Sunday!

Oct. 25th, 2015 11:50 am
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
I have all these plans for stuff I want to do, but I think I'll just lounge around the house for most of the time. Sooooo tired, and I have done just a couple of tiny things like put one laundry in the closet and hang one batch of baby laundry. I'm so happy that we have a dryer, though I try not to use it. Bad for our utilities bill and bad for the clothes.

Which brings me to my recent addiction, which is reading up on Dutch blogs on saving money. It is no suprise that the Dutch have raised saving money to an artform, ranging on full blown crazy sometimes. Like the guy who sounds totally reasonable with blogposts on mortgage, taxes, his vegetable garden... and his insect farm, as he is vegetarian and against eating meat but he has no qualms about eating insects. Riiiiiiight. I'm not going there.

Suprisingly, a lot of the blogs about saving money are from people with a relative high income. Subjects range from 'how to dissovle your mortgage ás fast as possible so you can stop working (if you like)', to 'buying vegetables and fruit in season'. My favorite is Teunie, a mother of ten children (the oldest ia married and has a family, the youngest is 6 or 7). Despite her obvious religious beliefs, her blogs are very sensible and fun to read and are mostly about managing such a big household. It comes down to getting up at 5 AM and having all the kids do their household chores. I'm not going to get up at 5 am, but it'll probably be 6.30-7 am once we have kids and we do plan on giving the children small chores like putting away toys, decking the table and taking the organic garbage out to the compost heap. I can relate to her, plus she is super practical and an upbeat person.

There is ofcourse more stuff to be done around the house, like decluttering, giving items a place where they belong and can be put away. My craft room is the biggest warzone right now, let's see if I can tackle it this week and bring some order into the room. E. has taken Noushka to the shooting range, to see if he can calm her nerves aorund loud noises. If she is at ease, he will enroll in the winter hunting training for dogs meaning he 'll be eight saturdays doing the course. I was feeling kind of negative about it, as I have very little planned up until March when I get back to work.  It irritates me that he makes plans like nothing is going to change, and not taking into account the strain it will put on me. I am a bit daunted because every outing that I plan has to be more meticiously planned and take into account breastpumping and such. The third reason is that due to maternity leave, I'll be sort of isolated in the house and alone with our daughter all day. It feels like I'll be in social isolation and not being able to have much adult company or conversation for the next five months. Except when E. is home, if he is not working or playing the trumpet or teaching horn.

Instead of sitting around moping, I decided that if he plans stuff, I'd better get on cracking and plan some for myself too! I have a bellydance hafla at the end on January, at the start of april and some festival stuff going on inbetween that is in need of planned practice with my friends. I want to get back in shape (maybe go for a weekly swim?), prepare my classes (start in february) and have some more fun with my sewing machine (workshops, courses?). All that and an adorable baby girl :-) I feel so lucky to be where I am now, with our dog and E and a nice place to live.
mekyria: (blue veil stare)
August is drawing to an end and things are moving again. Unfortunately, the thing that isn't moving, is me. For my own peace of mind I need to move at least an hour every day and I have been quite pathetic in not walking around much at work and not going out for a run or practicing in the hours that I am not working. I have been running for one hour a week.

To break the rut, I signed up for a try out class for modern dance at the center where I take ballet. The teacher focused on using as little energy as possible to initiate movement and ofcourse we were rolling on the floor in no time. It was interesting to think about using less energy to create movement, while in belly dance we usually focus on creating more energy in a specific area to create the isolation. For example, try lying on your back in corpse pose (totally relaxed, turn out arms and legs). Now take your left foot and lift it slowely over your right foot .Make sure to lift it just high enough. Continue pushing your left foot to the right untill your whole body turns, following your foot. If you enjoyed it and want to take it further, try it with your hand too!

I left with a bit of carpetburn (or the equivalent, the one you get from a recently relacquered ballet floor), not completely worked out but more relaxed then when I came in.

My own try out class is on september 2th, ballet will start on september 9th, badminton on september 10th, have to call the manege about horseback riding because I haven't been there for a couple of months. It will be nice to get back in a rhythm again, make healthier food choices, drink less alcohol and get more me-time.

Me-time is important but also a hard concept to explain to someone who is not introvert and simply don't feel the urge to be alone in a dark room, or in a place where people are not talking for an hour. It is not a narcissist thing, but something that I need to reduce stress and function as a normal human being.
mekyria: (nikkij Ice queen big)
I vaguely remember that I once had the time to update my website on a regular base. That must be.... three years ago? Much to my own dismay, I haven't had time to work on my websites or even do basic stuff on them. I did a quick sweep to clean things up and make it more manageble....

Read more... )
Like I said, I am not sure if I am still alive and kicking on the dance front, despite my weekly classes, the theater projects, the hafla's I am participating in, FaKyMa and Sense of Bellydance.
mekyria: (orange butterfly jump)
Inspired by suzycat's posts about her ballet class :-)

This year my Ballet class is upgraded to a level 1-2, instead of being level 1. Level 1 means 'at least one year of ballet experience, or folk dancing, or modern dance'. This year we are aspiring level 2, meaning more complicated combinations and less explanantion. The lesson plan waits for no one!

We do a bit of work in the center of the floor for 5-10 minutes then we move on. 5-10 minutes on the diagonal, on to jumps, etc. But yesterday the teacher decided to take a bit of time to lie down on the floor and try passe while lying on the floor, so you can feel if you are correctly engaging your abs and back. It was awesome! Big quarter dropping epiphany!

Because of this years higher level, we are also doing a lot more turns which I love as I am sucktastic at turns. Give me pique's all over the diagonal! and practice drills with a couple of turns close to one another, with a short time for preparation! This class the teacher pointed out that when you prepare for a turn, you should focus on pushing the back hip forward in order to make the most of the strength of the leg that is pushing you around. Lo and behold, IT WORKS!

My main problem in dance is that when I am tired or occupied, concepts like right and left confuse me. This is my problem with badminton too, which for the sake of conformity makes me stand out like a sore thumb. That's okay though, as our teacher is awesome and tries to correct us within the limits of our ability. I have the biggest respect for her for not facepalming all the time.
mekyria: (dancer in neonlights)
Last night in class, a student told me that she got frustrated because the transitions between her moves were not as fluent as she wanted them to be. She asked me:'what can I do to improve my transitions? I feel so clumsy and frustrated all the time!'. I know what it feels like, I get frustrated by my perceived lack of skills every day! And by being anxious and angry at myself, I stop focusing on what I am trying to learn and things turn into a hot mess of angst that doesn't work out for anyone involved.

1. get real
We all want to be perfect. We all want to be as good as the person teaching the class and we forget that that person has years and years of training and experience that we don't have. I started classical ballet at the age of 28 and I will never ever be able to do the effortless double pirouette that my teacher is showing us so casually as an example. I remind myself that for my level of experience, being able to make a distinction between a tour en dedans and a tour en dehors is a big accomplishment. Let alone being able to sort of make those turns.

2.you are a winner for trying
Feeling incompetent is one of the worst feelings that we can have. It hits the core of our being, our wish to be good at what we do. You are a winner the moment you try something new because it is victory over not trying it at all. So what if you start piano lessons at age 60, just have a go at it.

3. failing is how we get better
A while back, we did turns during ballet class. I was having one of those days where everything went wrong and the harder I tried, the more mistakes I made. Right in the middle of practicins turns, I fell flat on my face. I admit to crying just a little right there and then. That is how I learned that when I am emotionally unbalanced, I should not try to push myself harder during a class as it works against me. that was a hard lesson that will stick with me. We learn by making mistakes.

I am not in a place where I can let go of my frustration each and every time, but I am getting there. As for the student in my class, I replied: 'Learning to dancing is like learning to write. You might feel frustrated that you can't write supercalifragilisticexplalidocious in one fluent motion. You had three classes and in those first classes you are learning how to write the letters of the alphabet. Give yourself time to learn and soon enough you'll realize that you can write words and that the words are getting longer.'
mekyria: (Saaidi gold dress)
1. my classes started and I have two lovely groups of ladies. I scared the shit out of my intermediates yesterday with the 8 minute shimmy drill. My beginners class has two return students + two people who dropped by because of worth of mouth. I am a happy camper. Bellydance 1 is doing a choreography to Fakerni by Haifa Wehbe. I chose to do a more theatrical style with less repetition, as it appeals better to the creative nature of some students. Last semester had a choreography that relied on symmetry and counting, this one is more about musical interpretation.

Bellydance 2 is getting a drills/improv thing, meaning we work on drills for a saaidi choreography for the 6th of april performance, and on improvisation with Aziza (the song, not the dancer). It is an easy song to recognize the structure and I feel it is a good way to usher my students towards classis BD songs.

2. running! The Netherlands had the whole snow and ice thing going on, off and on during the last couple of weeks. I got a bit out of practice with regards to running but I was reminded today that I will be doing the CPC run at the start of March (yes, in three weeks). I upped the ante and went with 10k instead of 5k, as I usually run 7-8k for practice. Those extra k's will be heavy, but I run for my company and we have our private changing area and a sportmasseuse. Meaning I can drop on the floor of our pavilion afterwards and do my yoga stretches and all will be well. And if I don't recover on Sunday I have a good excuse to call in sick on Monday :-)

3.ballet. due to work I missed the last three classes. Eep! I look forward to getting back in class next week. My turns are getting better and so is my core strength, so that is good. If I could get back into running my flexibility would greatly benefit, nothing beats stretching after a good run for improved range of motion.

4. badminton. Also missed several classes int he past couple of weeks due to work. It is not a priority but I hope that I can make it to at least two sessions per month. I am getting better at foot placement and strategy, but I don't play often enough to ingrain the patterns for shuttle placement that I need. *shrugs* It is fun though.

5. horseback riding: also missed classes here but I went last thursday and had a blast. Things are solidifying into my system, I hve a better sit (meaning better balance on a horse) and I use the tension on my stirrups better. When the weather gets better I want to  do a 2 hour ride outside once a month, I imagine that will be lovely.

6. my own BD practice: I have several practice sessions planned in the next months with various groups: expanding our repertoire with FaKyMa, rehearsing with the LAT project (30th of march Groningen, april 5thin Amsterdam) and Sense of Bellydance (hafla on april 6th). My fancy has been tickled by the online classes from Datura and Raqstv, but I told myself I should start with the dvds in  my closet first. I am once more trying to do a dvd this month, I have to keep up with my flisties on the dvd challenge.
mekyria: (Default)

1. You will feel unhealthy at all times. I always carry fruit and vegetables with me, and mixed nuts and raisins when I feel like having a blast.

2. At places you least expect (say, a subway platform) I’ll begin practicing a sequence while whispering or singing to myself. I'll do this any opportunity I can get. My favorites are hands, arms, bellyrolls and flutters.

3. You will see more stretch poses then you thought were humanly possible.

4. Your physical stamina will never ever outlast mine. However, I suck at lifting heavy stuff and couldn't outrun a turtle.

5. There are a million jokes and remarks youcould make about a dancer's physique. 'So you're really flexible, eh?' It is not funny. Please remember that I am human and I don't like to be objectified.

6. I am deadly serious about the time I need for practice. No, you cannot watch. That is what performances are for.

7. I am not obsessed with eating as little as possible. I fact, I eat like I am a ravenous pack of wolves, devouring everything in my way.

8. I watch more obscure dance movies and dvds than an arthouse fan, and will do so at all hours of the night. I just got to watch Gene Kelly do that amazing move one more time, or see that performance by Aziza on the first IAMED dvd she's on.

9. I don’t want to talk about Black Swan. I know it is the number one dance movie everybody is talking about nowadays but dance is so much more.

10. I am a narcissistic, obssesive compulsive person and I consider this to be completely normal to the standards in the dance community. I try to limit it to my 'dance time' and be a normal, healthy human being during my 'off' hours.

Oh god

Oct. 19th, 2012 11:29 pm
mekyria: (Default)

I'm performing with a live band tomorrow to 'zourouni'. The only problem being that their complete setlist consists out of medium tempo songs and I prefer magencies, or something wth more clear defined rhythm changes. Especially for a ten minute perormance *freaks out*

Tomorrow there will be practicing. And also an unknown Turkish guy trying to put plaster board on my living room wall, something he told me he was going to do today but ended up not doing. Instead he put all the supplies in my livingroom and I had to put all my furniture to the side before going to work. Because...well... That's how Turkish men in my neighborhood do things. Planning is not an option. Things just happen when they are supposed to happen, inshalla.

Will practice tomorrow anyway, before going to a ballet performance in Amsterdam with Cookiehuhter. It is quite awesome, three pieces performed by the Scapino ballet. Oneof them is Carmen, one of my favorite ballets on account of it being about an independent gypsy woman and the beautiful music from Bizet.

One more thing: I came home and found a box of chocolate in my mailbox + an anonimous card stating 'I think you are sweet. The sweetest. Enjoy the chocolates, xoxo'. I love days that contain surprise chocolate

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

mekyria: (gothic fusion red)
We all have a bucket list filled with things we want to do, learn or experience. One of the items on my bucket list is 'dance the tango'. If you have seen scent of a woman, you know why. Through my university IT contacts I know Frank, who gave me two sailing classes and who happens to be a trained ballet dancer (long, long time ago) and has been dancing the tango for 6 years now. And his hometown had a tango festival offering workshops for complete beginners (that would be me).

I took the train to Haarlem yesterday straight from work and we met at the station, walking to the antique mirror tent that is the center of the festival. It is quite an amazing place: wooden floors, seats on the sides, mirrors on the walls and beams and colorful draperies all around. There is the muted silence of people drawn inwards into a danceform that seems to get better as you get older, getting in touch with your own feeling and improvisation skills.


I have never danced the tango and I was glad that the workshop was for total beginners. And that Frank is good in taking the lead, as it makes a huge difference. I had a bit of trouble with releasing myself into his lead and stop thinking but overal it was very nice. We started out with a practice stance where we were far apart and during the workshop we adapted the stance to the 'tango hug', meaning leaning into eachother with the upper body. Frank and I are friends, it felt very pleasant to be so close to someone without actually being intimate. We had really good teachers, demonstrating clearly and correcting when neccesary.

We started by shifting our weight and adding pauses, then moved into adding a side step or a step forward/back. Then into two slightly more complicated step patterns that asked for some fancy footwork of the lady. I loved it,  doing the 'slowly sliding your foot over the lower leg of your partner' thing before moving on into a different pattern. I can see why so many people are fascinated by the tango. We grabbed a quick bite of dinner after the workshop and I sneakily managed to pay the bill while he was in the bathroom, startling him. He wass intrigued by my unpredictable behavior and had a hard time adapting to the idea of a woman buying him dinner. Men are funny like that.

After the workshop there were two performances: the first one a group of graduates from the conservatorium, who were great. They played classic tango music and they played it well, three girls ad two guys having a blast while being awesome musicians. And at the age of 25ish, I might add. The second performance was of Floras Negras, five women from Buenos Aires, singing tango music supperted by piano. Absolutely breathtaking performance, if you are into tango music or want to expand your musical horizon, listen to them! Frank was a perfect gentleman and walked me to my train. We said goodbye with a kiss on the cheek, and off I went. I don't have time to do weekly tango lessons, but it was a wonderful experience to get a taste of this beautiful dance form. Maybe some one time classes/workshops in Utrecht....

http://youtu.be/d5fg4_4dz1U
mekyria: (Default)
I've been insanely busy with my new super secret theater project, called 'Living Apart Together', with performances that use the belly dance vocabulary in a theater setting, integrated with other movement vocabularies like ballet, modern, tribal fusion, etc. Our scheduled performance date is the Asli Sharqi festival at the end of September. The festival Eman Zaki is also attending btw, so I'll get  my special ordered costumes straight from her hands! *excited*

Working with two other dancers + the creative director from The Oum Kolthoum project and this week is clogged with rehearsals, finding and working on music, concepts, etc. Hence my lack of posting and such. It has a lot of interesng concepts,maybe not novel, but the integation with belly dance is unique. I have also received the dvd from the Farrah festival with our Nubian clip and me dancing with a live orchestra, and I did two hafla performances last month that I have video material from but no time to put those things online. It's been a loooong time since I posted video clips and I feel I really should make time, but so far other stuff is more important, like dancing :-)

Newsflash: I'm going to Istanbul between 6th-11th of August, meeting up with the lovely Ozma and doing awesome dance stuff. I'll be offline between July 28th and August 5th on account of learning how to sail and being outdoorsy and stuff.

Happy post

Mar. 27th, 2012 01:39 pm
mekyria: (Kyria met theepot)
With everything that's going on at my work, there is also fun stuff happening that I'd like to share. Otherwise I'll read my journal in a couple of years, thinking everything was about my work and such. The good thing is that there is still dance to be enjoyed, friends to hang out with and new stuff to learn and discover.

diving, Amsterdam, Oum Kolthoum, horse back riding... )
And in general news, people are happy with me at my work, so I expect that my contract will be prolonged in June. Right now I need the distraction of learning new things to keep me going. I notice that I don't have the energy to invest extra time in dance, next to the commitments that I already made. There are several festivals in the summer but the program made me go meh. I expect that my dance drive will return at the end of this year or at the start of 2013 but for now I'm more into exploring and learning other things.
mekyria: (close up face katja)
Yesterday's Oum Kolthoum rehearsal was fun, we got a lot done so Ahlem could go on holiday feeling good about our progress :) I got back to Amersfoort and went to the STUdance performance. It was in the theater we rented for our belly dance show this year. It had an interesting combination of styles, from ballet to jazz ballet, street dance and modern. I kept a special eye on the choreography as I need to get myself into gear for troupe choreography for next year. 

It struck me how important it is to keep your dancers moving around, no matter their skill level. I'm choreographing a saidi piece today for the regio group and I'll put some new stuff in there so we can chew on it. The request was if I could make an extremely difficult choreography but I think I'll stick with difficult instead, we can always turn it up a notch. There will be a lot of level changes, floor patterns, synchronous vs. solo work and a couple of tongue in cheek moves I picked up in an Aziza workshop last year. Bring it on!

Oops

Mar. 26th, 2011 09:47 pm
mekyria: (Default)
I'm going to a free workshop and modern dance performance in the Hague tomorrow. I'm reading the directions, and found out I should have picked up the tickets for the performance at the dance center earlier this week :-/ Hoping we can figure things out, at least I still have a free modern dance workshop for beginners to look forward to tomorrow! 
mekyria: (nikkij coy)
I love living in a medium sized city with dance schools that have free try-out weeks every now and then, and are a 10 minute bike ride away. Excellent!!

I did a Latin Jam class today at dance school Touchée. It was super duper funtime! Mainly because it focuses on cardio (getting the heartrate up), a bit of choreo and some abdominal exercises. The class was taught by two teachers, as both of them were ill so they joined forces. They also are father and daughter and excellent in doing the Latin Flava attitude. I've signed up for a free City Jam class on thursday while I was there and in an active mood. As long as I'm unemployed, I can't afford their classes and when I'm back to work, I'll be too tired to go.

Two people from Herbalife were hoovering in the hallway, offering free bodyfat scans. Figured I might as well do that and to my horror the apratus said I have 27.8 bodyfat. It's within a healthy range, but the Herbalife guy immediately tried to grab this chance at selling me some of their overpriced supplements by suggesting I should try to lose weight. That's when I stopped listening and headed out of the door. Nobody is going to tell me I should loose weight because THEY think I should.

I'm in the mood for more free stuff, so I've signed up for the free modern dance workshop for DCU members (I'm taking ballet at DCU) and free ticket to the modern dance performance TRANSFORMATION on februari the 24th. 
mekyria: (2004 rood kostuum)
 My aunt took me to a theater dance show for my birthday. I was busy all day, starting with belly dance practice with the girls in Bussum. The 9/8 Mastika dance is coming along. Nansi choreographed it and it's not your typical 9/8, but a lot of fun nontheless. 

Around 17.30 I walked to my grandmothers place. She lives in a residence in Naarden, about 30 minutes walking distance from where we practiced. She was happy to see me and proudly showed me her new calendar with pictures of the family. February has a big picture of me and my dad belly dancing, that's so cute! Have to ask him if I can get that picture too. We had soup and pizza and we were out the door, on our way to the theater.

The group Ínternationaal Dans Theater'(Or International Dance Theater in English) is highly spnosored group of trained dancers, who have a new show every year incorporating dances from around the world. The last one I watched was 'Following the silk road'in 2007 or 2008. The show was gorgeous, both dance wise and theater wise. They took the personal stories of the dancers and musicians and added beautyful, soul touching live music to tell ths tory. Several dancers did solo's in specific folklore styles, like Greek, Romanian, Bulgarian and Cuban. Various groupdances spiced things up and I particulary liked the start of the show when every dancer was wearing a traditional Dutch costume and they did a mix of Dutch folklore dances. 

The Romanian part was fun, a dance off between 4 men who did not stick their butt out *LOL* The dancer telling about growing up among ROmanian gypsies was interesting, though did confirm several stereotypes. I highly recommend going to the show if you can, they're touring the Netherlands for two more months. Yes, that's right, they've been doing this show for three months already and they have two more to go. In order to get government funding, they have to do this. Can you imagine being in a troupe who'd have such a busy schedule?
mekyria: (Default)
This weekend was family weekend. Saturday the women of my mothers side of the family did a workshop 'dancing through feelings' which was fun. very basic moves, but every dance had a different feel to it. A little bit to goddess dance for me at times, but fun nevertheless. Afterwards we had a typical family meeting with the men, sitting around chatting and (ofcourse) eating. My grandmother from my fathers side wants us to eat at parties because that's 'gezellig' (see footnote). With my mother's family it's the other way around: being around them is so much fun that you keep on eating little bites without realizing how much you had. The food was made by an indonesian lady who is a friend of the family and who made the most delicous saté EVER! tender meat, tasted like it was roasted over an open fire and with pieces of onion inbetween. We want to do a workshop together about preparing Indonesian food this year, after all, it's in our roots :) Spending more time with my family is one of the things I want to do this year. I grew up with birthday parties, family meetings and sleepovers all the time. I didn't spend much time with them in the past five years but having so many 50th birthdays to celebrate last year made it clear to me that my family won't be around forever. My nieces and nephews are adults now, and every member of my family does something that's fun and unique. I could spend hours listening to the stories they have to tell.

Oh, the TNT guys knocked on my door to deliver my kick-ass bellydance swords!!
these are the ones
So I'm putting my old sword on sale, and start practicing with these. They're really heavy but so much cooler then the swords you can get in the Netherlands. It had an extra customs bill but overall the price is very good.


Sunday's dinner with my father went well. We got to meet his new girlfriend whom I had a really good conversation with about theatre and literature. I got a bonus from my grandmother that went into my 'savings for Egypt' fund and I didn't even felt guilty about being a less then perfect granddaughter/daughter and still getting money.

*note: 'gezelligheid' appears to be a typical Dutch expression, unfortunatly less well known then 'apartheid'. We like to huddle together and play old Dutch boardgames, or just hang out and chat. It's about feeling at home no matter where you are, emjoying the company. A mixture of fun, cosy, and comfortable and good old Gouda cheese..

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