Always Be Dancing Expressive Arts

Yoga and Flamenco for Every/body


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Thanksgiving Yoga: How To Smell The Roses In Your Poses

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Smell the roses in your poses.

There are so many benefits to feeling and expressing gratitude. People who are encouraged to notice and reflect upon the things they are thankful for experience stronger physical, emotional, and mental health, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, are less aggressive and have healthier sense of self.

 

Yoga poses and activities can develop emotional happiness, physical calmness and mental alertness and promote the appreciation of the natural world around us through attention to the kinesthetic experience.

A brief note and brief meditation for you:

Every year, an entire day is dedicated to the celebration of gratitude. We are thankful for good food, good family and friends, and a good life. But we do not have to wait till this day to be thankful. Yoga teaches us to practice mindfulness, opening the door for gratitude to be practiced all year-long. Gratitude unlocks the abundance of life. It turns what we have into enough, and contributes to our satisfaction with our own personal riches. Being thankful for little things around us allows us to be present, alive and fully in the moment.

This brings to my mind the phrase “Stop and smell the roses”. If we do stop and smell the roses, we will start to notice the richness that surrounds and inundates all our life’s moments. By taking a step back and being aware of the things in your life that you are truly thankful for, you can bring balance to chaos and calmness to turmoil. Peace of mind can be yours by bringing yourself into the here and now! Notice the veritable cornucopia of things to be grateful for in your life: your family, friends, a roof over your head, working at something you take pride in, a smile or kind word from a stranger, a flower peeping out from the sidewalk, a fresh breeze, the warm touch of the sun, the smell of the earth after rain, the farmers who grow the food, the chef who cooks it…the list is never-ending!

So…stop and smell the roses! Take a moment to look at the trees. Notice their leaves, branches and bark, feel the wind on your cheeks and breathe deeply!

Remember that you need time to relax and rejuvenate too. Take care of yourself, so that you can be the most supportive and effective person that you can be.

A simple mindfulness meditation:

1. Find a quiet and comfortable place. Sit in a chair or on the floor with your head, neck and back straight but not stiff. You can also lie down. Or lean against the wall.

2. Become aware of your breathing by focusing on the sensation of air moving in and out of your body as you breathe. Feel the air entering and exiting through your nostrils. Feel your belly rise on the inhale and fall on the exhale. If needed, the first few breaths you can allow the exhale to express through gently pursed lips-imagine you are fanning the coals. This help to elongate the exhale and the sound is a great focuser. Pay attention to the way each breath changes and is different. Notice that the air is cool as it enters the body but it is gently warmed when it exits.

3. Watch every thought come and go, whether it be a worry, fear, anxiety or hopeful. When thoughts come up in your mind, note them, remain calm and use your breathing as an anchor. Watch your thoughts as if they are clouds drifting by in the sky.

4. If you find yourself getting carried away in your thoughts, simply return to your breathing. I sometimes like to say “Thinking” or “Thought” or I name it “that is the worrying me who thinks she cannot do things…etc. when I notice I have drifted and this helps me come back to the present moment and my breathing. There is not punishment for being lost in thought: allow it, notice it, move on.

As the time comes to a close bring (this can be 1-minute, 5 minutes 20 minutes or more!) bring some more energizing breaths into your body. You can wiggle your fingers and toes. Roll to one side (if lying down). Get up gradually.

Gratitude Attitude Yoga for Kids: 6358626217332020101255530005_thankyou

How should we bring gratitude to children’s attention? Playfully. They can learn how to be thankful by getting to know themselves, physically, emotionally, energetically and intellectually. Using the methodologies of yoga, qigong, and dance, they have the freedom to express this autonomously. The gratitude attitude can be bolstered by our commitment to communicating with them where they are now, by how we act and how we relate to them during our time together. Through various activities in action and in stillness , they can explore their own paths to gratitude.

Activities:

Stillness activity #1: Ringing the chime. Turn taking. Sharing. Listening. Experiencing. Different vibration every time. Building confidence and self-esteem.

Stillness activity #2: Colored glass rocks: creating patterns, shapes, feeling their cool, soft edges…listening to a piece of quite music like “Variations On Twinkle Twinkle by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or Joe Cool’s Blues by Wynton Marsalis and Ellis Marsalis.

gorilla-thumpWaking Up The Sense Activity #1: Gorilla Thumps Gently thumping body parts  and meridian points. The chest and just below the collar bones using Aaaaaaaa-Eeeeeee-Iiiiiii-Oooooooo-Uuuuuuuu. Energy booster! Waking up the energy lines. 

Waking Up The Sense Activity #2: Rag Doll Dance Shimmying, shaking, jiggling, flouncing. Feeling light. Waking up. Moving feet. Moving hands. Fingers, Toes. Head. Waking the senses.
Yoga Poses:

Mountain pose. Thank you Mountains for being so strong and stable. 

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Mountain

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Upward Mountain

Sun (breathe in, arms come up the sides till fingers touch at the top. Try to match finger to finger) feeling awake; Moon (hands clasped at the top. Lean to one side then the other) feeling bright; Wind (starting swaying arms, let them gently tap your body as your spine twists side to side) feeling free; Rain (add finger wiggles) feeling fresh. 

Waterfall Bend over and touch the floor. Feel the cool water running through your fingers. Feel calm. And Kind of sparkly. 

Squat like a frog. Sit still, like a frog. Breathe quietly, like a frog. Then hopping ribbit, ribbit, ribbit (and then back to your lily pad) 

Cow and Cat-Moo and Meow grounded to the floor. Stable like a table! 

Breathe in, lift up, Snake. Hissssssssssssing down on the exhale. Repeat. Strong arm muscles pushing you. Notice your hands on the floor and push up.

Woof. Down dog. Lifting one foot for a tail. Switch. Barking. Feeling joyful

Tree Pose. Standing tall and balanced on one foot. Friend Tree: Do it with a friend. Family Tree: Do it with the whole yoga family. 

Challenge Pose #1: Single sided bow pose. Switch sides. Then try traditional bow pose.

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Challenge #2: Pointer Dog Pose

bird-dog

Challenge #3: Dancer’s Pose. Hold hands with a partner and be each others support. Try it on your own to test your inner balance.

Resting Poses:

Floating On The Sea: On your back, the mat is a calm blue sea. Gentle waves rocking you as you let your body relax and float. You feel weightless. Hear the seagulls. Hear the waves lapping. Feel the warm breath of the sun. Smell the beach air full of ocean, sun and sand.  Your belly is the ocean. On each inhale, allow the belly to fill up and on the exhale, let the belly soften. Take your next few breaths into your veer softening belly. Drift. 

Crocodile: Belly time (EVERYBODY needs belly time!). Now the mat is a river.  Crocodile is gliding slowly in the river. Feel the warm water all around. Head down. Can rest head to one side or the other. Or use hands as a pillow. Can bend one knee or the other (if knee is bent head should be looking to that same side or straight down.)  Feel belly on the floor. Pressing in as you inhale. Feel your back softening on the exhale. On each inhale, allow the belly to fill up and on the exhale, let the belly soften. Take your next few breaths into your veer softening belly. Glide. 

Sleeping On A Cloud: Belly or back time. Can you imagine clouds in the sky? Imagine you could rest gently on top of one. Feel the soft cotton cradling you gently. There is a little sway and bob as the cloud floats through the sky. In your imagination,  look at the other clouds as they float by. See them drifting by. See their shapes. What shapes do you see? When you start to look at or think about other things, gently go back to looking at the clouds. It is o.k. if you do. When you do realize you are not thinking about the clouds, gently start noticing the clouds and their shapes. Float.

Games and Books:

Game #1: Let each child call out the name of a living thing and then create a pose to go with it. For example, T-Rex. Stand up. Make “little” arms like a T-Rex, and then do mat walk. Walk all around the outer edge of your mat-while acting like T-Rex-in one direction. Then reverse your direction to get the most brain balancing effect.

Game #2: Tape numbers (1-10, or less) around the walls and tape a yoga pose card next to each number. Easy version: everyone goes through poses in numerical order. Challenge option: Pair up the students. Give them each a pose order card (numbered 1- 10, but not in numerical order). Each group heads off a deux, and does their poses in the order specific to their card.

Game #3: Another version of the above game (my fall to game in every class) is putting one, two or more cards under each mat. Student pull the cards out and arrange them, either as they like or numerically. Students then have an allotted amount of time to do their pose(s). At the signal, everyone moves clockwise and arrives on a new mat, with a new set of cards presented to them. Continue until everyone is back on their original mat.

Book #1:For younger kids, check out My Amazing Day: A celebration of wonder and gratitude by Karin Fisher-Golton, Lori A. Cheung and Elizabeth Iwamiya (please check out my review of this book here). This book can be read and easily adapted to yoga poses to go along with the things the baby is grateful for. 

Book #2: This is one of my favorite all time books that I read to my son almost every day. It is so beautiful and the kids just can’t get enough of the surprise and the anticipation and it is so sweet and lovely: The Lion and the Red Bird by Elisa Kleven. Here is a fabulous YouTube of Elisa Kleven reading her beloved book. Elisa came into this hospital to share her wonderful story with fantastic illustrations. The patient, Ashley, sure had a lot to say about the story! Enjoy this children’s book classic.

 

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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
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Ainoa and Eve Sevillanas


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Day One Dance in the School 2015: What is mindfulness and how does it fit into the school day?

Day One Dance in the School 2015: 8b8b9-img_0747

What is mindfulness and how does it fit into the school day?

Maria Baldwin School, Cambridge, MA

Megan Powers & Karma Paoletti’s 2nd grade classrooms

A great opening for my in-school yoga and mindfulness program is to take the school’s core values or credo and work it into the mindfulness theme.

The Maria L. Baldwin’s CORE VALUES

We, the students of the Maria L. Baldwin School:

• Always give our best effort. (determination-a great word that self implies action rather than stagnation)

• Stand up for ourselves and others. (loving-kindness, compassion, empathy and peace. See the four abodes of yoga)

• Are kind, positive and safe. (Ahimsa *see Yamas)

• Treat others the way we want to be treated. (Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha* See the Yamas)

• Work together to make a fun learning community. (loving-kindness, compassion, empathy and peace. See the four abodes of yoga)

love-compassion-joy-peaceMindfulness teaches loving-kindness, compassion, empathy and peace (Calmness and levelheadedness) and those are the foundation of a strong school community where teachers are nourished and classrooms are strengthened.

Today’s class started with the making of Breathing Sticks (When I teach a math based yoga curriculum, I bring in my abacus and show the kids how to use it. Also, for those classes, I call the sticks Breathing Abacuses) Here you use a large pipe cleaner, knot one end, slide on 5 beads and then knot the other end. This is a great visual for the students to use to follow for 5-deep, relaxing breaths. Using a nice slow, but steady inhale through the nose, slide the bead ½ way down the pipe cleaner as you are breathing; then a nice and easy exhale through the nose as it completes its journey to the other side. I usually lead the process one full-time through and then ask for a “turtle breath” leader and the group then focuses its attention on that person. Each student moves the beads on their own stick while following the leader. This great exercise was taught to me by Elizabeth Goranson of Stretch What Matters and I think it fits beautifully into a classroom based program and can easily be implemented by the regular classroom teacher.

Mindfulness is something that can be practiced every day throughout the day. Using mindfulness as a strategy to ease transitions works for all students and faculty alike. The sticks are a great resource because even if they are not available for use, their image can be called up in the mind and still be used as a focal point. At any point, such as the start of the day, the start of a class, the end of a class, have your students stop what they are doing, sit up with a straight spine, although not too straight to be rigid, but up right and awake, close their eyes or not, and take five breaths. Have them become aware of the breath, such as how it feels (It is cool as it enters and warm as it exits. Is it in the belly or the chest? Is it deep or shallow). Doing this will help both you and them anchor yourselves into the present moment…to be in the NOW. These few breaths will help you become aware of your body (notice tension, ease, tightness, calmness), your emotional state (frustrated, bored, excited, joyful, angry), your energetic state (tired, on edge, energetic…) and what is going on in your mind (busy, clam, cloudy, clear….). There are no right or wrong answers, this is just a time to notice and it only takes about 3 minutes. Just starting your day with these 3 minutes will actually allow you to have more productive time in your classroom; it will not be time wasted.Eve's _IMG_0799

After completing our breath work, I like to check-in with the students to see how they are feeling. They usually like to share their emotional, energetic or physical energy. I also ask, What is yoga? And get answers such as exercise, stretching, it calms you down, and What is meditation? Sitting quietly and not talking, Sitting like this (and they show a mudra), relaxing your mind….

Today I taught the Sa-Ta-Na-Ma meditation. The moving of the fingers and the repetitive chant is a great way to put thought out of the mind with little effort. I always follow Shakta Kaur Khalsa of Radiant Child Yoga‘s suggestion of the sequence: out loud, in whisper, in head with hand movements only, in whisper and then out loud again. With this age group I generally have them it 8x in each sequential stage.

Warm-Up:

seated easy twist (can be with or without partners)

cow and cat (meow) to ½ scorpion balance to pointer dog balance to one-legged bow pose (both sides)

child’s pose

Downward Dog to 3-legged dog (wag leg like a tail woof woof) to bend knees, look at hands, jump forward to hands

Stand Up

Sun salute-full body warm up, a great way to wake your body up for the day

Mountain-to up mountain to chair pose to ski racer pose to standing child pose to lifted chest, knees bent to forward fold (2x)

On second time send right leg back for high lunge (float hands) to low lunge (arms up and head up-look at hands) to moving forward, put weight on front foot and float back leg up (standing split)-float one hand at a time, then try both step into plank press to downward dog-jump through and repeat sun salutation, then lunges on left side. After 2nd plank, float slowly to the floor and then rest in crocodile pose.

Locust

Tree Series

Yogini Went To Sea (end by floating to floor)*Moving meditation that stimulates meridians taught to me by Shakta Kaur Khalsa of radiant Child Yoga

Lie on back, hug knees into chest

Stretch legs to ceiling (this is the version of candle stick pose I use in a classroom situation-no trauma for the necks and backs and it gets the legs over the heart), roll ankles, point and flex feet

Lay out on backs, prepare for relaxation

Deep relaxation exercise:

DSC3899The Post Card Rack of Happy Memories (Adapted from an exercise taught to me by Peter DiMuro).

Lets start by taking in a few deep breaths together. Allow yourself to feel your breath coming in and out. Focus your breath into your belly. Let yourself go and allow yourself to rest calmly. Imagine a post card rack in front of you, like when you go on vacation and you are looking to send cards to someone, but on this rack, are postcards with pictures of you having happy times. These happy times can be with your family, with friends, by yourself, with an animal, they can be from actual vacations, or just a good time at home, they can be of your favorite place to read, to relax, they can be indoors or outdoors….). Now settle your eyes on one card, it does not have to be your favorite one just anyone your eyes rest on. Think about this happy time…how old were you? What’s the temperature? The smell? The colors? Let your self be wrapped up by all the sensations of this moment. You are safe, loved and relaxed.

I then initiate savasana with a ring of the chimes. I try to give these kids a 5 minute savasana. Three chimes to end.

Explanation of Namaste– the light inside of me, shines to the light inside of you. And by yu saying this, you are saying the same to me. This ultimately means, thank you!

Namaste


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Youth Flamenco, Inclusion Yoga and Tween/Teen Yoga with Eve Costarelli 2014-2015

Lola's Fandango
Youth Flamenco on Wednesdays; Classes start Wednesday September 10th, 2014
@ The Dance Complex, 536 Mass Ave., Cambridge, MA

Youth Flamenco 1 (ages 5-10); 4:00PM The class is designed for children aged 5 to 11 with zero to 1 year of flamenco dance experience. This class includes basic technique of flamenco dance to include correct posture, hand, arm, and foot placement. The student will become familiar with basic flamenco vocabulary. The course will include exercises that will develop the clarity of the students’ footwork, develop their upper-body to lower-body coordination. Basic castanet playing exercises are practiced. Repertoire will be taught. Required attire: leotard or fitted top, castanets, flamenco shoes and skirt for girls. Castanets and flamenco boots for boys. Pre-Registration for Fall-Winter 2014 session, as well as Winter-Spring 2015, contact Eve Costarelli AdamAnt_Eve@hotmail.com for more information. No drop-ins.

Youth Flamenco 2 (ages 9-16); 5:00PM Two years of dance experience required. This class offers Flamenco technique to improve posture, hand, arm, and foot placement. Exercises that will improve clarity of the students’ footwork, upper-body to lower-body coordination as well as stamina and endurance are included. Medium to complex footwork and choreographic variations are taught. Required Attire: Flamenco shoes, flamenco skirt, leotard or fitted top, castanets. Other dance accessories may be required such as Spanish hat, mantón and fan, when necessary. Pre-Registration for this Fall-Winter 2014 session, as well as Winter-Spring 2015, contact Eve Costarelli AdamAnt_Eve@hotmail.com for more information. No drop-ins.

Inclusion Yoga
Inclusion Yoga (ages 6-10) and Tween/Teen Yoga on Thursdays: Classes start Thursday October 2nd, 2014
@ Open Spirit Center, 39 Edwards St., Framingham, MA

Inclusion Yoga (ages 6-10); 3:45-4:35PM This inclusion class will help children with Autism, special needs, and typical learners to feel comfortable with all people, noting that everyone is different and that’s OK. The class combines breath work, movement, guided meditations and a deep relaxation period to help children learn to be aware of their thoughts, emotions and what their bodies say. This specialized program is designed for typically developing children, and children with special needs, including but not limited to; Autism, ADD/ADHD, OCD, Anxiety, PDD, Sensory Processing Dysfunction, PTSD, CP and DS. Students must be able to take verbal instructions and follow along in a group setting with support. Pre-Registration for this Fall session, as well as other sessions throughout the year, are availablehttp://www.openspiritcenter.org/. Led by Eve Costarelli. $90 for the Fall session, no drop-ins.

Tween/Teen Girls Yoga (ages 11-18); 4:45-6:00PM This class brings older tweens and teens together to explore how yoga can help them better understand and appreciate their changing bodies, relationships, and lives. Yoga can help tweens/ teens move through these often-challenging years and emerge with healthy ways to address stress and find balance. Classes will help empower teens and inspire self-awareness and body confidence, and are fun, upbeat, and non-competitive. Yoga poses, philosophy, breath work, meditation and journaling will be explored. This class also presents a wonderful opportunity for tweens/ teens to come together, laugh, and build friendships within the Open Spirit community. Pre-Registration for this Fall session, as well as other sessions throughout the year, are availablehttp://www.openspiritcenter.org/. Led by Eve Costarelli. $90 for the Fall session, no drop-ins.

Privates are available, slots are filling quickly.
Flamenco and Yoga parties available for children and adults. Yoga Classes & The Common Core, Weddings and Corporate events available. Please inquire.

Eve’s other projects include:

Nourishing Teachers, Strengthening Classrooms Project @ the Framingham Public Schools; Framingham, MA

The Birth of Flamenco @ Young Audiences of Massachusetts; Greater New England

Yoga in the Park @ Ivy Child International; Worcester, MA

Core Yoga In Schools @ Brighton High School; Brighton, MA

Yoga Reaches Out: Kid’s Yogathon; Natick, MA

Smell The Roses Flyer

Working with kids and animals…

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There is a saying “Never work with kids and animals”….but I cannot imagine a better “job” in the world!  

Last night, I had the awesome opportunity to include some of my youth flamenco students in a performance with the Boston Arts Consort. Last night was the Feria de Abril at the Democracy Center in Cambridge , MA. supported in part by the Highland Street Foundation and Art Week Boston. It was a huge success, played to a SRO audience!

The first half of the show was Zarzuela and Feria. My students and I paraded onto the stage, dancing flamenco, to cheers and ooh’s and olé’s, from the audience. This was free-flamenco movement that is so lovely and allows each child to express themselves as they see fit, without any constraints. This can be difficult at times. Being free in front of people can cause fear, embarrassment, and self-consciousness.

Prior to our starting, I had a pow wow with the kids and talked about how to relieve the symptoms of stage fright. I used the example of a movie star, who on the set, has perfect hair, make up, costumes, memorized lines and even a fake accent. We adore this person as an actor! But what if we met this person on the play ground? Their hair would be messy, no make up, regular clothes, no memorized lines and no accent! This is the same person. One is the actor person, one is the person they really are. When we perform, we must be the “actor” part of us, who is not the same as the regular us. It was a good analogy; the kids really got it.
Here are a few more tips:
*Be prepared. Know what you have to do for the performance. That means you have to have practiced prior to the event.
* Be calm. Take breaths in and out through the nose to calm your body and your mind. Inhale like you are really savor into a delicious smell so it fills you up like a balloon, then slowly allow the breath to slide out of your body, letting the body deflate and relax.
* Remember that the audience will be amazed at your fearlessness! Most people do not have the ability to perform in front of others…you do! I guess this is the one we say to imagine the audience in their underwear…
* Be energized, confident and “in the zone”. Allow yourself to draw from all the energy around you, to use that energy to lift you!
* Be in the moment. Be mindful. Do not reside in what happened in the past or what will come in the future. Dance for that moment and give your all. That is true. That is art.
“The strings may be squeaky and worn, the voice cracked and hoarse. What counts here is not the pure and polished sound imposed by the anxious academician of our conservatories, but outrageous expressiveness…a sound too human to be heard without a total upheaval of one’s being. A heartrending cry that rips through the guts and immerses the listener in the sacred ecstasy of the duende.” Bernard Leblon/Author
* Before you go on, do some type of group bonding activity, such as all hands on top of each other in the center and a huge shout of “Ole!”!
* Get your sillies out! This was best helped by Bianca the juggler!

Eve's _IMG_1321 Eve's _IMG_1320The Green Room!Eve's _IMG_1325Eve's _IMG_1324 Eve's _IMG_1323Eve's _IMG_1328 Eve's _IMG_1327

I don’t know why they say “Never work with children or animals”? For me, it is always an experience of a life time. I graciously thank all my students and families! ¡Viva Sevilla! ¡Viva España! ¡Viva Cambridge! !Viva the Boston Arts Consort! 

 

Below is the program form the event. If you missed us this time, I hope you’ll be able to join us the next. For all the audience members-thank you!

¡Ole Namaste!

The Boston Arts Consort Presents

Feria De Abril

April 26, 2014, The Democracy Center, 45 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge, MA

Linda Papatopoli, pianist and director;

Liz Leehey, clarinet, Eva Lorca, flamenco artist with youth dancers

Josie Howe, Ainoa Nashat, David Perez-Lawrence and Frida S. Vasquez;

Roberto Rios, flamenco guitar, Clara Sandler, mezzo-soprano,

and visiting artist, bass-baritone Miguel Angel Machinandiarena

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..…………………………………………………………………

Program

-Sevilla from “Suite Española”…………………………………………….……… Isaac Albeniz

-Vals del Caballero de García from “La Gran Via”….…………….……….Federico Chueca

-Tango de la Menegilda from “La Gran Via”…………………….………….Federico Chueca

-Fiesta from “Miniaturas”…………………………………………………………Joaquin Turina

¡Que Viva Sevilla!.……………………………….Traditional dance by students of Eva Lorca

-Romanza from “Luisa Fernanda” ……………………………………..Federico Moreno Torroba

-Sevillanas………………………………………………………..Traditional dance by Eva Lorca

-Duo: ¿Porque de mis Ojos los Tuyos Retiras? from “La Revoltosa” ……….Ruperto Chapí

 

-Brief Intermedio-

-Herencia Gitana………………………………………..……………………………Juan Mostazo

-Nana from “Siete Canciones Populares Españolas”………………..………Manuel de Falla

-Te Lo Juro Yo…………………………………………………..………………..Miguel de Molina

-Sevillanas del Siglo XVIII from “Canciones Españolas Antiguas”..Federico García Lorca

-Tangos en Tono de Tarantos…..………………………….……Flamenco dance by Eva Lorca

-Zapateado from “La Tempranica”……………………..………….………..Geronimo Giménez

-Porompompero…………………….…………………….…………………..Juan Solano Pedrero

¡A Bailar por Sevillanas!

 

Many thanks for the support of Sarah Cadorette, Democracy Center Chief Coordinator,

Joe Cugini, tech support and set design, and the Madison Park Culinary School for supplying our delicious churros.

 

Drawing from the many talented artists and scholars here and abroad, The Boston Arts Consort presents programs that combine the aesthetic, cultural and literary aspects of its themes for a multi-faceted and enjoyable audience experience. At the heart of its programming is the music of Spain; Programs include Goyescas: When Art Becomes Music; Scenes of Spain in Music andTapas; and Lorca in Song and Poetry. The Consort continues to explore contemporary composers of Spain, and looks forward to programming a series of events in 2016 for the centenary of the great Spanish composer Granados. We are thrilled to be part of the inaugural year of Boston’s Artweek.

 

Meet the artists…

Linda Papatopoli, pianist and director, is active as performer and teacher in the Boston area, as well as giving workshops and concerts in Japan and Italy. In recent years her repertoire has expanded to include her passion for the music of Spain, and her lifelong interest in literature and culture led her to found the Boston Arts Consort. She was recently commissioned with soprano Meena Malik to record a series of Japanese art songs for Japan’s Children’s Song Alliance, and her arrangements for voice, clarinet, and piano of Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares and Lorca’s Canciones Antiguas will be recorded this year. Ms. Papatopoli is on the faculty of Boston College and the Solomon Schechter School Enrichment Program of Newton.

Luis De Haro, Executive Director, brings entrepreneurship to the nonprofit community through his experience in business development and real estate asset management, but his love for his native culture is reflected in all of his community efforts and in his dedication to the Boston Arts Consort. As a connoisseur of Spanish cuisine, Luis launched a specialty food business in Boston’s South End. He teaches a long-running tapas class and has created a collaborative program to mentor students with an interest in the culinary arts. As a strong proponent of bilingual education, he teaches both conversational and business Spanish.

Eva Lorca (Eve Costarelli) has been teaching flamenco, tap and yoga in the Boston community for the past twenty years. Through her exploration of flamenco technique and its connection to the yoga body, her dancing personifies the power and stillness held within the music of Spanish gypsies. Eve Costarelli is the founder and Artistic Director of Always Be Dancing which provides flamenco performances, classes, and lecture demonstrations throughout New England. As a member of Young Audiences of Massachusetts, she travels with her program, The Birth of Flamenco, to schools K-12 bringing both her love and knowledge of flamenco.  Her recently created Ole Namaste is on the cutting edge of the global yoga and dance trend infusing the movements, breath-work and meditation of yoga with the music and dance of flamenco.  Ms. Costarelli performs with The Boston Arts Consort, is on the Massachusetts State Teaching Roster and is a certified yoga teacher. For more information http://www.AlwaysBeDancing.com and AdamAnt_Eve@hotmail.com

Elizabeth Leehey is a clarinetist and music educator in the Boston area and a graduate of the Boston Conservatory. She has been a featured soloist in concert series at universities, music schools and art centers in the United States and Spain. Along with a passion for Spanish music and culture, Elizabeth’s many interests include Alexander Technique and its relationship to music making. She is co-creator of several new transcriptions for flute and clarinet duo which are available at sheetmusicplus.com. Elizabeth maintains a teaching studio in Sharon, MA where she offers private clarinet instruction and chamber music coaching to children and adults.

Miguel Angel Machinandiarena, baritone, lives in Argentina and is currently in Boston pursuing academic studies in English language. Miguel is a graduate of Argentina’s Teatro Colón’s Instituto Superior de Arte. He has appeared in numerous operatic and zarzuela productions, performing in “Salomé” at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago de Chile, the roles of Alberich in “Das Rheinegold”; Sigfried and Klingson in “Parsifal”, and Joe in Weill’s “Mahagonny”. He also performed Goro in “Madama Butterfly” and Saltan in “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” at the Teatro Colón.

Roberto Ríos , flamenco guitarist, has performed as dance accompanist and solo guitarist for over thirty years. He has appeared with Omayra Amaya, the Rogelio Rodriguez Spanish Dancers, José Greco, Gitanerías, the Ramón de los Reyes Spanish Dance Theatre, the Houston Pops Orchestra and the Central Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra. Ríos, the founder and Director of the group, El Arte Flamenco, is the father of dancers Isabel Ríos and Faustino Ríos with whom he formed the El Arte Flamenco over twenty years ago. Besides performing  in local schools, restaurants and other venues, Ríos also accompanies flamenco dance classes given by his son in Waltham, Massachusetts.  E-mail: elarteflamenco@msn.com.

Clara Sandler, mezzo-soprano, a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, feels at home in a wide range of styles, from opera, oratorio and recitals, to zarzuela and tango. She was the featured soloist at the Boston premiere of Gorecki’s “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”, with the Boston Chamber Ensemble. With this orchestra she also performed Wagner’s “Wesendonck Lieder “She has performed in opera and oratorio with different local music organizations. An avid researcher of music from Spain and Latin America, Clara has presented many recitals in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and in her native Buenos Aires. Her CD “Alma Apasionada, Songs from Spain and Argentina” was released in 2006 by Newport Classic. Clara Sandler, a graduate of the New England Conservatory, is on its Voice faculty at the Preparatory & Continuing Education Schools as well as at Boston College’s Music Department. This spring she is completing a three-year program towards the certification as practitioner of the Alexander Technique at the AT Center of Cambridge.

Young flamenco dancers Josie Howe, Ainoa Nashat, David Pérez-Lawrence and Frida S. Vasquez are students of Eve Costarelli’s Always Be Dancing flamenco school. For more information http://www.AlwaysBeDancing.com and AdamAnt_Eve@hotmail.com

 


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Youth Yoga Ties Into the Common Core Curriculum: Liquids, Solids, Gases

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The first of a four week stint of Yoga-Snacks for Dance Month in Cambridge has me combining the Cambridge Public Schools Common Core Science curriculum for the second grade level science with yoga.  At the Maria Baldwin School, I started the unit off with viscosity. In the coming weeks, we will continue to explore the connection of yoga’s kinetic energy (i.e., energy of motion)  with the amount of kinetic energy  the molecules of a substance has which then determines whether the substance is a solid, liquid or gas. Looking at such scientific terms such as viscosity, melting point, freezing point, beading and surface tension, this yoga classes will enhance the science curriculum. Students will learn properties of water and other liquids, and recognize the importance of water to living and non-living things. They will also learn about the interaction of water with different materials, and apply that knowledge to practical problems such as liquid absorption and liquid containment all the while moving their bodies, building self confidence and sharing in a non-competitive, friendship building, calming group interaction.

Day One: Viscosity: Today we started by examining the similarities and differences between water, vegetable oil and corn syrup. I brought in cups and small tubes and we poured these liquids through the tubes and discovered how quickly or slowly the liquids passed through the tubes. We used words like sticky, thick, goopy, fast, slow, clear and see through, when describing the viscosity of these three liquids.  After our liquid experimenting, we talked about how the blood in our body keeps us alive and that the heart is a pump used to distribute the blood throughout the body. In that regards, less viscous blood and a strong healthy heart are the best things for us. We discussed how to keep our hearts healthy: eat good foods, don’t over eat or eat too little, no smoking, exercise, yoga, don’t eat too much junk food, drink water, be nice to each other…which was a great segue into our yoga section.  Starting with “I Am Happy, I Am Good; Ha ha He he Ho ho Huuuu”– I noticed how everyone had smiles on their faces while doing this. We then practiced some vigorous poses and were then able to notice how are our hearts were beating faster at the end and we felt energized and happy. I then made up a short sequence and we first did it as slow as corn syrup, then a bit quicker like vegetable oil and then fast, like water through the pipes. Lying down, allowing our heart beats to slow down and bringing focus back to our breathing, we did deep relaxation with a right side/left side breath-centric focus and the noodle test (see Shakata Kaur Khalsa’s “Fly Like A Butterfly: Yoga for Children) and then Savasana.

Day Two: Beading, Surface Tension, Absorption: Today, I brought in molasses, vegetable oil and water to help the children understand the concept of beading and surface friction. We started with a short review of viscosity and then naturally that lead us to the idea of how liquids bead on different surfaces and then also a bit about absorption. Ms. Power’s 2nd grade classroom has an awesome tool- a surface camera, so I was able to work on the counter surface and the images were projected onto the screen set up ion the room. That way, the kids did not have to crowd around the counter to see. We started by pouring water, oil and molasses onto the counter surface to see what would happen-if the liquid would stay together, spread or bead. We then tried the same experiment on wax paper and then finally on paper towel.

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Yoga class started with a variation of the “Sa-Ta-Na-Ma Meditation”…instead of saying Sa-Ta-Na-Ma, we said, “Water”: Thumb to Pinky finger, “Oil”: Thumb to Ring finger, “Mola-” Thumb to Middle finger (sounds like the “a” in “back”), “-Sses” (sounds likes “says”): Thumb to Pointer.  The rest of class focused on poses that started small and spread wide (Child’s Pose (Molasses Pose) spread to Table Top (Oil Pose) which spread to Downward Facing Dog (Water Pose); Vishnu’s Couch added Tree Pose leg which added Hand to Big Toe Stretch; Mountain grew to Up Mountain which grew to Star Pose) and then also poses that started as a single “blob” but were drawn to join other “blob poses” near them, so single poses became team poses.

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Class ended with a deep relaxation that took their energy from a water state to an oil state to a slowed down oozing molasses state. Let them wiggle to flow to settle.

 

 

 

Day Three: Freezing Point & Melting Point: Moving from liquid to solid to liquid: I was inspired to do some liquid freezing tests by the questions that were posed by the students on a work sheet that was distributed: 1. What do you know about liquids? 2. What do you want to know about liquids? 3. What did you learn about liquids?

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In the second section, many of the kids were asking if corn syrup/molasses would freeze? And what about oil?

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I decided to conduct an experiment basing all freezing points against that of water to see what would happen to molasses and oil in the freezer? I made up three containers, one with water, one with oil and one with molasses and I placed them in the freezer. Every 1/2 hour (up till 2 hours and then once again over night),  I would go and check on the liquids to see what state of freezing they were in. The water froze in 2 hours, the oil never froze but got cloudy and the molasses never froze either, but became so vicious that it could not pour. After leaving the liquids over night, the oil became hard like a cake of butter and the molasses was like tar, but after 1/2 hour of being out of the freezer, all liquids had returned to their original liquid state.

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ImageThe yoga portion of the class had us first sequencing poses that flow: * I made up some rhymes to go along with the flows. 1. I am water (Mountain Pose) 2. The weather is fair  (Up Mountain-hands above head, palms touching, like an umbrella) 3. Watch me turn into the air (Jump out to Star Pose-taking up space and “air”). 1. I am water  (Warrior I) 2. I am free (Warrior II) 3. Watch me flow into the sea (Warrior III) 1. I am water (Downward Facing Dog Pose) 2. It’s so nice (Hands and Knees Table Top Pose) 3. Watch me turn into some ice (Child’s Pose). 

* Freeze Yoga Dance: I played the Song “Happy” by Pharrell, which I know is an anthem at this time and it has a nice message and appropriate lyrics. First we went through the poses that we knew…so at each music stop, I would call out “Freeze into “one of the poses” and all the kids took the same one together, then for the last few times, it was a free for all and at the music stops, they could take any pose they wanted to.

Day Four: Wrap Up and ¡Ole Namaste!:

My final experiments checked out the “freezability” of water and oil, water and molasses and finally water , oil and molasses. These were the final three question from the students. Will they freeze if combined? Well the results are in…when combined, the liquids separate and then freeze and coagulate in layers.

This final session will not be a science tie-in, instead it will be a class of yoga combined with dance, flamenco, a mixing that I call ¡Ole Namaste! which is on the cutting edge of the global yoga and dance trend infusing the movements, breath-work and meditation of yoga with the music and dance of flamenco. The students had a body stretching, breath enhancing, mind relaxing, hand clapping good time! In this fun, upbeat yoga class, that is infused with the music and dance of flamenco, students absorbed the dramatic postures and colorful flavor of flamenco while exploring yoga poses, philosophy, breath work and meditation.

My take away from this enriching experience is how important kinesthetic, or body-based, teaching methods can be in reaching students , particularly those with special needs. For all students K-12, body-based teaching is a way to reproduce curricular content and is a widely accessible step to cultivate critical thinking skills. Not only that, kinesthetic based teaching is fun to incorporate into the classroom, offering a connection to social and emotional intelligence standards as well. Kinesthetic methods have the power to inspire both individual and whole-class attention and energy levels and mental states and can assist in memory retention. By incorporating yoga into the 2nd grade science curriculum, I was able to focus, unify, and both calm down and energize students and to reach those for whom kinesthetic intelligence is a strength. This was a fun experience and enriching for myself, the teachers, Megan Powers and Karma Paoletti,  the students and the whole Baldwin community. Three cheers to the Maria Baldwin School in Cambridge, MA!  Big shout out to Nicholas Leonardos, Principal,  for his dedication to his school! And to Erica Sigal, Coordinator of Dance in the Schools.