Vaganova said Knock You Out

I have this brilliant theory.
Now, Gentle Reader, I know what you’re thinking.
You’re thinking, “but, Adult Beginner, all your theories are brilliant!” and believe me I hear you, so let’s just stop collaborate and listen:
This theory is about rap music and Vaganova style ballet.
We’re gonna start from the premise that all rap songs can be placed into three categories.

Category 1. This Party Is The Best Party
General themes include declarations that this party is the most jumpin’, attended by the most finest ladies, and may include themes of competition, as in this party is more fly than your party. Neighborhood pride songs may be placed into this category as well, as in, ‘my neighborhood is jumpin’ and many fine ladies reside within it’. An example of This Party Is The Best Party is Summertime, by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.

Category 2. Girl, I Wanna Get Wit’ Cha
Songs include themes of yearning for a specific lady as opposed to shout-outs to All The Ladies. In these songs we may hear details of the lady’s finer aspects, descriptions of attempts to win said lady’s attention, and occasionally protestations of what damage this lady has done to the singer by with-holding her affection. Bonita Applebaum by Tribe Called Quest exemplifies this category.

Category 3. I Am The Rappin’est Rapper
This category is all about bravura. Themes revolve around my jams being the jammiest, whilst your jams are weak jams. This category tends to be very personal, the rapper is speaking in defense of himself and his skills, often employing hyperbole and grandiose metaphor. One may expect to hear the rapper refer to himself as “the miggety-miggety-miggety-miggety Mack Daddy” or perhaps, “rockin’ my peers puttin’ suckas in fear, making the tears rain down like a monsoon, listen to the bass go Boom.” The latter quote is from Mamma said Knock You Out by LLCoolJ, which well sums up this category.

Thing is, Gentle Reader, once you have an understanding of these categories, you begin to see how very pertinent they are outside the context of rap, and I have found Vaganova technique to be busting with a sense of I Am The Rappin’est Rapper.
Observe, from Basic Principles of Classical Ballet, by Agrippina Vaganova:
“…their meagre technique needs such adornments, because otherwise they will have nothing on which to build their “dances”. We, in our school, do not need it.”
Oh Burn!!!! No she Didn’t put dances in quotes!
“…the French arabesque does not allow us to develop the movement. The Italian arabesque invariably causes the knee to bend, breaking the line, which is habitually observed with Italian dancers. The arabesque I teach gives balance, energy in turning, and at the same time the extension of the entire pose and legs is not lost.”
No she Didn’t just call out France and Italy! Oh Snap!
At the barre, after every exercise, as we bring our hand down to preparatory position for the next exercise, we follow it down with our gaze and then snap our chins back up like I’m ready Fool. Bring on the battemont piqués, I’m a Tear Those Mo-fos Up, whuuuuuut!

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
This entry was posted in Technique and Class, the stuff drawer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Vaganova said Knock You Out

  1. Dude!!! Utter brilliance! I remember reading Basic Principles for the first time and thinking Woah, I thought my teacher had some Russian technique pride, but this Vaganova is telling whole country’s what’s what! Every time I re-read it I am always surprised by just how critical she is in some passages. Wow, rap song anthropology does provide the perfect template for ballet dissin!

  2. edangergray says:

    I am very entertained by your “blog” entry. Ballerinas are mean.
    [Chin snap]

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  4. Pingback: Mya says knock you out | Adult Beginner

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