Monday, November 25, 2013

Loving Le Barre--IE checks it out

Remember the Days?

IE is always on the look out for new and fun workouts here in Marin. Le Barre is her latest discovery. It’s the brainchild of former dancer Jenn Hall, an international fitness and dance presenter who after retiring from dancing professionally with popular artists like Beyoncè, and Jay-Z, decided to focus on dance and fitness choreography and instruction. 

Le Barre class at Body Kinetics in Novato has teacher Debbie Gleeson A Le Barre and Flirty Girl certified instructor. Debbie has us moving quickly through the barre sequence building up from squats, aka plies, to toe taps, aka tondues, to leg swings that become  arabesques and panches.(Kinda--you get the idea) 

All this without stopping class and with everyone smiling and having a great time. 

The barre itself is this funny little gizmo called a "Lebert equalizer."
166069_462152593870289_1199704308_n.pngIt’s lower than a real ballet bar so it’s not a tool that creates balance but rather assists in stabilizing the body for movement. Translation: it's not going to do the work for you, but it will help you learn your own body's individual balance weaknesses and strengths.  

What's also cool about is it's portable, so you can pick it up to do the left side. This is a subtle thing but it means that not only are you not glued to your barre, you are not glued a certain part of the room. 

So when Debbie tells us to chasse' around it it's no big deal because we are already in the center of the room and ready to move. It eliminates that dance-class-phobia where you get planted at "your spot" on the barre and forget that all these exercises are so you can move in the center freely! 

This brings me to the barre's other use: an 8 pound free weight bar that Debbie has us rotating around our shoulders in controlled circles.

Then we go to the floor for some neat assisted body-roll-up-Pilates-type exercises. It’s great to really stretch your spine as you hold onto it and do the "roll down." It's a little like the
Pilates springboard class  but the barre is not as solid when you hang from it. It actually becomes more of a play instrument.

Check out classes of LeBARRE with Debbie At Body Kinetics in Novato!

See you in class


Friday, November 15, 2013

Brazilian Sportswear hits Marin

Ready to rock from Rio with Miado Athletic
Photo: Beautiful Miado Athletic Store in Corte Madera. So proud of my friend Patricia!!!!

Miado Athletic is the newest Pop-up store in Corte Madera Town Center. It's a great place to find unique dancewear that's eclectic and definitely "hot." 

Miado in Brazilian means the cry of the Gato do Mato or Wild Cat. Owners Brain and Patricia Wolf have a great eye for making fun and high fashion togs. Their creations will definitely go with Lululemon duds. Best of all it gives us all another option to stay ahead of the pack in style. 

Check out this Samba video for a little taste of Rio

Happy Weekend!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Physical Graffitti--ID checks out the College of Marin Dance Concert

There is a moment before the dance begins. You are sitting in the dark. There is a lone dancer on the stage whose body begins to move and you think: there will be no words, there is just this body, joined by more as the lights and the music are layered in.

It’s a rush for ID: knowing that the body will carry this incredible weight. The whole evening will have just the body to make the shapes, to talk to us, to tell the story. You can turn off that something in your brain that thinks, listens, reads, evaluates, and turn something else on.

It opens another door, and I walked thru with Physical Graffitti.
This concert was a mix of pure dance and theater pieces. A favorite was Sandra Tanner Mack's, "Bereft. " 

This piece was in my young daughter's description, "not really a dance but more of a story." There were no words and the movement though spare told the story better than any words could. PIna Bausch in Wim Wenders, Dance Dance Otherwise We Are Lost says:
"I never thought of it as choreography but as expressing feelings. Though every piece is different, they are all trying to get at certain things that are difficult to put into words.."
Pina Bausch and
Pina's Rite of Spring

When I first began choreographing, I never thought of it as choreography but as expressing feelings. Though every piece is different, they are all trying to get at certain things that are difficult to put into words. In the work, everything belongs to everything else - the music, the set, the movement and whatever is said.

The piece began with a family of five
dressed in village peasant costumes and sitting on chairs. The music was Yiddish, Fiddler-on the Roof-ish.The movement was light, joyful as the girls spun around the around the chairs and father and mother watched, and joined them dancing as a couple. They created a feeling of a close and loving family.

The harmony was interrupted as the first act ended in silence and a dark stage with the dancers looking out, seeing something that made them gasp in terror.

The second act used contracting and releasing movement: floor to standing rolls and twists, wide leg reaches that all evoked a sense of fear, flight and inner conflict. The movements were simple but executed with great force and engagement by the dancers. It gave each gesture weight and gravity as if it was the only thing that could be done. 

As Pina Baush has said, " To understand what I am saying, you have to believe that dance is something other than technique. We forget where the movements come from. They are born from life.."

The music changed into the soaring and mournful violin strings of Schindler's List. The dance continued in that vein as they came in from the wings carrying suitcases. The family split apart with the three young women huddling together, and the man and woman trying to hold everyone together but unable to. The piece ended in gradually increasing darkness, first the couple offstage, then the three girl’s downstage and finally the suitcases in a solitary pool of light.

It’s a risk to end a piece with darkness and uncertainty, but from the notes, "For my mother: To honor the memory of our relatives who perished at the hands of Hitler's Third Reich." 
We knew what would happen. Did it work?

For ID it did because it gave us the sense of loss, and longing, a shape that while it may not be exactly the same for each of us, is known to all of us. 

"Love is so short, forgetting is so long." Neruda wrote. Sandra's piece gave us a snapshot of life before and life during, but life after? There is no shot, no dance for the dancers, because there is no way to say, to show how we live though loss. We simply do. We don’t know why or how. We just do. We make the dance. We see it. We remember it. That is perhaps enough. 

That will have to be enough.

Friday, November 1, 2013

we are officially in love

Remember Leotard Longings? Well now we have something that blows that away on virtually every level: style, functionality, and price.

Introducing Live the Process 

a chic couture exercise wear site--its not just clothes its the "process" creativity, health, wellness, and looking fabulous on so many levels.

Love this one especially--the corset style leotard
corset leotard   

Ready to go!!


 ID and IE