Always Be Dancing Expressive Arts

Yoga and Flamenco for Every/body


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Flamenco Arms

flamenco armsFlamenco Arms

There are many different styles of arms, elongated and elegant; strong and sinuous. There is the classic style, lifting from the elbow or the modern style, with elbows bent and lowered first, riding tight to the body. Some arms are wild and unschooled. While still others are technical and calculated. All styles, when they are compatible with the dance, are authentic.

Your arms are never just your arms. They are an expression of your art. Next to facial expression, arms and hands are the most expressive element in flamenco dance. They capture attention as they create line, rhythm and feeling. They are the most difficult technique to master.

Learning to use your arms as part of your overall body line is of utmost importance, no matter what your style is. The arms must be extensions of the shoulders, chest, hips and legs. Arms held overhead are rarely held high enough and droopy arms are distracting and are definitely not flamenco!

 

To create the sweep for classic flamenco arms you must grow wings! Spread your back wide and lift your arms. Keep this image of wings as your back body spreads open to cradle the front body. As arms rise, shoulders must stay down and back. Not wrenched back, so that the shoulder blades pull in, but spread wide open to make the arms even longer than they already are. This is the key to the elegance and gypsy arrogance held in flamenco dance. Elbows must remain high throughout the movement as the shoulders remain down.  Feel the the initial extension of your wings from deep within muscles between the shoulders.  When you arrive at “T” position, shoulders must drop over the back of the rib cage. This will cause the front body, around the collar bones, to open wide, like a display case. There you will imagine that you are wearing a beautiful diamond necklace. This area is your display case, lift it up and display your necklace! Wear it proudly.

The arms must have energy all the way to the fingers; use Dynamic Tension. Feel your arms moving with the strength and unity of the whole shoulder girdle. 
Feel your arm pits are deep caverns with vaulted ceilings. You can create a small hollow opening inside as if to cradle a very ripe, very juicy apricot (do not squish it or drop it).

The passage of the arm must go through all the “stopping” points (3, 6, 9, 12 n  clock face) and create the shape necessary at each point (ie Never just bring your arm up with out passing through:  low “v” to “t” position to high “v” etc…). In low “v” & 6 o’clock,  make sure you do not compress the arm pits. 

Arms must always be controlled. Never throw them around as if you are directing air traffic. Arms are under constant tension. You can imagine from the torso to the wrists, as your arms rise, that an elastic band is pulling tights. Feel the tension, but do not show the tension. There is a buoyancy as they rise, like they are pushing through water. Keep the gently descending line from shoulders to elbow to wrist to finger tips. This picks up again as the arms pass through “T” position and then again the dynamic tension is created from the arms back into the body.  Make sure your arms flow.

A little about hands:

Hand movement are very personal and your hands are an extension of your personality and the emotional content to your dance. They are the fine sable hairs at the end of a paint brush. They add flourish, punctuation and can pull energy into your field or press it away. They add the final important details to your dance. the hands move from the circling of the wrists. The wrist circles do not involve any other part of the arms-so pay attention to your elbows!

 

There are two hand movement styles:

  1. Gypsy: The little finger leads the way in opening and closing the hand-like a fan opening and closing.
  2. Classic: The middle finger leads.
    • Keep thumbs in as you turn your wrist.
    • SEQUENCE: palm, fingers, wrist, fingers
    • Bend wrists as much as possible. Bring your finger tips towards the very inside of the wrist before making the rotation. That is your accents point. The unfurling carries the rhythm till the next accent.
    • Hands move with rhythm not randomly.

 

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Book Review: Growing Up Mindful by Christopher Willard, PSYD

bk04652-growing-up-mindful-published-cover_1I was pleased to receive the book Growing Up Mindful from the author, Christopher Willard, PSYD. As I have become increasingly more focused on bringing mindfulness into situations where mindfulness might not be readily available, such as in schools, offices, and  with the special needs populations, I have enjoyed the wide array of books on the practical applications of mindfulness, that I can adapt to my needs. Dr. Willard is at the top of the game. This book was really user-friendly with just enough scientific knowledge mixed with common sense. A dream book of ideas to help create a sense of balance, ease and flexibility in your life, that of your family and also to those around you. From the excellent mindfulness exercises to the practical advice, Dr. Willard offers creative and useful scripts, examples and ideas on how to bring mindfulness into your day. I highly recommend this book. It is an excellent tool for anyone: parent, teacher, and boss who wants to help young people bring mindfulness into their lives.

He also has an audio companion to his book available on Sounds True and a great set of Growing Mindful card deck that features 50 unique mindfulness activities to teach awareness, how to be present in the moment, and cultivate kindness & curiosity. Perfect for all ages! 514xcamlnel-_ac_ul320_sr192320_

As a special treat, here is a YouTube link to Dr. Willard’s TedX – Growing Up Stressed or Growing Up Mindful?

Disclaimer: The author sent me a copy of Growing Up Mindful. All opinions are my own.


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Eve Costarelli’s preliminary teaching and performing schedule for 2016-2017

Dear Students & Families: past, present and future,

Welcome to my preliminary teaching and performing schedule for 2016-2017. All programs are inclusive and are adaptable.

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  1. This year, as lead youth/teen yoga and mindfulness instructor at Open Spirit Center, Framingham and their Nourishing Teachers, Strengthening Classrooms project, I am aiming to bring yoga and mindfulness to target populations of students and faculty at Framingham High School and Hoops and Homework, an award winning After School and Summer Program serving the most under privileged kids in Framingham, MA. *** My ability to reach these populations is determined by grants and private donations though the Open Spirit/ Nourishing Teachers, Strengthening Classrooms Project. For more information, please visit our donation page.
  2. I will be at Mini Miracles Childcare Center with Eve’s Awesome Yoga for ages 15 months-6 Years. Classes here are only available for center enrollees. 
  3. Anthony Tiriti Tran and I continue our educational program, ¡Olé Flamenco! with both Young Audiences of Massachusetts and Celebrity Series: Arts For All! We can come to your school or community gathering! All programs are inclusive and adaptable.
  4. On the performance front, I will be dancing for the Boston Arts Consort and Song Caravan. On the stage, you will find me either dancing traditional flamenco or my beautiful creative gypsy-freestyle, which blends my life of dance into my own artistic expression.
  5. I am available for *private and semi private work, site specific choreography, educational presentations and master classes. *My private lesson slots are filling fast.
  6. This summer, I had the awesome opportunity to bring yoga to a BINA Farm/Warrior Thunder Foundation event and I hope to do more work with both organizations.
  7. On Saturday September 24, 2016, I will be participating in Open Spirit Center’s Day of Spirit. Please join me for my gypsy-freestyle class and how mindful movement assists in freeing your artistic voice. Check Open Spirit Center/ Day of Spirit for more details
  8. Just throwing this out there: I am looking to create a 11+ yoga boys class. If you are interested or know of anyone, please share my information with them.

Please contact me for more information. All programs can be tailored to fit your needs. 

Thank you and Remember to Always Be Dancing!

¡Olé Namaste!

Eve

 

 


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Sensory-Friendly production of The Urban Nutcracker, Saturday December 19, 2015 @ 11AM

Last year was the inaugural year for Tony William’s Urban Nutcracker’s Sensory-Friendly performance and it was truly fabulous. From the moment we walked in the doors, the care and attention given to making the whole experience positive was without bounds. I know that with the new sets and costumes expected this year, the show is going to be magical.

Urban Nutcracker Autism Friendly Flyer

URBAN NUTCRACKER HOSTS AUTISM-FRIENDLY SHOW

The Urban Nutcracker is delighted to announce its second ever Autism-Friendly performance on Saturday, December 19 at 11:00AM at John Hancock Hall. 

Thank you so much to our friends at Urban Nutcracker! The best present anyone can receive during the holiday season is to be included and valued,” said Russ Kenn, Executive Director of New England Autism Speaks. The show will be tailored to be sensory friendly in order for maximum audience comfort that will feature house lights at half capacity, sounds lower in volume/intensity, volunteers to provide support, and a quiet area. And the audience will be encouraged to dance, sing and shout! Also, this year’s Urban Nutcracker features never before seen sets and costumes in celebration of its 15th Anniversary. 1103133381_3005

It’s great to have shows that are specially inclusive, and I think it’s great that we’re doing it again!,” said Nora who is 11 and playing the part of “Clarice” in this year’s production.

The highlight of the 2014 Urban Nutcracker run was the Autism-Friendly show we produced,” said Tony Williams, Artistic Director. “We created this show to encourage even more accessibility to the arts, and it was very touching to see such an energetic and appreciative audience, and I am greatly looking forward to it this year. I’d like to thank all the wonderful Autism advocacy groups out there for the tireless work they do.”

2Marzipan_PetrMetlicka_111811Williams re-imagined the classic holiday tale to become a Boston inner-city story with a neon-buzz that blends the rhythms of Duke Ellington with the classical notes of Tchaikovsky. Annually 150 professional and amateur dancers take to the stage to showcase a broad diversity of dance forms celebrating multicultural Boston. The story follows the magical journey of Clarice and Omar through classical ballet, tap, hip hop, jazz, folklorico, flamenco and more.

Laura attended the Autism-Friendly show last year with her son: “From the moment we arrived at the theatre, the caring staff and artists made us feel comfortable, safe and welcome. It was an amazing experience to watch Daniel’s face light up with joy during the show.”
The Urban Nutcracker Autism-Friendly performance takes place on Saturday, December 19 at 11AM at John Hancock Hall, 180 Berkeley Street in Boston’s Back Bay. Tickets are available on http://urbannutcracker.com. Special group discounts are available. 

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About Urban Nutcracker: The Urban Nutcracker celebrates multicultural Boston through a broad range of diverse dance styles. Produced by the Tony Williams Dance Center, the Urban Nutcracker harnesses the power the arts to unite diverse communities to be a catalyst for positive social change.

About Tony Williams: Tony Williams is a dance pioneer and retired international ballet star. Williams’ dance philosophy uses the arts to unite diverse communities in Boston, having had direct experience on how transformative the arts can be on young lives. As a young man, he gained access to Boston Ballet’s dance program and progressed to become their first African-American principal dancer. From there he danced with the Joffery Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and performed all over the world. When Williams retired, he returned to Jamaica Plain, where it all began, and opened a dance school. Not long after, he produced the beloved Urban Nutcracker which annually enjoys a successful run downtown. Widely respected as a progressive dance educator, Williams has won the Dance Teacher Magazine Award and Wheelock Family Theater’s Wheel Award. In 2014, he founded the Tony Williams Ballet and expanded his dance school to Concord, Mass.


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World Music Boston November Featured Performances: Cuban Dance, Flamenco and Tango! ¡Olé!

LIZT ALFONSO DANCE CUBA

LIZT ALFONSO DANCE CUBA

LIZT ALFONSO DANCE CUBA

Saturday, November 7, 8pm

Sunday, November 8, 3pm

$79, $65, $50, $40 Reserved seating

(includes Cutler Majestic Theatre $1.50 restoration fee)

Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre (wheelchair symbol)

219 Tremont St., Boston

 

http://worldmusic.org/content/event_page/2991/lizt-alfonso-dance-cuba-

 Founded and directed by dancer-choreographer Lizt Alfonso, Havana-based Dance Cuba features 25 beautiful and technically superb dancers and live musicians, capturing the heart and soul of Cuba with music and dance from the ’50s to today. The award-winning company performs the Boston premiere of Cuba Vibra, a riveting, highly sensual display of Afro-Cuban dance, including the cha-cha-cha, mambo, rumba, conga, bolero, and more.

 

 PACO PEÑA FLAMENCO DANCE COMPANY

PACO PEÑA FLAMENCO DANCE COMPANY

PACO PEÑA FLAMENCO DANCE COMPANY

Performing the Boston premiere of Flamencura

Sunday, November 15, 7:30pm

$58, $48, $37, $30 Reserved seating

(includes Berklee $1 restoration fee)

Berklee Performance Center (wheelchair symbol)

136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston

http://worldmusic.org/content/event_page/3006/paco-pe%C3%91a-flamenco-dance-company

 

Exceptional flamenco dancers and a sensational band of musicians and virtuoso singers come together in Flamencura, a new production from legendary flamenco guitarist Paco Peña. Packed with intensity, depth, and raw energy, Flamencura is grounded in the present but also pays tribute to flamenco’s rich heritage.

 

 THIS IS TANGO NOW

 THIS IS TANGO NOW

THIS IS TANGO NOW

Friday, November 20, 8pm

Saturday, November 21, 8pm

Sunday, November 22, 3pm

$40 Reserved seating

$36 World Music/CRASHarts members

The Institute of Contemporary Art (wheelchair symbol)

100 Northern Ave., Boston

 

http://worldmusic.org/content/event_page/3031/this-is-tango-now

Formed by renowned, Tony-winning tango artists Fernanda Ghi and Guillermo Merlo and musician Alfredo Minetti, This Is Tango Now represents a unique approach to tango, reflecting an unconditional passion for the art form. Featuring a stellar company of 12 dancers and musicians performing the world premiere of Carmen . . . de Buenos Aires, this breathtaking new production of Carmen blends tango and flamenco with an original score based on Bizet’s beloved melodies.

 

 

Free preperformance talks with Boston Dance Alliance Executive Director, Debra Cash, 30 minutes prior to curtain in the ICA lobby.

Free post-performance Q&A with the company Friday, November 20.


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Dance In The Schools 2015: Life Cycle of the Yoga Butterfly

Waiting For Wings by Lois Ehlert

Today was the final day of Dance In The Schools 2015 at the Baldwin School, Cambridge. My classes were based on the life cycle of the butterfly (current with the 2nd grade science curriculum) and the concepts of senses we know (touch, sight, smell, hearing and taste) and then the ones we don’t know as much about (proprioception= an awareness of our bodies in space and the vestibular system=balance, gravity and movement information though our inner ear).

The best thing about yoga is that it allows for a sensory experience in a safe/non-competitive environment. You can manipulate your body in space, using poses, breath and meditation to clear pathways to achieve balance.

Breathing Sticks (once again, I noted to them to practice their breathing once they got their sticks)

Sa-Ta-Na-Ma meditation

Waiting for Wings/They have eggs to lay...What is the Butterfly Life Cycle?

Egg (usually laid on a leaf)

Larva/Caterpillar (eats leaves to grow)

Pupa/Chrysalis/Cocoon

Adult butterfly/moth

What is metamorphosis?

Interesting facts:

  1. Butterflies are active during the day feeding on flowers. They suck up the sweet nectar with their long, curly tongues. That is because butterflies cannot bite or chew.
  2. There are about 150,000 kinds of butterflies and they and their caterpillars come in all sorts of colors and sizes.
  3. Butterflies Like all insects, they have six jointed legs, 3 body parts, a pair of antennae, compound eyes, and an exoskeleton. The three body parts are the head, thorax (the chest), and abdomen (the tail end). Most have four wings. The wings of butterflies are covered with tiny scales that seem to shimmer in the daylight. Some of them are brightly colored. Others have bold patterns or scary eye-spots. When a butterfly flashes its wings at its enemies, it confuses them, and gives itself time to escape the danger that they might be in.
  4. Butterflies and moth belong to the order Lepidoptera. Lepidos is Greek for “scales” and ptera means “wing”. Monarch visiting Mums

Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert

Out in the fields, eggs are hidden from view. Child’s pose

clinging to leaves with butterfly glue. Stretching child’s pose. Fingers crawl to the left and right to stretch sides.

Soon caterpillars hatch. They creep and they chew. Creep forward into inchworm.

Each one knows what it must do. Press up to cobra. Add hissing and snaking back up and down.

Find a place where winds don;t blow, Locust.

then make a case in which to grow. Bow.

Caterpillar changes now begin– Rock and roll on belly, release. Rise up to standing position.

body and wings take shape within. Tapping.

When it’s time, each case is torn– Willow tree and joy breath.

wings unfold; new butterflies are born! Star Pose.

They pump their wings, get ready to fly, Add cross body kicks.

then hungry butterflies head for the sky. Yoga Jumping Jacks.

Looking for flowers with nectar to eat, Standing flower pose (tree)

they catch a whiff of something sweet.: Join a partner for partner tree/or group tree

They follow that fragrant scent of perfume, Melt to the floor. breathing in and smelling the delicious odor of fresh flowers 3x.

until they find our garden bloom.: Seated flower

We’ve been waiting for wings! Seated bat (opening flower)

We watch them circle, land on their feet, Lay on back and hug knees to chest. Legs up towards ceiling, as if walking on ceiling. Foot circles, both directions. Point and flex and then walk on ceiling and then bicycle.

unroll their tongues, and begin to eat.: Rock and roll. Grab feet, happy baby.

They dip and sip, Feet down. Simple lying twist.

then fly away, back home to the fields… Full body stretch-like a gingerbread man.

They have eggs to lay.: Savasana

Song (sung to the tune of Pop Goes The Weasel)…I tried!

I spin and spin my chrysalis

I stay inside to rest

When I come out….Metamorphosis!

Pop! Goes the butterfly.

Of course we then did a rousing version of Yogini Went to Sea and then the Downward Dog Crawl Tunnel. Not taking into account the size of the room, proved to be a stumper for a moment. But I offered up the challenge to the class and we  were able to create a circle, which worked very well! I so appreciated the first groups problem solving ability!

Please enjoy the wonderful gift I received:

IMG_3897 IMG_3898 IMG_3903 IMG_3899 IMG_3900 IMG_3901 IMG_3902 IMG_3904 IMG_3905 IMG_3906 IMG_3907 IMG_3908 IMG_3909 IMG_3910 IMG_3911 IMG_3912 IMG_3913 IMG_3915 IMG_3916 IMG_3917 IMG_3918 IMG_3919 IMG_3920 IMG_3921 IMG_3922 IMG_3923 IMG_3924 IMG_3925 IMG_3926 IMG_3927 IMG_3928 IMG_3929 IMG_3930 IMG_3931 IMG_3932 IMG_3933 IMG_3934 IMG_3935 IMG_3936

Ole! Namaste!


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Emotion Cards: How to Dance With Heart (or how to access your emotional body while dancing)

Last night, I attended Ainoa performance in her school’s International Night event. I am so impressed with this event. First of all, it is a night solely represented by dancing-boys and girls alike and there are dances representing at least 12 different countries such as India, Mexico, Iran, Ireland, China and Peru. Ainoa’s dancing has reached a new level. She has found her self within the music, knowing the choreography, understanding the rhythms. We can call this the comfort zone. So now we attack the emotional content and how to express it to the audience.

Seated yoga sequence to balance the chakraschakra-flower-672x1024

Muladhara Chakra- root chakra- color red

  1. Easy pose (habitual cross leg first-both of us chose right over left). Feel sit bones. Show on skeleton model, where the sit bones are (Remind of the wrap of the psoas muscle and the Nerf ball.) Recross to non-habitual side and feel sit bones.

Svadhistana Chakra- sacral chakra- color orange

  1. Upavishta Konasana, with legs only as wide as the mat (short ways), with bolster under knees. Just resting arms on upper legs and letting head drop forward.
  2. Butterfly pose.

Manipura Chakra- solar plexus chakra- color yellow

  1. Easy seated twist. Right leg in front, right hand holds left knee. Recross. Left leg in front, left hand holds right knee.

Anahata Chakra- heart chakra- color green

  1. Bolster under shoulders and then moves after 3 breaths down the spine. Stopping and always taking at least three breathes in each spot. End with bolster under hips and do knees into chest. I pointed out to her that this is a back bend too. At first she did not believe e as she sees wheel as the only back bend, but I had her close her eyes and I told her to imagine she was standing on the edge of a pool and by leaning back, she was going to be able to dive in backwards. I could just tell from her energy shift that she was getting it.

Vishudda Chakra: throat chakra- color blue

  1. Ocean breath, in constructive breath, on in breath still holding, knees go out and on out breath pull knees back in towards chest, like a bellows.

Ajna Chakra: Third-eye chakra- color purple

  1. Release legs and let them rise to the ceiling (Make your body into an “L” shape-do not do shoulder stand). Make ankle circles in and out. Point and flex feet. Re-hug legs into chest.

Sahasrara Chakra: Crown of the head chakra- color white light/ glimmering diamond

  1. constructive rest. 1 minute mindfulness meditation.

Savasana- Chakra balancing

  1. Conscious rest

ZM-15Emotion Cards: How to Dance With Heart (or how to access your emotional body)

I started to create a deck of cards that have emotions and energies written on them.

I chose words that I felt were evoked during flamenco dance and by listening to flamenco music:

Adoration, Anger, Despair, Determined, Energized, Fatigued, Fury, Grief, Happy, Sad

These cards jump started Ainoa and she started to create her own deck, where she then proceeded to create her own definitions and how they could relate to dance (they key words are underlined):

Angry: scrunched up face; angry eyes; eyebrows narrowing; eyes on fire

Calm: laying on the couch and watching TV.

Clumsy: bumping into things.

Curious: wanting to uncover something.

Determined: refusing to quit.

Happy: smiling, jumping, breathing fast.

Funny: you can make people laugh or other people can make you laugh.

Mysterious: lifting up one eyebrow; skulking; looking everywhere

Nervous: you have to perform in front of 3,000,000 people.

Pushed: feeling forced to do something

Sad: someone died; crying; eyes drooping; looking down; not really moving; dancing energy in down

Scared: you see a monster.

Suspicious: not believing what someone is telling you.

Identify flamenco emotions. Choose three or four emotion cards

Looking on youtube for

    1. Silvia Moreno: bulerías https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_5PT1rwQEA
    2. Merche Esmerelda: Guajiras (Saura) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_fZdzw_4v4
    3. Rocio Molina y La Tremendita: Bulerías https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYaY4zZgTas
    4. Miguel Poveda y La Lupi “Triana, Puenta y Aparte” Tangos de Triana https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcbDYPO-uAU
    5. Tangos de la cava en Triana (El Titi) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwc_pzvP3G4
ZM-34

Ainoa and Eve Sevillanas