The Alonzo King ballet was amazing - the dancers fabulous, yet I found the whole strangely without emotion. The conversation between Ashley Page and Alonzo King was fascinating. A wonderfully articulate man who said 'We live in ideas. As artists we become obsessed with ideas and we want to communicate those ideas.' But I wasn't clear about which ideas he was trying to communicate in these two ballets....I was full of admiration for the dancers' skill, but was moved by only one little gesture: two dancers moving slowly across the front of the stage, where the other dancers continued to move frenetically, she dabbing his forehead with a cloth, very tenderly. I would have liked to see more touches like this - a touch of charm, a touch of intimacy, a touch of humour perhaps....to touch our emotions.
I think this applies to painting too. That skill, no matter how brilliant isn't enough, isn't 'art'. (Presumptious of me?). 'Art moves you.' said David Hockney - as good a definition as you'll get I think. Would you agree?
Type in 2010 Alonzo King Dust and Light You Tube for a taste...
In Princes Street a small man is inverted - feet in the air, arms by his sides, head in a bucket - perfectly still. Beside the bucket with his head in is another bucket, into which passers by are putting money. The crazy world of Edinburgh at Festival time! Nice way to earn a crust - all you need is two buckets, the ability to stand on your head, and a little bit of pavement.
How I wish I'd had my camera - because I know you don't believe me....
Off to the Edinburgh Festival to see the Alonzo King Lines Ballet from San Francisco, and to hear the choreographer King talk about the global perspective and empathy in his work.
'...the furious abandon and exhilarating freedom of his company's contemporary classical style.'
There's nothing like live performance. Simply the real thing.
I was up early this morning and it was sunny and warm so I thought I'd have a very civilised breakfast outside (I often eat breakfast absentmindedly, standing in the kitchen).
I sat down to this treat, with the sound of the wonderful Rachel Podger playing a Bach partita drifting from the studio window....and the sun went immediately behind a cloud and a big fly plopped into my tea!
You have to laugh, and start again..
The NYC ballet workout DVDs have arrived.
How inspiring. How difficult.
I will not be discouraged, but will take Babatua's advice and start light, very light. Start small he says, so small that success is almost guaranteed.
Ten to fifteen minutes at a time.
Warm up exercises only.
Already I find myself slouching less! There is hope!
A full waterproofs August walk up Puck's Glen yesterday. At least heavy rain is good for something - the waterfalls were gorgeous!
The bit of Leo Babtua's book that speaks to my condition most at present is 'Create Habits'.
What habit would you like to create? I'm trying to get the exercise habit as you know if you read this blog.
Babatua says 'First start light'. As the DVDs haven't arrived yet, I'm doing my routine from a seven minute you tube clip - that's pretty light I guess!
Second 'Schedule your workout time' - easy - late at night. I'm an owl, no doubt about it, and late at night the house is warm, there won't be any interruptions, it's totally private and I can follow my exercise with a relaxing bath and a good sleep.
Thirdly 'Dont allow your self to miss a day'. H'mm, we'll see...
Fourthly 'Don't give up'. I'll give it a month and review.
'Be accountable to others' - well, I'm committing publicly here, now! Hold me to it. And/or join me anyone?
And finally 'Enjoy it'. Well that's my major breakthrough. The fact that I really enjoy the ballet warmup workouts increases enormously my chances of actually sticking with it, and successfully getting the exercise habit.
The Power of Less by Leo Babatua (he of the blogs Zen Habits and mnmlist) is another 'this will change your life' book. Well, some books have changed my life..
He says 'The simplicity I seek in my life is simplicity in what I do. Do less, not more, but achieve more because of the choices I make'. And what he wants to do are the things he loves.
His six Power of Less Principles are:
Choose the essential
So far so sensible. I'm liking this (thank you Maggie!)