Thursday, April 18, 2013

Suhaila Salimpour Intensive- Lilian Baylis at Sadler's Well, London 7& 8 July 2012

It feels like an eternity ago already. I wish it was only yesterday, and that I could repeat it over and over again, today, for the rest of the week, the next few months, years for that matter. I could not get enough of dance training of such high quality like that, ever!

But alas, the reality is that I am stuck in the office chained to my desk yet another day, eyes glued to the screen, only sustained by recalling the happy dancey moments I spent in Sadler's Wells Theatre, London's equivalent to Dublin Dance House two weeks ago.

This was my first spontaneous overnight stay in London in honor of dance. Initially, I was a little concerned  at flying out to the UK for (barely) two days. Would it be stressful, tiring, what about my carbon footprint?  However, anyone who previously studied with Suhaila knows that staying sensible when Suhaila Salimpour workshops and Intensives are at stake is a major undertaking. Opportunities for European dancers to study with Suhaila in Europe are still few and far in between, although thanks to amazing individuals like Anna Kemper, Hilde Canoodt and Maelle and their organisational talent and commitment the occasions to study the Suhaila Salimpour format increase steadily on European shores.

Since I am only posting this a year after the event (the draft was sitting here this long, desperate right?), I just wanted to add that I am intending to participate in the Suhaila workshops in Brussels this year in October 2013. I am hoping to make a final decision and stick with it by the end of this week, stop making excuses along the lines of it being too excessive- a luxury item- on the list of my other expenditures.


"Breaking Through The Layers'- Alexis Southall workshop in Dublin- 13th April 2013

I have not posted in absolute ages, partially due to the fact that I am still struggling with severe social media phobia, and because some new year's challenges keep me busy in real life. One challenge that currently impacts my training schedule is a fairly substantial ankle injury which I am anxiously monitoring because it has not considerably improved over the last month. I am anxious because I need it to fully heal before participating in the ProTrack Intensive week during the Tribal Umrah Festival in Marseille in July. I am so fortunate to have been accepted to such an incredible event and to study with amazing teachers, Asharah, April Rose, Amy Sigil and Sharon Kihara, to name but the ones I have not had the opportunity to study with yet. Here the link for the full programme:

I sometimes wish I was more in the habit of blogging and sharing my thoughts, but it still does not feel natural to me. Exchanging personal thoughts and experiences with friends and family, fair enough, but publishing them? On the other hand I recognise the importance of some blogs. I for one am forever grateful for discovering and exploring blog entries of fellow dancers who have experienced similar challenges and blocks but are, contrary to me, brave enough to share them with the rest of the community. One of those really incredible dancers is Alexis Southall whose blog has inspired me immensely in the last year. Just to give two examples of incredibly precious entries by Alexis are and the latter of which deals with the responsibility you have as a dance teacher. It definitely corresponds to what I believe "being an inspiring, responsible dance teacher" entails.

We were incredibly fortunate that Alexis came to Dublin last weekend to teach her "Breaking through the layers" workshop during which she taught us a choreography to "The End of the Month" by Broken. The workshop reminded me to appreciate musicality and to intently listen to your piece of music rather than confining yourself to meticulously, mathematically dissecting it, and counting movement sequences. I also realised that I need to push myself a little bit more in my own practice because it is far too easy to just default what you know inherently well already, settling with moves your body has learnt to love and master perfectly. So an item for my practice agenda will be to challenge myself more in terms of increasing the speed and precision of my isolations. I really loved the choreo Alexis taught us! It was short and sweet and I cannot wait to actually get the music in order to review and revise it again.

To complete a perfectly inspiring workshop experience we went to Dada, a Maroccan restaurant on South William Street and my beautiful friend and kindred dance spirit Ailbhe who is over in Dublin for a visit from Madrid where she currently lives, the stunning Alexis (who aside from doing a solo also did a spontaneous ATS improvisation with Gwenaelle) and Lorraine each performed gorgeous dance pieces.

Thanks for a wonderful workshop Alexis, and thanks to Yasmina for organising this event!

My next workshop adventure will be in Brighton at Tribal Remix at the beginning of May and I cannot wait!


Image by Alexis Southall