dance

My (not) yoga journal

I thought I was ready to give up dance.

I thought It would be fun to teach yoga.

to see happiness in the eyes of students.

When I was a dancer I denied calling myself a dancer.

‘It is too shallow’, I thought. 

I knew I wanted to be a yoga teacher. I thought I knew.

….

Then I was happy calling myself an artist when I worked in Singapore

As I could see happiness in people’s eyes

From what we did which was more than just dance 

and I felt my life as an artist was finally useful

without having to quit doing things I enjoy.

….

But there were some undeniable reasons 

 which made me quit my job

It was painful 

but I thought I could cope with it

I would turn myself into a yoga teacher.

A full time one.

I thought I was ready.

….

Now people call me a yoga teacher. 

Funny, I hear my heart cries, ‘I’m not’. 

And that means.. 

I’m not a yogi. 

I’m not that calm. 

I’m not ready. 

And worst, I’m not myself.

Though I can still see happiness in people’s eyes

But happiness in my eyes are running dry.

It shouldn’t be like this.

My life is out of balance.

And the stage door has not closed. 

I still can turn back if I don’t wait for too long.

But how? Now people call me yoga teacher

And they want me to stay

to facilitate their practice

No I’m not that important

But I don’t want to leave them for the second time

(I did it when I left for Singapore 5 years ago.)

But how to facilitate people to help them find their inner energy

while knowing myself that I am not living my true life.

….

The word karma yoga comes back to my thought.

The doing things for other people with detachment from its outcome.

This is karma yoga.. to run a studio and provide classes for them

This is the business that I need to take care

I need to run it for people who want to do yoga

I am not trying to be rich from this business

I just cannot leave them now

This is my duty 

I may not be a yoga teacher at the end

but I know this is one of my missions

to have classes available for them

to come to yoga

to practice

to find themselves

to be more peaceful

to be more comfortable within their bodies

….

Yes I want to run away

But I have work to do

I’ll do it first then I’ll run away

back to a life that I know how to live

I need to do it fast 

fast enough to make it in time

before the stage door closes down.

….

I’ll go back.

I’ll go back to live my true life.

Blissful dance on the hill

I was on the hill somewhere in  India. The song by Deva Premal – Chidananda was in my head and the surrounding was beautiful. And I started to move.

I had been a dancer/movement artist for all my life. Things stopped when life force me back to my country. I was lost and couldn’t feel the new ground under my feet. Watching myself dance on the hill help realign my self a bit.

After all I still miss dancing with my ex company in Singapore. In other words, I miss my life. But this feeling shall pass. The road doesn’t end. I just made another turn.

COMPANY RHS | It is all about energy. It is all about mind.

Our contemporary dance company has a training class 4 days a week. One out of four is a body conditioning class. We do a lot of cardio and weight training. Our rehearsal director has a lot of administrative works to do recently, so it is always me who has to lead this class. But not for the class 2 weeks ago. I asked my colleague to lead the class as I felt very tired and (I hate to admit that I also felt) lazy.

My colleague is a fantastic dancer with a lot of experiences. She joined the company around the same time as me. Just only because my English is better so my director let me lead the class (and rehearsals, sometimes) more often than her. Normally, in the body conditioning class which I led, I always felt her energy was a bit low or because she saved her energy, but not in this particular session. When she led the class, she was full of energy and could do more than what she normally did. What’s more, it was me who was not able to perform as good as how I normally was when I led the class. Every session, I could psych myself up before we started push-ups which I counted loudly for everyone, and I ended up with more energy at the end of the class than when we started. But for this session, that energy kept going down and down.

I asked my colleague after the class how she felt. Not surprising, she said she felt she had more energy than usual. What I learned from that day was that working out has a lot to do with mind. It’s a mental work as well as a physical work. When you know you are leading, you prepare your mind so you have enough energy for yourself and everyone under your leading. You call for 32 push-ups and hold in a plank position for 64 counts and you know that you can’t fail. The only choice you have is to complete it. You’ve prepared your mind. 

So it is about mind. The mind has an absolute control over energy. If you don’t control your mind, it will control you (quoted from my Indian yoga teacher). It is the mind telling you that you can or cannot do. If you do it, you have to have already known that you CAN because it is the only way to succeed in that particular task. You don’t have to be a leader. You just really need to tell yourself that to complete the task is the only one choice you have.

it's good to be crazy. Craziness lifts energy high up.

It’s good to be crazy. Craziness lifts energy up high.

Cute time. Eh, cute?

Cute time. Eh, cute?

Yoga is always a good cross training

Yoga is always a good cross training

Me

Me

And then see what happens.

🙂

Company’s RHS | Cover / Uncover


Today our company worked about covering and uncovering.

We just used scarf, jacket to cover a friend and a friend uncovered herself. Then took turn.

After that we shared about the feeling we had towards the word covering and being covered;

Me : Being covered = I felt safe. Cover come one = I felt love.

My partner : Being covered = She felt struggling. Covering me = She felt sorry for me.

So funny as we danced together. Same movement, but completely different feeling.

One Japanese dancer performed a movement of covering someone like making a nice packaging of something.

That made me think of how Japanese people like to wrap the products nicely, sometimes overly too nice.

She shared with us that Japanese wrapping things nicely was because they wanted the receivers to feel good.

I had a feeling that it was the same as Japanese people themselves.

Sometimes they wrap themselves very nicely with a lot of rules in their cultures cause they want other people to feel good.

There’s nothing good or bad about this. It is just my observation.

The rehearsal was fun though.

Picture for the photo shoot tomorrow. Not about this blog though. :)

Picture for the photo shoot tomorrow. Not about this blog though. 🙂

DANCE PHOTO | Guess, which one is me?

The company I am working with – the Arts Fission Company (Singapore) is having a show end of August. So here is the first picture we are going to use for promoting.

photo taken by Edwin Wee : our rehearsal director

for more in formation : http://www.facebook.com/artsfission.company

LET ME SAY | Words for every dancer

One of the fresh graduated dancer in a company I am working with now is having trouble. Being a dance student is much different from being a professional dancer in a company. This is true not only in a dance career. In a school, you pay for people to look at you and teach you. In a company, you are paid for doing a good job and learning by yourself as fast as possible.

She doesn’t understand this. She has a student attitude and we have given her almost a year already. In an appraisal she still had a lot of invalid excuses. My director decided to give her one last chance until end of the year for her to climb up to the professional level of mind. However, at the end of the day she asked the director whether she could dyer her hair in red color. Absolutely wrong timing. Not surprising that the director was upset even more but she let her do whatever she wanted.

That night she texted me that she wanted to leave after this last probation period. She said,

‘Sometimes doing ones best isn’t enough to keep you going, not anymore’.

I knew that it was hard for her to continue here too as the director didn’t like her. But personally I didn’t like that idea. She thought she had done the best but I could see that she didn’t know what the best looked like. So I answered her,

‘Haha you never know that the word BEST has no ceiling.’

She said,

‘When the ceiling crashed there’s no point pursuing for the best.’

I could tell that she didn’t understand what I tried to say.

So I sent her all these messages. (Sorry for wrong typing and wrong grammar.)

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(PS I wrote it from my experiences. All the ups and downs in my dance career. Please give me advice if you don’t agree or have any feedback. With much thanks.)

She didn’t say anything after that. I wondered she went to cry or blame someone else about her problem or blame herself for choosing me to talk with. I didn’t care. I went to bed after that not waiting for her reply.

We came back to the studio 2 days later. She was there already getting ready for the class and rehearsal. She talked less and worked hard. I was happy to see that. In this way, although she can’t pass this last probation, all the works she is working on will make her a better dancer, the best she can be. People need to be slapped on the face sometimes. I call it a wake up call.

Most surprisingly, I found my words have an effect on me too. I also work much harder. Thanks to her to provide a chance for myself to slap my own face. 🙂

 

SITE SPECIFIC | It just happened

It was on the New Year’s Eve, 31st December 2012

I just finished the hardest year in my life then. I went back home in Bangkok (with no coup de tat at that moment) to celebrate New Year with my family including my brother-in-law. They were quite surprised that I actually could dance everywhere in any outfit.

Inspiration? Just the beautiful light and the gorgeous moon. Plus, we just had to wait for so long before the count down began. So? I danced!

Music : Plus d’hiver by YANN TIERSEN

The ‘OTHER’ Me project | people in their own world

So now I know that I am my own best friend. And assumably I have more than one best friends in my life. That means I have many selves in myself because I heard more than one sound or one thought talking, discussing or fighting with me – the major me who is speaking now. These friends are with me all the time and always listen to what I say. When I start thinking (or speaking silently), they are there already. Sometimes they just listen, but most of the time they talk back. Sometimes they agree with me, sometimes don’t. The more intense of the disagreement we have between selves, the more clearly we see our other selves.

I started to do the observation. 50% on myself and the other half on other people when they were in their own world. I observed them on a  train, cafe, street etc. I found out that people were in the stage of resting, and clinging with some thoughts (if not handphones or books) almost all the time when they stepped into their own world. Sometimes their eyes were looking far away, but I was not so sure they were seeing anything. Absolutely, if they were not in meditation, they must be thinking of something. When they were there, I guess their minds were not there. They were in some places inside themselves The self conversations always went on and on. The world in front of their eyes became blurry as if the fog of thoughts blocking their view.

And I wondered. Had they ever been aware of the other selves in them?

(to be continued)

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scrap paper : thought and rethought, think and rethink : when people in there own world

  • a motif in representing people in their own world.
  • hands gestures.
  • dreamers.
  • dreams = different places in the space to place the hands.
  • cover the face/eyes with some hands movement.
  • be in their own world. relaxing.
  • raw.