Learning How I Live

Morning Movers!

There’s something important I’ve been meaning to tell you. It’s a simple thought, but it’s been growing with me over the last few weeks and now it’s jumping to get out…. Ready?

Learn how you live.

I’ve come upon this idea several times over the last few weeks, particularly in the world of interior design. Interior decorators and architects continually reiterate that before you renovate a house, live in it first. Observe your habits, see where you mostly gravitate toward and accentuate the space to its function.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? But now for the fun part – let’s blow that idea up.

bang

Feeling restless and unsure? Before jumping in and completely remaking your life, live in it. Observe your habits, your desires. The things that make you happy, the things you need on a day-to-day level, and for the longer term. If you’re honest, you’ll negotiate the best pathway to reach what you want (hopefully) with much less frustration and wrong turns along the way.

It’s easy to get caught up in the chatter or what you should want or what you should do for yourself…and I find these shoulds more often than not throw me toward a self-doubting frenzy. So I’ve taken a breath, I’ve stepped back and I’m learning how I live my life.

It can be tricky to observe the difference between what you are and what you want to be, to consider what you really like more than what you think you should like. I’m taking the time to develop these distinctions and hopefully, with each step toward change I’m reducing the clutter (mental AND physical) in my day-to-day and moving toward positive development.

Spring has come, and this year it means more than healthy eating and sweeping through the house: it’s de-cluttering my thoughts, investing more positivity into them and seeking lasting change. “Learning how you live” isn’t a step toward complacency, nor a reason for excuse… It’s working with what works for you.

It’s important to be active, but learn how you like to move.

It’s important to eat well, but learn how you like to prepare foods that nourish you.

It’s important to listen to your body, and how do you like to “tune in”?

Regardless of what you read, regardless of what someone will tell you, you are the master of your own form. You’re responsible for how you get through this life, and it doesn’t have to be a struggle. Not if you know how you live.

Any thoughts?

Get Ready to watch DANCE this Spring…

Want to get prepared?

I’ve been wandering around stationary shops today, and in the spirit of organisation, I thought it a good idea to get my diary in order. So, want to know what to book in and where to go to see a dance show? Here’s a glimpse at what you can expect over the spring (click the link to be taken to the respective bookings page):

La SylphideON NOW 29th August – 7th September 2013  La Sylphide – presented by The Australian Ballet

The first and last great Romantic ballets on one double bill – the fairytale La Sylphide and the glittering party piece Paquita

16th-28th September 2013  Cinderella – presented by The Australian Ballet

18th September – 6th October 2013  Melbourne Fringe Festival is on! Too much to talk about, but have a look at these dance links…

3rd-5th October 2013  The Red Tree by Blink Dance Company is happening in East Geelong for those of you who like dance theatre.

Blink Dance Company’s premier production, The Red Tree, is an adaptation of the award winning book by Shaun Tan. It is the story of one girl’s journey, a rite of passage; familiar yet strange.

11th-21st October 2013  Melbourne Festival – so many venues, so little time. Don’t forget to check out the program and book ahead!

Screen shot 2013-09-03 at 4.08.39 PM9th-13th October 2013  Not About Face – Luke George and Collaborators – Dancehouse

Not About Face stems from George’s fascination with the intimacy between performers and audience and how information and ideas are transmitting between them. In this work George questions the nature of the unseen and unspoken agreement/tradition between performer and audience and accesses the supernatural and the spiritual, as a way to explore what is perceiving, knowing and believing.

Screen shot 2013-09-03 at 4.13.14 PM29th-30th November 2013  (Big Girls Do Big Things) – Eleanor Bauer (US)

(BIG GIRLS DO BIG THINGS) is an empty promise, a pre-emptive lament, a flirtation with expectations, a wrestling match with potential. A solo about scale, volume, extreme limits and the grey areas between them; on grandeur and vulnerability, hubris and humility, visibility and subtlety; on the fragile braggadocio of living large when less is more but more is also unmistakably more.

 

Did that help? Would you like a breakdown like this seasonally?

Happy Spring!

#nowmoveit

I’ve done it! I’ve pledged as part of the new Lorna Jane campaign to get my butt moving and make me a healthier me. Check it out:

nowmoveit

And…

As part of this nifty campaign, I’ve also been into the store to get this:

Active Nation Day braceletGreat, huh?

Lorna Jane has declared September 29th Active Nation Day. It’s an initiative I support fully: I think it’s so important (and exciting!) to promote more movement, more mindfulness and a healthier you.

Physically, mentally, we need to value who we are, understand our individual needs and act with respect toward ourselves. A little bit pinker than a tie around my finger, this bracelet is a lovely reminder, every day, to keep forging ahead with enthusiasm.

Off to the gym tonight…and guess what I’m wearing…?!

If you want to join in the fun, head to this website: Move Nourish Believe Movement

Review: Private Dances II

Private Dances IIimage: Jorge de Araujo

There is a diversity among dance styles that is rarely experienced in a single evening. Variety often exists only with inconsistency, yet I can’t fault the creation of Nat Cursio’s “Private Dances II”: a night filled with 8 dance film works and 11 live creations, incredible and intimate tasters of performers and styles. I felt like Alice in Wonderland, giggling in wrong places, watching collaged works with dancing foxes and clambering into a van for some up-close-and-personal dance action.

Half cocktail party, half performance, the audience mills around, waiting to be led two by two into individual rooms or tents where dancers perform their short works. A different experience develops for each audience member, the chance to debrief in the cloak of half-darkness between pieces adding to the sense of mystery and chance.

It’s an enchanting idea, and over the course of the night I was exposed to Vogueing, Indian dance, African dance, Hip Hop and an array of contemporary works. Each is an intimate encounter; over too soon, it keeps you hunting for more. Intercepted with bite-sized deserts and cocktails in milk bottles (did I shrink six inches drinking that?), the oddness of this work appealed to me greatly, and I felt excited to be able to share the gems of dance with people who have had less exposure to this art form.

This is the second time around for such a night, and my eyes will be peeled for the third. Such experiences come around all too rarely, but jumping down the rabbit hole is well worth your time.

Showing: Aug 28-31; Northcote Town Hall

Curator / Creative Director: Nat Cursio
Set Design: Kat Chan
Lighting Design: Rose Connors Dance
Production Manager: Emily O’Brien
Maitre D: Simon Kingsley Hall
Program Co-ordinator / Curator’s assistant: Ely Elsass
Producer: Lee Cumberlidge,  Insite Arts

Live performances by: Atlanta Eke, Appiah Annan, Efren Pamilacan, Fiona Bryant, Gabrielle Nankivell + Luke Smiles, Hasini Wickramasekera, Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal, James Welsby, Lily Paskas, Soo Yeun You and 2nd Toe Collective.

Film works by: Sue Healey (NSW), Deborah Kelly (NSW), Simon Ellis (UK), Sam Fox (WA), Kristy Ayre + Nick Roux, Eugenia Lim, Alice Dixon + Caroline Meaden and Zoe Scoglio.

Reconnecting

MelbourneGood morning blog world.

It’s said to be 21 degrees (Celsius) today, so I’m off to a good start – spring is coming!

Apologies for the long hiatus, I haven’t forgotten you. These last six months have been one amazing adventure and until I had two feet back in the same country I couldn’t formulate enough words to reconnect. But I’m back – in Australia that is – and I’ve hit the ground running. Already I’ve been to two shows, one dance film (Virtuosi) and I’ve managed to get my butt off to the gym five days a week (yay for motivation!).

You’re going to hear all about it as I can recall it over time – to write things in order may be a little difficult at first, but why not just jump on the roller-coaster with me?

February was the wind up to my time in London. I was sad to go in the end – things were just beginning to flourish; my teaching workshops had the potential for new opportunities, Quicksilver was to perform at the Southbank Centre, and CDF had gained enough funding for their next festival… but, as time would have it, while these things had the potential to take off somewhere, my visa did not. But you know what? It’s funny how the world works, and how life often leads us to where we need to be at a given time. Australia was calling, and I was in fact, happy to go home.

But I wasn’t home for long.

India. Crazy, intense, intrepid, India.

I’ve already romanced it in retrospect, but my time there was adventurous, disastrous and unforgettable. Such a clash of ideas, cultures. I re-read Eat, Pray, Love out of curiosity when I happened on it in a second hand bookstore in Rishikesh, and it wasn’t until I was reading it, in one of the countries it’s set, that I realized how much of India she just didn’t see (coincidentally the book turned out to be the best pillow I could muster on sleeper carriages for overnight trains). From white water rafting down the Himalayan end of the Ganges, to trekking into Nepal, the biggest task was possibly fighting my body, slugging it through the heat, tummy bugs and chest infections all included.Taj

Still, there’s such colour and vibrancy. My boyfriend warned this would happen – that time would close the chasm in my head and good things would outweigh the discomforts. I haven’t forgotten the staring, the hassling, or the bargaining. I haven’t forgotten the yelling, the anger, the insensitivity, but I also remember the couples we met along the way, the unforgettable sights (no matter how much it was talked up, the Taj Mahal still completely blew my socks off), the colours, smiles, and the smells.

Now because this is the blog of a dancer I can tell you that my body changed. I became so disassociated with it; I couldn’t read it any more. I was blinded to what it needed, and I was too caught up in my head to try. Performing yoga on a rooftop near the mountains felt mechanical, trekking was all in my head. My body was pumped with so many antibiotics that that it was possibly half chemical most of the time. I was the closest I may ever get to the bionic woman. This disassociation was not disastrous, but it was worth observing. Could I ever be a dancer in a county like this, where I cannot even read myself. Would I adapt? Are the huge differences between Bollywood and Contemporary SO different only due to culture, or is there a lot of climate thrown in there as well?

After five weeks there, I was ready to head to Germany – back to Europe where I was to enter into a PORCH residency in Stolzenhagen, within a beautiful community called Ponderosa.

StolzenhagenIt was cultural whiplash; from the intense and in-your-face India to the calming space of an environmentally sustainable farm. PORCH covers three one-month modules in this location, I was there for the first: Training and Improvisation. You’re going to hear a lot more about the things I did over the course of that month later on, I’m still processing it really, but it was a very humbling experience. One month in virtual isolation from my your world, and pushed right up against seventeen other virtual strangers truly mirrors yourself back at you.

Cracking open old and dusty dance habits, connecting to an energetically more sustainable way of moving and becoming comfortable with improvisation and contact improvisation were all part of the experiential package. Led by the lovely Stephanie Mayer and Katherine Hermedorf I had such an amazing time here. It’s surreal, existing in it’s own little bubble, yet it has informed and shaped my practice in a way I’m still excited to explore.

kayakAnd finally, at the end of it all, there was family time. I long awaited and much needed re-connection with my family. I met the new members, chatted with the old and had heart-expanding quality space and time to shape myself again into who I am around the people I love most.

(yep, that’s me in the kayak at the front with my sister… we paddled 23km that day…)

That leads me to here. Back in Melbourne, looking for work, looking at work and excited to engage with what had previously been my home for six years. It’s been a long post today, but I hope you feel a little bit more brought up to speed, I know I do!

Anyone else been to India? Or participated in PORCH at Ponderosa, Germany? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

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