolution Danceware for the latest update before meeting the girls before rehearsal, as I had felt I had let them down in procuing the companies tutus as promised, I was quite prepared at this point to travel Revolutions warehouse in Swindon (about a 140 miles from home) , to make sure we had them ready for our first planned dress rehearsal. I was told verbally over the phone that they had been dispatched, but there was no email dispatch conformation. Not only did I have that to contend with, but also no response from a telephone studio booking enquiry with the Central School of Ballet, in London, so I had to visit them too. I also made arrangements with one our girls (Alive Ballet) to visit Kroyland the stage make-up people of Covent Garden, as she had never been there before. I met her at the tube station at Covent Garden and said I just want to pop into RBS, she thought I was going the bank, then the penny dropped as we went through the door of the Royal Ballet School, I just wanted to touch base with them over possible bookings for next year., the receptionist there was most helpful. Once we got to the Kroyland stage make-up shop in Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, I presented our sales assistant with an A4 photo of the face template we were using for our show and ask her for her advise as to how best match it. Needless to say we were there some time trying different products for colour matching and blending. Once those were sorted out and my friend was paying for her purchases I had a wonder round, being nosy as usual. I found this metal case, a little bit bigger than a lap top case, that opened out to form a table with 4 long legs attached, with an illuminated mirror at the back and two non-illuminated mirror at the side. It also had lot of compartments to store make-up too. I ask the price, one assistant though it was around £200, another thought it wasn’t for sale. They checked on their website and it was over £600, oh poo not this week, but it was really nice. Finally Wednesday the Tutu's for the show arrived at my home, I now have 16 tutu's to take off to rehearsal in my largest suitcase, they only just fit. At last I will be able to close these orders down. Phew! that was close, as the original delivery date was the day before our show.
  11. Ah, thank you, that makes sense. I know in class at ENB the pianist takes his ques/feedback from dancers doing travelling turns as I got into trouble one day when I blocked his vision. I think for me its another music editing for an introductory que.
  12. A question for my more learned dancing friends: As I’m doing the OPENING to diamonds in the ballet JEWELS, I have an issue which I have had to cheat. What ques the dancers to start, as I’ve noticed on two separate videos by different ballet companies they have actually stepped into the balancé before the orchestra has started’ Initially I tried to dance with the music which meant I had to rush the first balancé (Forward) and it was rubbish. Now because I have the applause on the sound track I count up the three and land the balancé on three, but when Im dancing this at Ballet West they will be no applause to guide me. I guess the question is , Do the dancers take their que from the conductor? Or Does the conductor take his que from the dancers? In my version of Sapphire I had a similar issue with the music I chose, however I added a small introduction that enabled me to anticipate precisely where the choreography started.
  13. I never thought I would say this, but I really enjoyed the Whitsun break from ballet. The week before Whitsun I had a very busy week and two evening I was down to only 4 hours sleep, this time I didn’t bounce back as expected, not only was I very tired but my legs in particular felt weak even when I had the opportunity to sleep I couldn’t manage more than 6 hours before I had to get up. With no real ballet until Thursday the 1st, apart from a couple of hours on Tuesday instead of my London rehearsal, I think I am pretty well back to normal. However I have suspended my Glen Ballet group until September as the man of one of the couples is convalescing from surgery and another couple plan to be away in France for most of the summer, so it just made sense to close it for the time being. However on the good side Adrian is able to remember all of the Black Swan PDD and at last we are starting to cleanse it. My Sapphire Solo is done, as is my cut down version of Emeralds solo, however I’m not 100% happy with the sound editing of Emeralds, as I would really like to get the acoustic decay of the orchestra at my ending, rather than the abruptness which it present from the cut. Diamonds I thought was going to be easy, but it’s turned out to be rather challenging. I didn’t realise just how beautiful the opening to Diamonds was, it grows on you, so trying to capture the artistry and musicality of that piece has turn out to be far more difficult than I had imagined, even my teacher/coach finds it so. Needless I’m having to alter it as I’m creating a solo from a corps de ballet piece which breaks into various grouping, so I have to pick out the most aesthetically pleasing choices that maintains flow and grace, also various pieces often have to be re-orientated to occupy the central stage area. As they say miracles just take a little longer. So it will be sometime yet before this one is finished. Rubies: I have no clear idea on just yet, other than I will use some of the original music (Shortened) , and completely re-choreograph the dance to be traditionally classical but with fire.
  14. Don’t forget when you get to New Street station your journey hasn’t ended, Elmhurst is still a few miles away on the Bristol Road at Edgbaston, so its bus or taxis. For me I drive all the way from South Lincolnshire just over one hundred miles each way. That’s why I make a full day of it and do all RAD Adult Associates classes that day, otherwise its just not worth while, especially in the winter when its mostly dark both ways and raining too sometimes, not very pleasant. Hi Colman I’m sure if RAD know they have male dancers attending, they will select the rep accordingly. I’ve certainly attended RAD rep workshops with male dancers present. I have also attended RAD workshops where some of the girls have had to dance the male part for partnering. I remember this also occurring with ENB’s Le Corsaire workshop on the Coliseum stage. As soon as I know the rep being taught, I will drop it on this thread.
  15. Those RAD workshops are part of the Adult Associates at Elmhurst, but you can book them separately without being part of the Associates. I think today Sunday 14th is the last day of the 10% Earlybird discount. I’m part of the Associates so I’m booked on them all. We have done a little rep in the Improvers 2 sessions before, but I guess this is a little more formal and it opens the class up to greater numbers to make it more cost effective. As Improver 2 usually has only 4 or 5 dancers, except for last weekend when it was opened up for drop in from some of our previous dancers and we made 7, however improvers 1 is usually fully booked at just over 20. Not sure how popular these will be.