Saturday, July 26, 2008

Heartfelt Thanks

Yesterday at the Ballet San Marcos we had a wonderful showing of dance technique and 5 choreographic works. The dancers were really wonderful and the audience very interested. One audience member said that he felt a very liberated and free feeling from viewing the the work which was different than what he had seen before. The company presented works from Chino Latino, a new work and also a work I created for them 2 years ago. It was so interesting for me to see the work years later and to recall where I was creatively and emotionally then. It was like an amazing time capsule. I want to thank all the dancers, Vera Stasny and Henri Harman for all their support! Warmest, Dana

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Training Techniques

Rehearsals continue and much improvement is occurring! The dancers have learned a group work, two duets and one solo now. We have a showing on Friday at 12 noon of the dances at the San Marcos Casona. We will also demonstrate how we are training in class as well. Because the dance classes are quite different from what we are learning in my class, I decided to slow down today and tackle specific issues of body alignment in a special workshop. It was great to take a moment to explore in duos, specific issues of alignment. We will apply what we discovered tomorrow in our daily technique class tomorrow morning. It is great to have several weeks to really go in-depth with the work.

On another note to stay in shape, I have been going to a gym around the corner and have been exchanging ideas on training with several trainers there who are interested in the work I do to stay in shape that Connie taught me using the gymnastic ball.

I am off to have dinner with Tati's sister Pachi now. She is a wonderful dancer as well and is a judge on a very popular TV Show here similar to the US show Dancing with the Stars.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Lima City Life

I just finished my first full week in Lima. What a fabulous city. Lima is a complete juxtaposition of old and new. I always feel at home here. There is a strange calm within all the calamity of everyday life in Lima. There is an incredible traffic problem here right now due to a new bus route that is being built. So the traffic is crazy. Once I get to downtown, I teach for 2 hours, rehearse for 4 with a small break and tackle the traffic to get back to my hotel. The weather has been sunny for this winter season. I have been connecting with old friends and having dinner at many of Lima's amazing restaurants. Lima has the best restaurants I have ever eaten in.

The Ballet San Marcos dancers have been great and I am setting 4 short pieces on them. We will have a work in progress showing next Friday! Vera Stasny, the director of the Ballet San Marcos, is working on a new fully accredited degree program and we speak daily about structure and process. Looking forward to seeing Elvi, Ralph and Kathy again tonight who are back from Cuzco.

More soon!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wonderful Days and Nights in Lima

Kelly and I have been working very hard with the Ballet San Marcos. They are a wonderful company. I teach for almost 2 hours each morning and then we rehearse for several more hours. They are doing very well and it is always a pleasure to work and catch up with the dance community here in Peru.  Every morning I leave the hotel at 8am and begin teaching at 9am.  I leave the historic downtown area around 3pm daily and take in the streets and energy of Lima in the afternoons and evenings.  There is no other city in the world like it. Lima spans the old and new and there are many juxtapositions of imagery to consider daily. For the last 2 nights I have had wonderful dinners with Elvi Moore, Ralph Meyer and Kathy. They are on their way to Cuzco and Machu Picchu today.  I am always amazed by how small the world is and how important good friends are.  More soon!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Kelly's POV: Amazing Lima!

Lima is such an exciting city! My first Peruvian experiences include amazing cuisine, artisan markets that are overwhelmingly beautiful, a 4 hour parade displaying such a wonderful sense of community and culture in addition to many beautiful folk dances from across the country, a minor earthquake, and great interactions with the dancers from the Ballet de San Marco. I wish I could stay longer to assist Dana in his work, but I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to Mexico and Peru. My experiences are unforgettable!


Monday, July 14, 2008

On to Peru

Our performance in Guadalajara was incredibly well received and it was so difficult to leave our new dance friends in Mexico. We hope to return very soon!

I arrived in Lima very early yesterday. I am just re-adjusting to the climate now. I have gone from extreme heat in Colima to rain in Guadalajara to winter in Lima. It is like moving through the seasons of the year in just a few weeks. I am looking forward to getting to work Monday with the Ballet San Marcos. I had a wonderful meeting with Vera Stasny the Director of the Ballet San Marcos at the San Marcos University yesterday. We are very excited to have the program begin. Lima is always full of evergy, interesting artists, great food and colorful sights.

Elvi Moore is in town and we are going to see the Wong Parade together. Wong was a Chinese Peruvian who started a huge supermarket chain. Every year he traditionally had a parade for his employees. Having seen it before, it is quite an amazing event. Dances from all over Peru and bands will flood the streets.

The dance begins! ;)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sarah's POV: Hola!

Hola! It's hard to believe we have already been in Mexico for a week. The time seems to be passing so quickly!

We've had many memorable experiences so far in both Colima and Guadalajara, but one that was particularly unique was appearing with Dana on a television news program in Colima to talk about our performance. I studied Spanish in high school and college, but my mastery of the language is far from perfect. Therefore, I spent a lot of time the night before the appearance trying to brush up on my speaking and anticipate the types of questions that would be asked. But, alas, the anchors didn't end up asking me any of the questions I thought they would! I struggled through the interview, but I just smiled and did my best. I think it was a good example of how important it is to just roll with the punches and keep a sense of humor about things when you're in an unfamiliar culture.

Nevertheless, Dana and I had a great time visiting the television station and observing how similar it was to local television stations in the States.

We arrived in Guadalajara yesterday. The first thing I noticed is that the temperature is much cooler than in Colima. The cool evening breeze feels refreshing and relaxing.

Today we visited a market called San Juan a Dios. It was a bustling and interesting place that was packed with locals and tourists alike. Aisle after aisle was filled with a broad assortment of items; some shops peddled souvenirs and tourist trinkets, while others featured raw pig's feet or wheel barrels brimming with peanuts, spices, or even dog food! It was a great way to see and buy a little slice of Mexican culture.

In addition the all the fun we're having dancing and being immersed in another culture, I think this trip (like all of our other tours) has been a great chance for the company members to bond and build camaradie. Touring is a real pleasure because the company is comprised of people who are warm, caring and always make me laugh!


Monday, July 7, 2008

Miyako checks in

Today was so much FUN! Some of us went to the beach this afternon in Manzanillo, which is about 1 hour and 15 min away from Colima. The water was so warm and the sand was black..due to the natural volcanic rock of the region. The tide was very massaging for our sore muscles and the sand was a great exfoliant for our skin! After about an hour in the sun we drove to the center of town were we looked through some shops and had lunch by the ocean! It was a well deserved afternoon of relaxation!

After returning to Colima, we had the opportunity to watch the professional company from the university rehearse for a major concert in Mexico City late July. Some of the dancers also took Dana's workshop, so it was amazing to see how diverse their movement vocabulary is! They are such wonderful and talented individuals!


Update from Kelly

Happy 4th of July Everyone!
The company had it's debut performance in Colima this evening! The show went so well and was a big hit with the audience! The dancers from Colima performed the Paper Section from Images from the Embers, and were absolutely brilliant! We are so proud of them and also very excited to perform with them again next week in Guadalajara!
Tomorrow is a day of rest and relaxation for the company...we travel to Guadalajara Sunday afternoon!

Colima Performance

The performance last night was gorgeous!

The company looked great and the Colima dancers whom we set Images from the Embers on were amazing! Such a special evening with a warm large audience! The work looked amazing on the large stage and Maja did a great lighting job while Kevin ran our DVD projections flawlessly. I was especially moved by watching Fractures, Khaybet and Hyphen last night. It is such a gift to be able to watch the company from the wings, they are all so generous to each other and so professional.

After the show a dance scholar and I had a wonderful conversation about Michio Ito's work in Tiajuana with the Japanese community there in the 1930's. It was a wonderfully unexpected connection.

Lynn Roche who put this whole project together, attended the performance all the way from Guadalajara. She made all the dancers feel welcome. She also eloquently reinforced the fact that dance has the capacity to bridge communities all over the world. We are deeply moved by the fine artists we met in Colima and we will undoubtedly have lasting ties to this vibrant community.

Off to Gaudalara in the morning, but happily we attend a folkloric dance rehearsal this evening and we will be able to say goodbye to many of our new friends there.
More soon!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Kelly's POV: The dancers have arrived!

All of the DTSB&CO dancers made it to Mexico safe and sound! We are having such a wonderful time here. Colima is such a beautiful city, the dancers at the university are amazing, and the people of Colima are so warm and friendly.

It is Thursday, and the university students had their final rehearsal with Dana this morning. They have been learning the Paper Section from Images from the Embers over the past 4 days. Throughout this process the dancers have demonstrated how intelligent and talented they are. This section is not easy, yet they have managed to not only learn the movement and timing, etc...but also the subtle nuances and character elements within the work. Everyone in the company is so proud of them!

Today is the tech-in for the concert. Maja, our technical director, has been working in the theatre all week with her tech crew, prepping for the concert tomorrow night. The theatre is a new and beautiful contemporary building. We are all very excited to perform in Colima with the university students!