Having to retrograde, invert, canon, and do phrase number 8 to the left—on the spot—was a really fun challenge. I think not having time to think about it made me carry out the assignment easier because I just had to go with it.
Retrograding phrase 8 was probably my favorite of the four variations. It’s easier for me to picture the retrograde than it is to picture the inversion, which I tend to overthink. I’m used to doing things in canon or to the left, so those movements weren’t out of the ordinary or particularly difficult. Though it took me a second to figure it out (specifically to the left), phrase 8 was nowhere near as difficult as the inversion was. Hopefully, with time, inverting phrases will become easier.
This class is helping me think about phrases and dance differently. I’m using my brain in ways that I usually don’t in my daily technique classes and rehearsals. This is especially evident in the inversions. Like I previously mentioned, doing things in canon or to the left are common in my daily dance schedule whereas retrograding and inverting phrases are not. By learning how to invert a phrase, I am expanding my vocabulary and skill set, which will help me in a future career in dance. Another great thing about the class is it’s helping me learn how to stand out in auditions. Not many people learn how to invert a phrase quickly, and by doing it in class and as homework, I am putting myself ahead of the pack.
Thinking on your feet is incredibly important in dance. Knowing how to stay calm—even when you aren’t absolutely sure what’s going on with a movement—is something that will carry over into auditions and to the stage (if you were to blank on the movement, for example). Though I was likely not “right” with the movement I came up with during this exercise, the lessons it taught were really beneficial.