It’s newsletter time! Here’s your round-up from September.
The magnificent Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta is debuting his dance company, Acosta Danza, in London! The company performs at Sadler’s Wells from 27-30 September.
The repertoire mixes ballet, modern and traditional dance styles in a fabulous multi-colour, multi-ethnic, multi-talented extravaganza of movement. “It’s a symbol of diversity, of unity,” he says. “Acosta Danza embraces everything.”
This will be spectacular.
Tickets via Sadler’s Wells.
Here’s the official blurb:
Based in Havana, the company is made up of the best dancers Cuba has to offer who have trained in both ballet and contemporary dance styles. They will perform new and existing pieces by Cuban choreographers who have rarely been seen outside the country, and commission new pieces from international choreographers who will take inspiration from their iconic nation.
For their first UK tour, in which Acosta himself makes a guest appearance, they will perform works by Cuban choreographer Marianela Boán, Spanish dance-makers Jorge Crecis and Goyo Montero, New York City Ballet resident choreographer Justin Peck and Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.
Have a tip for a great London event? Share in the comments!
Happy Spring! We officially out of winter. And we are just three months away from the 2017 Yoga Holiday With Paul retreat from 23-30 June.
This is our once-a-year chance to connect, open, deepen our practice, and have a fantastic sun-drenched holiday in Portugal. What more could you possibly want?
To join the YWP retreat or for more information email: YogaHolidayWithPaul@gmail.com
Then, let the countdown begin…
Dance is an incredibly important part of my life, as is yoga, so I always enjoy reading about other people who relate dance and yoga. The following excerpt is from a Dance Advantage by professional dancers and choreographers Erin Cella and Ashleigh Penrod, who are also yoga teachers. Dancer or not, yoga will take you deeper into the joy of movement.
Read the full article here
Yoga and the Dancer’s Body
Ashleigh suggests that yoga, as it has been integrated into Western culture, is a wonderful cross-training method for dancers because we often have imbalances in our bodies due to performance-specific training.
“People tend to fall somewhere between a spectrum of stability and mobility. The incredibly stable people tend to have strong, tight muscles, so while their joints may be protected from injury, they can experience quite a bit of pain – their tight muscles restrict range of motion and put pressure on the skeleton. On the other end of the spectrum are the “Gumby” people – they have the flexibility to bend, twist and contort their bodies, but they’re extra injury-prone, because they don’t have the muscle tone to support their motion. Yoga postures can bring everyone towards the center of this spectrum – encouraging the strong people to become more mobile and the flexible people to support themselves.”
Erin and Ashleigh have both found that yoga has helped them “untrain” some bad dance habits. Although not a substitute for regular dance classes to prepare for rehearsals and performance, having a regular yoga practice is a method dancers can use for cross-training.
“Yoga provides me with a movement practice without strings attached, which has proven to be essential as a professional performer,” says Erin. “I can practice movement linked with breath and presence, but without the added layer of a choreographer, peer, and/or audience watching.”
Training the body and the mind
Dance is a holistic experience – engaging the body, the mind, and the spirit. Erin observes that yoga is a complement to dance in this way as a cross-training method for not only the body, but for the dancer’s mental and emotional sides. “Because of yoga’s effect on my mind and overall feeling-state (it’s given me confidence and contentment with my dancing body), it’s transformed into a method of finding presence while moving, as opposed to just a training routine.”
Try one of my warm vinyasa flow classes for a combination of movement and music
Did you catch the Big Dance event in Trafalgar Square at the weekend? One thousand Londoners of all ages, races, shapes and sizes dancing together. Pretty amazing.
Dance is one of the most powerful ways we have to express unity and joy. Like yoga, it is one of the fundamental ways we connect with ourselves and each other.
There are still loads of Big Dance 2016 activities coming up in London, and across the UK, as it runs until 10 September. Events this week include The London Bridge City Summer Festival, Street Dance for Toddlers, and a dance-and-science evening exploring how scientists believe motor neurons work. For a full list of activities click here.
If you’re already a dancer, or involved in an organisation that does dance, you can get involved and organise an event that inspires people to get dancing. The Big Dance Hub has more information about how to be involved.
If you’re not a dancer, now is a great time to discover how amazing dance is. Like yoga, it is an integrated practice that will change your mind, body and point of view.
Kiraly Saint Claire is a movement artist. Yoga is an integral part of the Caribbean-born, London-based dancer, photographer, filmmaker and consultant’s life. He has a profound appreciation for bodies in motion that is reflected in his stunning photographs of dancers, models and yoga teachers (including yours truly – did you spot me?)
Kiraly took the time to share his thoughts on photography, yoga, comfort food and London life.
Q & A
How did you get into photography?
I wanted to stay creatively active after my dance training at Trinity Laban. I bought a camera using my wages from working the aisles at ASDA and used my sister and aunt as models to experiment with ideas I saw on America’s Next Top Model. It’s been a self-taught journey, learning through trial and error, with the help of the odd YouTube tutorial. I’m still developing my voice as a photographer but enjoying the ride as I have no idea where things will lead, nor do I have any expectations.
What is your ethos as a photographer? And what makes a great subject?
‘Have fun and embrace the beautiful mistakes.’ It’s great to shoot with someone who likes making funny faces and isn’t afraid to step out of the box. I’m always dancing on shoots and having a laugh as I think my best work happens when everyone’s having fun. With a background in dance I’m drawn to the composition, shape and movement of a subject within the frame.
How did you get into yoga?
I started yoga by chance after getting a job at a Bikram yoga studio whilst training as a dancer. I went into my first Bikram class and literally thought I would die from the heat. After class I grabbed a sandwich and I could have sworn it tasted ten times better, so I went back to test the theory and that’s how it all started.
What impact has yoga had on your life?
I did some morning yoga classes while creatively assisting on a dance production in India. There was something quite spiritual about being in a class with dancers aged 50 and over who religiously did yoga every morning. Seeing how it kept them physically fit way beyond the estimated ‘dancer expiry age’ was an inspiration and a testament to the importance of connecting daily with our bodies. Yoga has helped me through a few knee injuries that have come with my career as a dancer and has saved me money on massages. It’s also a great supplementary form of exercise to my work as a dancer.
What do you most value?
Spending time with people who positively influence my life. Knowing I have a core group of friends/family who make this journey of life an exciting, spontaneous bundle of laughter and memorable moments far outweighs any material possession I have.
What’s your Favorite thing about London?
It’s a multicultural melting pot with endless possibilities of connecting and working with people from around the world.
What’s your comfort food?
For now, drifting and discovering new things that inspire me. With regard to my photographic work, my immediate goal is to continue working on my ‘Bodies Of Diversity’ project, and hopefully progress to a gallery exhibition and book for the project.
Web: Urban Decay Visuals
Like yoga, dance teaches us to be mindful and present in our body, to move with the breath… It is also a lot of fun!
Move It London Dance Expo is 13-15 February and it offers a range of fun dance classes for everyone from total beginners to professionals.
Why not try some hip-hop?
SUNDAY 15 FEBRUARY
A class for hip hop dancers looking to challenge themselves. BirdGang’s goals are not just to entertain but to explore social issues through dance, learn their own style; Aahehop. In this class dancers will put the exuberance, the ART, and soulful feeling back into hip hop. This class is open to all levels, be prepared to have fun, and dance till you drop
Or sex it up with some tango?
FRIDAY 13 FEBRUARY
12:30 – 13:15
Style: Ballroom / Latin
Learn the Argentine Tango from experienced performer and choreographer, Raquel Greenberg. In this open class, Raquel will teach students the fundamentals of this iconic sensual and passionate dance Latin style. Come alone, or with your partner, you will leave this class with a new found passion for the Tango!
There are over 200 classes, and at just £4.50 it is a great, inexpensive way to try something fun and new!