Thursday, April 28, 2011

Relax, Renew, Decompress the Neck

Monday 4/11/11: Natick Longfellow Fitness: Yoga by Eve Agush: Tap Into Sensation!

Section One:
1. Start by lying on a block (parallel to mat, flat surface up to the bottom of neck)
2. Arm Under Back Stretch: Lying in constructive rest (knees bent, feet flat on floor) slide first right arm, behind lower back; gentle stretch for the shoulder; left
3. Arm Across Chest Stretch
4. Standing: go up and down a few times with breath. Breath in a full breath as arms rise up, breath out a full breath as you bend into Uttanasana (make your breath even and steady, not necessarily deep)
5. Standing CHild's Pose
6. Easy neck release
7. Heart Like  Wheel
8. Revolved Wide Legged Standing Forwrd Bend
9. Slow A with low lunge-to-drop back
10. Kneeling Dog
11. Sphinx
12. Up Dog
13. Forearm Plank

Section Two:
1. Crescent Lunge series to Airplane Pose to Virabhadrasana II to Dancing Warrior. Flow through.
2. Adho Mukha Svanasana to Plank to bring knee to nose, to outer arm, to across to inside of other arm, to nose, to Crescent Lunge-3 knee drops-Flow through.
3. Adho Mukha Svanasana to Virabhadrasana I to Gurudasana unwrap to Virabhadrasana II to Side Angle Pose to Ardha Chandrasana

Section Three:
Abs-Garudasana Crunch

Section Four:
1. Headstand Prep
2. Headstand
3.Viparita Karani

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Open House at The Dance Complex

On Sunday May 8th from 1-5pm there will be an Open House held at The Dance Complex, 536 Mass Ave. Cambridge, MA. Free 20 minute classes!

I will be teaching an ALL AGES (Kids to Adults) Flamenco class at 3:00-3:20! Come on down and join in the fun!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Patrice Monahan &  
Shufflin' Time  

Come Celebrate Jazz Week!
Great Vibe - Great Music
Swing, Blues, Funk, Latin, Tap
Original Compositions & Jazz Standards

The Lily Pad
Parlor Night
Friday, April 29th 
8pm-9pm only
1353 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
Patrice Monahan - Voice - Tap - Piano
Eyran Katsenelenbogen - Piano
Tal Shalom-Kobi - Bass
Miki Matsuki - Drums
Kelly Roberge - Saxophone
Nick Grondin - Guitar 
Valery Marcantonio - Tap

Cover: $10

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Improv and Flamenco: Smoldering Coals and Fiery Flicks

Flamenco is a dance with the most rules.... understand the rules completely so that you can be free within the structure and like tap dancing and jazz.

The difficulty lies within listening and really hearing, controlling what you are doing, letting go but being able to get back and having the technical ability to say what you want to say. That is why I am finding so much freedom for myself in the connection of tap and flamenco.

With one of my young private students this year, we decided to take a different approach to her solo. Instead of my creating exact steps that she needed to learn, we started the year by just feeling the music. I let her have complete freedom and I watched her as she danced. I began by adding in specifics as to when she needed to build up her movements, soften her movements, come to a stop, etc. We chose a regular song with a 4/4 beat (rumba hybrid) which has a definite path to follow as both the music and voice lead the song.

I had her really listen to the song so she could during her moments of complete abandonment still find her way back to the structure of the song and create the correct starts and stops. Together we have created a dance of abandonment, of structure, of smoldering coals and fiery flicks.

Improvisation with boundaries. Fire in a pit.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Practice Savasana in everything you do...

I recently attended a workshop with the highly esteemed Omayra Amaya! It was a glorious 4 day experience. I have not taken a flamenco class, let alone a workshop, in over 2 years and I was a bit nervous at my  ability to hang with the intermediate/advanced class. It was great to see two of my adorable teen students involved with the level one workshop. I can see all the hard work they are putting into their dancing and I can see how much they took with them from my classes. It is always joyous to see my students flourish! I could feel myself beaming with pride.

So day one of the workshop, my mind and body were not as one. Luckily, I managed to retain the choreography that had been taught because to my surprise on day two, I felt myself hitting my stride. The mind-body connection fired up and I hit the zone. I felt I couldn't learn fast enough and just so enjoyed letting it all go and being in the moment. Another student came up to me, and she was so distressed at what she felt was her lack of ability to dance at this level. I realized at that moment that her expectations of what she had already learned and what she thought the workshop was going to be about were not the issue at hand. I told her to let it all go-let all the past work just be-and to accept herself where she was. I told her to practice Savasana! Relax and to let herself be in the moment, to allow her body and her mind to unite. She smiled at that and understood me and we enjoyed dancing together for the rest of the workshop.

By the fourth day of the workshop, I was dancing! Damn it felt good! It was real! It was of the moment! Thank you, Om...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Dance Day, Friday April 29, 2011

On the 29th of April, as every year since 1982, the official Dance Day will be celebrated all over the world by millions of dancers. It is an initiative of the International Dance Council CID, UNESCO. We have prepared the following guidelines as a checklist for persons involved in the wider field of dance: teachers, choreographers, group leaders, journalists, researchers, associations, suppliers, organizations etc.
The main purpose of Dance Day events is to attract the attention of the wider public to the art of dance. Emphasis should be given to addressing a “new” public, people who do not follow dance events during the course of the year.
Dance Day events may be special performances, open-door classes, public rehearsals, lectures, exhibitions, articles in newspapers and magazines, dance evenings, radio and TV programs, visits, street shows, parades, shop window decorations etc.
Events are primarily organized by dance companies, amateur groups, schools, associations and other institutions active in dance. Wherever possible, it is better for events to be organized jointly with a non-dance institution such as a government agency, a public school, a municipality, a business enterprise, a trade union.
Organizers have full freedom to define the content of the event.
Make sure that you include general information on the art of dance, its history, its importance to society, its universal character. This can be done in a short speech, a note in the program, a text distributed to those present. By adding this dimension you make the event different from dance activities taking place any other day.
Read a message from a prominent personality, a poem, a passage from a text by a famous author.
In order to achieve maximum success, it is important that preparations start early enough.
It is imperative to inform the press and generally the media about your event.
Notify an organization holding a central position at regional or national level, which should publish a list of events planned for Dance Day.
Entrance to events should preferably be free, or by invitation. Invite persons who do not normally attend dance events.
At best, events should take place in “new” places, such as streets, parks, squares, shops, factories, villages, discotheques, schools, stadiums etc.
By setting the event in original surroundings you stress the fact that this is an event dedicated to the universal family of dancers.
Dr. Alkis Raftis
President of the CID