Photo © 2009. Nannette Bertschy & Ann Moradian.

looking at the world and challenging our assumptions, definitions and creation of it through the lense of the body, movement, the arts and science.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Summer Classes and Rentrée Schedule

THIS SUMMER
For those of us summering in Paris,
I'll be teaching on
Mondays at 2pm
M° Tuileries/Pyramides

Let me know when you are planning to come and I'll send you the details. The rate for the summer class is €10/class.

A LA RENTREE IN SEPTEMBER

PRIVATE and ON-SITE GROUP CLASSES:
Private classes and on-site yoga classes for companies and groups are tailored to suit your needs and schedule. Click here for additional information (in English & French)
Contact rendezvousyoga(at)gmail.com

ONGOING OPEN CLASSES (in English & French):
Mondays, 2:00-3:00pm - Integral Hatha Yoga, open level
Fridays, 10:00-12:00 - Movement for Performers, open level
TBA** - PranaStretch, open level

WORKSHOPS:
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Physical Theatre Workshop for ages 8-14 with Louise Denyer
14h00-18h00, €30
Contact perspectivesinmotion(at)gmail.com

**If you are interested in the PranaStretch class (or in forming another Yoga group class in the evening) please contact me with your availability, as last year's schedule is changing. I will be happy to find the best time so that any or all of you who are interested in the class might be able to attend it. It is an unusual and beautiful practice that I am always happy to share, as it is in this work I experienced the most positive transformations for myself and my life.

INFORMATION ON THE DIFFERENT CLASSES:

NEW: Movement for Performers (in English and French) is all about relationships -- the relationship within one's own body and being, with the world around us and with each other. We integrate the attention and breath with the body's movement, working with gravity and spatial awareness to develop awareness, strength and ease. Then we move out into the world to move in contact with others, developing not only the animal grace inherent in each of us, but also the ability to "listen," respond and "speak" through the body. This class is designed for actors and performers and is open to all levels. It is lots of fun, and all are welcome! Drop-ins are accepted and class cards are available. For more information, click here.

Integral Hatha Yoga combines the traditional elements of yogic postures, breathing practices, chanting, deep relaxation and meditation. This is an excellent way to stretches, strengthens, calms and focuses the body and mind, bringing awareness inward toward balance and holistic health. Drop-in classes are accepted and class cards are available. For more information about yoga, click here.

PranaStretch is both an intense and a deeply relaxing yoga practice focusing on integrating breath, attention and movement, or one might say mind, body and soul. Designed for serious students wishing to maintain a steady and focused practice, the class develops clarity, strength, ease and flexibility. It relies strongly on the yogic principles of ahimsa (non-harm), satya (honesty), tapas (exigence), aparigraha (acceptance of our being), svadhaya (self study) and asks for and develops our inherent courage, compassion and wisdom. Class enrollment is per year (pro-rated when required). A 3-class trial is advised before registering for this class. Ongoing drop-ins are not accepted. For more information on the practice, click here.


RATES and LOCATIONS:

Integral Hatha Yoga classes (one-hour) at the
Centre de Yoga du Marais, 72 rue Vertbois (M° Arts et Metiers)
€10 / trial class (offered thru October 12, 2012, new students only)
€15 / drop-in rate
€96 / 8 class card (€12 /class)
€120 / 12 class card (€10 a class)

Movement for Performers (two-hour) in
Salle Raimu (3rd floor, escalier B) at
Salles St. Roch, 35 rue St. Roch (M° Pyramides or Tuileries)
€8 / trial class (offered thru October 12, 2012)
€15 / drop-in rate
€96 / 8 class card (€12 a class)
€120 / 12 class card (€10 a class)

PranaStretch classes (75 minutes) at Porte Maillot
€20 / trial class (applicable toward annual rate)
€50 / 3-class trial card (applicable toward annual rate)
€450 / annual rate (€12.50 a class)

Dance / Sports... and the contradictory nature of being human...

David Brooks on the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games... with an interesting comparison on dance and sports: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/27/opinion/brooks-the-olympic-contradiction.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120727

Friday, July 20, 2012

Reflections on Performance: Paris Opera Ballet's "L'Histoire de Manon" at Palais Garnier

Friday, May 11, 2012
©Ann Moradian for The Dance Enthusiast

Kenneth MacMillan choreographed Manon in 1974, and even today much of the partnering comes across as fresh and inventive--especially if it is well performed. We had the pleasure of seeing Isabelle Ciaravola performing the lead role of Manon on Friday night, with Florian Magnenet in the role of her lover, the young poet Des Grieux.


L'Histoire de Manon : Pictures Anne Deniau / Opéra national de Paris


Alone, in his earliest solos, Magnenet was so focused on his technique that the choreography was not only lost, but obliterated. There was a moment there, I admit, when I dreaded sitting through the coming three Acts. Fortunately, two beats after he began dancing with Ciaravola in their first duet, his concern about his technique was set aside and their story began to unfold. The couple performed with such fluidity that it was hard to tell where one body ended and the other began, entwining and untwisting in unexpectedly beautiful patterns, like a lyrical three-dimensional kaleidoscope.


L'Histoire de Manon : Pictures Anne Deniau / Opéra national de Paris


By Act II, Manon abandons her lover to become the mistress of the wealthy Monsier de G.M., danced with character and command by Arnaud Dreyfus. She is lifted, rolled and passed from man to man to man but, rather than the luscious sensuality and passion in the earlier duet with Magnenet, here Ciaravola dances with control, rigidity and a distance that convey beauty with neither personal pleasure nor vulnerability. The men partner her smoothly, entranced but not deeply moved, creating a clear contrast to the young lovers' abandon, and Manon's previous innocence and sincerity.


L'Histoire de Manon : Pictures Anne Deniau / Opéra national de Paris


Without a doubt, this production of the Paris Opera Ballet is a feast for the eyes. The sets and costumes, both by Nicholas Georgiadis, are elaborate, finely detailed, and executed with an expert eye for color. Even the women's simple prison garb in Act III is shaded in such rich variations on gray that the women's swirling skirts create an ocean of rich texture.

I had forgotten how beautiful the music, by Jules Massenet, is. Martin Yates' new orchestral arrangement is lovely, and the Orchestra of the National Opera of Paris, directed by Koen Kessels, brings out every morsel of its beauty, passion, playfulness and, most especially, its tenderness.

I cannot say that this performance of Manon was the best I have seen but it had its moments, and it was satisfying enough to make for a thoroughly pleasant evening.


L'Histoire de Manon : Pictures Anne Deniau / Opéra national de Paris


Footnote:

If ever you have the opportunity to visit the Palais Garnier, this opera house is not to be missed. A work of art in and of itself, it was built between 1861 and 1875 for Napoleon III as a part of "the great reconstruction of Paris" during the Second Empire. It is home to the Paris Opera Ballet and whether you are seeing a classical or contemporary program, the chances are good that the evening will be a treat.

It is an unforgettable experience to ascend the wide marble staircase, passing through the warm light from the elegant lanterns that line the way. Even if your budget sends you climbing to the top, you'll find your scalp almost scraping the same ceiling that serves as canvas to Marc Chagall's vibrant painting, added as an overlay in 1964. You also have a bird's eye view of the extraordinary chandelier designed with tasteful opulence by the building's architect, Charles Garnier.


Credits:

Manon - Isabelle Ciaravola

Des Grieux - Florian Magnene
Lescaut (Manon's brother) - Alessio Carbone
Lescaut's Mistress - Nolwenn Daniel

Monsieur de G.M. - Arnaud Dreyfus

Madame - Amélie Lamoureux
Music by Jules Massenet
New orchestration and arrangement by Martin Yates
Choreography by Kenneth MacMillan
Remounted by Karl Burnett and Gary Harris
Sets and costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis
Lighting by John B. Read

Musical direction, Koen Kessels