Sunday, 28 August 2016

Crutches... New chapter to the crazy chronicles

Thursday 25th august i manage to step down on a spade hard to dig up the stubborn bamboo plant i wanted to take and plant in my new studio. during the forceful action my flimsy shoe breaks and i end up bringing vulnerable flesh down on sharp spade top.  I can't put my weight on it so i crawl through the garden including all the weeds and things i have cut back to leave the garden nice, calling for my father who has fallen asleep in the big armchair in the living room. Then my ex man returns home and finds me half sitting inside and half outside trying not to make a mess of the house with profusely bleeding foot. we bandage it and he picks me up and takes me to the car where we get the foot checked out at the doctor.

Carried into the emergency room and the doctor smiling at the sight, me sheepishly half laughing half smiling. The doctor examines the foot and gives the news that no tendons are broken which is lucky a htis would mean months of recovery. Simply a few nerves might be damages but these will grow back in time. Also that i need a number of stitches but the anesthetic will probably be as painful as the stitches. So i decide to go for the stitches without anesthetic, my god was it painful but i managed to not move or cry out until the last stitch which was directly on a nerve or sensitive point. the last one really throbs even now.

After the doctors and back to the house, i go with my father to pick up some crutches so at least i am able to be a little independent in the next days. Its amazing here, you walk into a shop and hand over your insurance information. Sign a form and eh voula you have rented crutches.

Thursday after getting back home i tried to go to the supermarket just down the road in good old stubborn Isolde style. It was hard and i managed it, but my god do i have a new found respect for anyone who can't simply go to a shop without some walking aid or wheelchair. As a dancer after day 3 i am itching to walk, dance, run, jump as i am used to. so trying to put sunday to use with the finishing of my book.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

The quality of equality, equalizing or celebrating the individual?

At the moment within Compania Cielito we are working behind the scenes to set up a structure of roles for each individual who is also dancing in the group. This enables us to keep the costs down while giving each individual the possibility to give more to the group process through their own professional and personal abilties. Making the team far stronger than if you rely on one individuals capabiltiies that are always and very naturally limited to a set number of skills and weaknesses.

In one of our meetings a question came up about equality from one of our members, who assumed that equality meant that everyone should have control over all aspects of the teams behind the scenes work. It raises an interesting question about equality in relation to effective team work, individuals taking responsibility and authority in areas of expertise. What is equality? whether in a team like ours, the battle between the sexes in the feminist movement or in a relationship between 2 people. In many ways similar to the situation of a communist regime or the purely capitalist approach seen as two extremes.

My take on it is that there are two basic options:

1. Equality can be taken as the giving of equal power and authority in all aspects, usually decisions are made by group consensus with some individuals pushing an agenda. Equalizing regardless of social standing, income, abilities.

2. Equality through the realization that we are all different, with this having different skills, weaknesses, interests, motivations and formed conceptualization about what the world means to us. Within a team or company the hope is to create a team of people with complimentary skills that also bypass the effect an individuals weakness might have.

These different idea of equality are often the reason for misunderstanding within our group process. I wonder now if the first understanding is more governed by personal wish to control rather than trust others to get things done. A personal element also exists that people want to do things they like to do and this approach to equality makes it seem viable.

I am a big advocate of the second understanding of equality. Over the years in various group processes i have started from the first one as an ideal for the way i am working with people. My experience was that there was a lot of inclarity in situations, individuals pushing for things they want or need at the expense of what we do as a collective and at times at the expense of other individuals in the group. It also means that individuals don't feel seen for what they are able to do and often don't recieve enough authority from the rest of the team to be effective.

SO... now in this process i think its time to get clear that we are aiming for a way of working that celebrates the individuals ability within our team, giving them authority by entrusting them with the responsibility to get it done. Actively following their lead and giving help and support when needed. Less formal structuralization and more clarity of our roles enabling a free flow of supporting each other rather than being bogged down with formality and procedure. There will always be things we want to do from another role, sometimes there will be a space for this and sometimes not. I have the feeling people should earn the things they want, in the sense that often more work is created to achieve what is wanted so the individual needs to show they are serious and willing to but the work in to make it worth while. Realising that its more than a playground wim but that there are actual skills involved that need learning and appreciating before some aspects of the team work can be shared. Next challenge is to define this idea of working. More thought needed...

Friday, 22 July 2016

'Hemeltje' fundraising campaign for the setup costs of a new sustainable space in Utrecht

We have a beautiful studio in Utrecht that is now pretty much full of people renting and making in our space. There is a big need in Utrecht for spaces that are user friendly and affordable. Mostly the two don't come together. Our project is bringing people together, enabling innovative social business through making space available to great people offering inspiring activities and projects across the board of dance through to events.

Now we have found a great location but need help with the start up costs to create a sustainably running space once set up will run into the future. Check out our crowdfunding campaign and help us reach our fundraising aim, be part of an amazing group of people who are making this new space possible. And there is the perk of some lovely gifts along the way.

Funds raised will cover the cost of a beautiful floor, stage area and decoration in the way of lighting and curtains to increase coziness and sound quality. Check it out now at: