What to do when you are a new learner in the arts or specifically in the performing arts? Doodling, to do, to repeat, to continue as I mentioned. To do something which could be called a daily training, whether it is in a ‘school’ or in an autodidact way. Preferably both. Writing thoughts down at a terrace in the sun is included in the price!
I had my daily portion in many different places (1). One precious place in Brussels used to organise regular classes (2), supplemented by a coffee, croissant and music by Maria Callas. All for 120 Bfr. or 3 euro. And there was plenty of everything since the contemporary dance-community in that time was still quite small in Belgium.
The ritual of taking the train, walking, opening the door of the studio, hearing Maria Callas, coffee, croissant, changing clothes, changing state when going up to and crossing the dance floor. And in the repetition of dailyness recycling oneself into a new someone.
On a particular day some details had changed. Classical bars where left on the dance floor. Probably from a last eve’s class… A beautiful woman –she looked like a girl but she could have been my mother- speaking up to us with a rather low voice: ‘Ok everybody, go to the bar please’.
I do remember the flexible golden bracelet which she repositioned around her waist. And I do remember the immediate fear that overwhelmed me and paralyzed everything I had built up over the last years: from movement skills to self-confidence. Instead of kicking me out, she made me kick around the bar for a whole week. And she taught me other things then –a first time- ballet:
-a good teacher is able to see every individual and keeps the global energy going,
-a good teacher can bring you to another place, physically also. I went to New York City to take more classes taught by her.
-it is important to come every single day to class. Even a so called ‘bad day’ can give some new insights.
Besides the niceness of being accompanied by some live piano music, it is very fine to learn something by ‘mistake’. Taking a ballet-class for example… . Something which you would have NEVER scheduled on purpose.
So, Janet Panetta, you are very welcome at my table. It would be an honor to have you here. Janet’s studio was located in Tribeca, White Street, NY/NY, which was very near to 48 Beach Street, where Barbara Mahler used to teach Klein Technique. Literally, Klein Technique is about stretching the body and finding a good placement. Though, it also creates space for the brain to breathe and it opens doors for imagination. It was a gift from heaven to combine Barbara’s and Janet’s class in one day. So, Barbara, I would love to invite you too. Maybe we can finally fix that date for a workshop on Klein Technique in Brussels. This city and it’s inhabitants would benefit from a regular training.
(1) Most important was ‘Performance Education Programm (PEP) in the 90’s, led by David Hernandez and supported by Klapstuk in Leuven. The people behind the curtain, Koen Kwanten and Johan Reyniers, are to be respected for their innovative approach. They are welcome to join the meal also.
(2) Platteau vzw was established in Ixelles/Brussels.