To continue my blog from yesterday, I thought I would expand a bit on the work I am putting into my role as Othello, beyond learning the movement and acting skills. The greatest thing to my success will be having enough stamina to perform a full show, let alone show after show. We may not shoot hoops, run a football field, or race the clock, but dancers are most certainly athletes in their own right. As many readers will understand (even those that maybe don’t know much about ballet), diet and working out are essential to any athlete’s success. When rehearsals finish at 6:00pm, I spend the next hour in our physical therapy room using the gyrotonic machine to stretch and increase flexibility, I lift weights, do sit-ups, and stretch. Below is my workout every night.
I start by using the gyrotonic machine for 20-30 minutes to manipulate the muscles of my back. This particular version of Othello is choreographed by Lar Lubovitch, a modern dance choreographer, meaning the movement and lifts are far more complex that simple over head lifts that I have grown accustomed to in my ballet training. In a two+ hour ballet, I’ve lost count of how many times I lift the female dancers, turning and twisting them in new and different ways. Don’t get me wrong, the movement is beautifully complex, but If I do not stretch and mobilize the muscles of my back afterwards, my muscles tighten up and I am not in a good position to do it all again the next day. The gyrotonic machine was actually designed by a former ballet dancer, and the exercises utilize movements found in yoga, tai chi, swimming, and gymnastics. It is not at all intended to build muscle, but rather it is intended to increase flexibility, stability and mobility in joints. For me, it is the perfect machine to increase the flexibility of my back and keep my range of motion at a high level.