Showing posts with label utrecht. Show all posts
Showing posts with label utrecht. Show all posts

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Gedicht: De Vijver.

De Vijver.


Er was eens, in een tijd geleden, stilte
Als een vijversoppervlak, reflecterend en ongebroken,
Voordat ik wist wat liefde was,
Hoewel ik de emotie had gehad.

Het bonzende in je borst, in afwachting,
Van hete dorstige lippen die je huid strelen,
Harten ontmoeten, maar bang om te vertrekken,
Ik herken de liefde niet in dit alles.

Zelfs toen ik hem aankeek,
Zag ik alleen mijn eigen reflectie,
In de vijvers een gespiegelde blik.

Ik kuste het oppervlak,
Vragen ontvouwde zich met elke rimpeling,
Uitbreidend naar keuzes,
Leidend naar verschillende paden.

Durf lief te hebben of niet,
Achtervolg de droom of zit stil
Blijf of vertrek, doe iets of sterf zonder ooit geleefd te hebben.

Vele replica's van mij in parallelle werelden,
Ontdekken het antwoord anders
Ik kijk terug op de keuzes die ik heb gemaakt,
Nemen mij terug naar dit moment en deze weg.

Eén keuze is altijd in mijn hoofd gebleven,
Om mijn hart eraan te herinneren dat ik het gedurfd heb,
Het besluit is voorbij,
Vervangen door een nieuwe keuze

ik kies liefde

Schrijver: Isolde Kanikani

Monday, 20 February 2017

Inburgering and the black hole fo information... does anyone manage this?



For those of you who don't know what inburgering is. Its the state of becoming a dutch citizen. Its very clear you have to take exams and that you have to pay a lot of money to become considered for the dutch nationality. Rightly so, it a big thing. But with this in mind, why is there not more clarity over what you need to do. What this means and exactly what do you give up in the process of becoming 'dutch'. The idea for some who know me is probably funny in itself, after refusing the idea i could ever get used to the dutch culture and be a good dutch girl.

I spent days going from one organisation to another in in the Netherlands trying to get information about exactly what i need to do to become a dutch citizen, with which organization and what i give up for this process. Giving up your mother land nationality is big, gaining a second dutch nationality makes real sense in this crazy Brexit time. Still the question is unanswered. some seem to think yes while other not. websites write both. So what to believe?

Working out exactly what your qualifications add up to pre diplomawaardering or process of working out equivelent qualification level is really difficult. The dutch school system is something complex when compared to the school system in the UK. I have learned a lot about schools here and qualifications but not  what mine are worth. Its interesting, the is a real black hole for a business to help people get through this crazy mess of organizations and become sytems or simply find out what their education level is.

So after 3 days of phone calls, emails and searching the web, i am still no wiser to if i can have dual nationality when i have dutch citizenship, what my education level is. But i have gained amazing insight into dutch school system and the government system, which can only be called complicated. A lot of red tape as far as i am concerned, but maybe i am simply impatient to follow the clarity of my new found dream and direction.

Finding back old videos...

Thursday, 3 November 2016

10 Quick Surprising Tips About dancing

 

As a professional dancer i have picked up quite a few little tricks over the years. Usually because i made a whole handful of mistakes and endeavor not to repeat them. Here are 10 quick tips to help dancers whether beginning students, experienced dancers or professionals (probably you have your own).

Build body memory. For each simplified basic movement of the dance or movement activity you wish to improve in. In the end a good teacher can simplify anything you need to understand, but you can't fudge the repetition needed to make a movement become learned.

Increase body awareness. With body awareness its a much quicker process to learn any movement based activity. Without it you can spend years trying to make changes that either will take longer to happen or your body simply won't understand on an intrinsic level.

Find your learning style. Become aware of the ways you learn best e.g. visual, kinesthetic, audio etc. Use the ones you are strongest in while translating to others you are less good in. The translation process makes the learning more profound. For example, i learn visually and kinesthetically but when i first started to teach i had to structure things in a verbal way for my students. Especially with questions but also to relate to the many students who aren't able to learn from a simply visual perspective. I found by making this translation of dance into words i learned a great deal myself too and continue to enjoy this new found learning style.

Give yourself time to find the learning space. Many students arrive at the start time of the class.  Totally understandable with the busyness of most of our lives. But it often results in feeling rushed, not something that promotes learning. With a bit of careful planning you can give yourself 5 minutes to acclimatize before the class starts by arriving a bit earlier. This 5 minutes is great for letting your brain become ready to learn.

Warm up before classes and social dancing. Sometimes it feels silly but warming up the body is really important. The more the activity asks from you, and this is personal, the more you should prepare yourself for it. When you are warm you also most better and more fluidly. The chances of one of those dances you will remember is much higher.

Learning is forgetting. Keep in mind that to learn something and take it in at a deeper level we often need to see it several times. Similar to body memory but for the brain. Let yourself forget things as part of the learning process.

Make sure your clothes don't hold you back. Depending on the type of activity you do, make sure your clothing allows for the movements you want to do as well as keeping you sufficiently covered. There is nothing worse than trying to do something and finding you either can't do it or don't want to as it leaves you exposed.

Take time for your own translation. Particularly for partner dancers but also for students who take a lot of classes. Its useful to take 5 minutes by yourself to put all the things you have learned into your own words and understanding. You can take a step deeper to try and link other things you do as part of your activity into this and check it with a trusted teacher or more experienced dancer. I always invite my students to check ideas with me and also tell them when its possible but not my personal approach or maybe i don't have the answer due to it being outside my expertise or comes down to a choice for the student i can't answer for them. After all i am not a guru but a dancer.

The first time you learn something sticks with you forever, or until you do a lot of hard work to change it. The first time we properly learn something we take it into our memory in a more profound way than the second and third times. Its good to make sure that you understand it correctly this first time and that you are getting quality information. This way you will avoid many bad habits that form due to misinformation. Secondly the amount of work it takes to change this first memory once made.

Ask your teachers why. If your activity is anything like Argentine tango then the question why is a good one. In tango everyone and anyone can teach, with a huge range in abilities to dance and abilities to teach. There are good dancers and terrible teachers, good teachers and terrible dancers and everything in between. The question why tends to cut through the crap. If they can give you a solid and clear reason why, then they probably know what they are talking about. If not then you can think on this. Just be a little aware of the difference between question about a step or subject being taught and questioning the teacher themselves. The second one is unpleasant on the receiving end and feels as though you are being asked for you credentials as a teacher. This is likely to close up most teachers making this a moot point. Active learning is essential to efficient learning and becoming more proficient. Its also rewarding and personally i find it gives a lot of enjoyment.

I hope these were useful. Try them out and if you want more information post a comment below. It would be great if you can spread the word about our new blog using some of the buttons below.We will regularly be posting information about dance, health and a little on Argentine tango.

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:

               

 

Friday, 18 December 2015

We are collecting your tango stories


UPDATE (March 2018): After many stories were shared with us we made a book that the authors could share with family and friends. This book was sold out within days of being printed. There were no reprints due to the project being about sharing rather than making income. But recently we had more questions about the stories and if it would be possible to publish some of them here. While the authors wished to remain anonymous we were given permission to publish to this blog. see this link for the first story shared. Feel free to shares yours by sending an email to info@cielito.nl. We look forward to hearing from you.

Original article and search for stories: 12/18/15


Our latest mini project at Cielito is to invite all you Argentine tango dancers out there to share your creative skills and experiences with Argentine tango. What was your first experience? What comes to mind when we say the words Argentine Tango? Have you got a story to share? it can be anonymous if you are sure about being known.

All the stories that are submitted will be edited for spelling and pictures will be added when it fits. Not all stories will be added particularly in the case where the content is deemed unfit for general public use. If you wish to remain anonymous please make sure you press the anonymous button within the submission form.

Click here for the link to Cielito's website and Story submission page.

Why are we doing this?

For a long time i have wishes to bring together many of our stories into one place. There are many sites with tango videos, teaching tango demos, and hostory of tango information. But few focus on the people aspect of tango which is fundamentally so interesting because while many of the stories might indeed be similar the motivations, the reasoning and feelings behind them are universally different.

Unlock the hidden creative writer in you and share a little of what keeps you busy.

Greetings Loca


Wednesday, 16 December 2015

'Inside Story' Argentine tango traveling the world

 


Smooth Moves Ezine March 2008

Argentine Tango came about in the late 1800's, at a time when many cultures were mixing (mainly European and Argentine), in music, in culture and in a basic need to survive in a place where work was scarce, The lure of promised riches from fertile land in Argentina were laid barren when many immigrant men arrived from countries all around the world. They found desert or rock in their allotted land, and so most migrated into the big cities, namely Buenos Aires and Montevideo. At one time there was approximately 70% men to 30% women and it was said to be even worse, this was due to many of the immigrants having left their families behind. These where the circumstances that lead to the formation of Tango, and the common representation of two men practicing together in order to increase their chances of dancing with a woman.

Its very hard to say exactly where it came from or how it formed, due to the many myths that engulf its past adding to the element of mystery in the dance which is so much a part of our intrigue as dancers. Some say it developed in the brothels of La Boca a barrio of Buenos Aires, others whisper conspiracy in saying that it originated in Montevideo and isn’t of Argentine origin at all. For me as a dancer I feel its origin isn’t so much important as its nature to evolve and change with the times, and even the fashions of clothes, music and the way people are expected to relate to each other in society have had influence. The pencil skirt for example, made it impossible for the women to make large steps, so in the 50s when this was ‘ la mode’ the movements become smaller and much more compact. But there is also a wonderful sense of preserving the old, there are many organizers that promote traditional tango in a form that is as close to Buenos Aires as it ever can be considering that we live in a another culture with a different way of life, tempered also by a change in times and the roles of men and women.

But the dance is something more than an explanation of its existence. This is merely a context for tango, a generality or cerebral way to try and understand it. My personal experience of Tango has been an adventure I could not have predicted. Improvisation, playfulness and a willingness to explore are characteristics in the dance that have unconsciously diffused and taken residences as a way of life.

I still remember my first lesson which was in a big theatre, edges darkened, lights dimmed for atmosphere and its most prized possession was a perfect wooden dance floor. A woman clad in a beautiful flowing dress, red when caught by the light, took us through the first steps of tango. There was one moment about half way through the class, when she gave me some hint or glimmer of what the dance could be like in experience both in terms the sensuality in the body while creating the movements of tango, and the feeling of simply expressing the music. I was hooked in the space of half an hour only to be told afterwards that there were too many followers, and that I being the last to sign up would have to wait until the new classes started. I was upset and crying when I left, but was soon rescued by another teacher who had more men than women. So the precarious start to my tango journey had begun only to lead to more obsessions in body and movement as the months past. I now teach and dance all around the world, moving from one dimly lit room to another.

I am always in search of something that the dance gives me and still I cannot name it. But what I do know is this dance is beautiful for the fact that you can never stop learning if only you are open to the possibilities. The improvised nature of Argentine Tango gives special moments of spontaneity and connection very hard to find elsewhere. With music and a space to explore and freely express it being introduced to the concoction, I am surprised any of us ever find a reason to stop.

The dances existence was provoked by the differences between men and women. Its evolution and origin forming from the immigrants with their many dances, and music traditions when arriving to Argentina. Its status and reputation growing with the travel between Buenos Aires, Paris and the popularity that is growing around the world. Continually evolving with the times but protectively coveting the old and the traditional. Lastly Tango is the technique and playful improvisation that allow two people to experience connection with each other around and through the music.

 

'Step into the Dark side'

 

Smooth moves ezine, September 2008

The tango dream, one of passion, amor (love), and the embrace. Often blurs through taboos such as sensuality, lust, sexuality and politics. Painting a smudged flowery picture that is perceived to include clearly all of the above.

Another image is one of the Holy Grail that entraps every dancer into an ever-lasting fanatical search of the ‘One moment’ within which we will find a deep-seated feeling of unity with our partner and the space. Forever goaded on by the multifaceted mysterious awe of the elixir de tango that is the music. On occasions when we find such a connection it feeds the addicts need to find more of the same sustenance. So we are doomed or enlightened (depending on ones outlook), in the search for the Holy Grail, that is the oneness of two. But what about a step into the dark side.

The drama, passion and fire of tango are often what attract people to start dancing in the first place. But this is only surface tension seen and exposed in stage tango (tango fantasia). My interest is in the emotional and physical fuel that feeds the fire. Not the fire itself. As a dancer and teacher of tango I am intrigued by the processes people go through in order to learn and through this enjoy the dance. The way they deal with often-intense situations. The expectations and desires that come into play when confronted with oneself in relation to a partner or social jostling of a group of dancers. The desire to know oneself, to be sensually in ones own body. Or to explore the boundaries of sexuality within the dance. Sexuality and sensuality are often mixed up with desire or lust and amor (love).

Sensuality can be seen as ‘a preoccupation with the gratification via the physical senses. It’s about arousing the senses or appetites. Internally its about embodying yourself, externally exciting the senses of another person’. But this is too mechanical. As a dancer I don’t always seek to sensualise the dance for the other person. I am in the search to become sensual in my own body and to find a containment that allows me to know and feel myself better. Through this my feeling of sensuality is made stronger because it’s more intensely concentrated. Other people can enjoy the sensuality they feel in me, and even become sensual through this. But the important thing is that I am sensual for myself. Many people take this as a sexual come on within the dance. One is not allowed the hedonistic feeling of being in touch with ones own body. Instead it’s often taken into new realms of lust, love and sexuality.

I have seen many short stories of love/lust grow and diminish around me. Sometimes lasting only a few hours, days and long ones weeks. These stories are the culmination of two people dancing in the right circumstances to allow two to become one in movement, embrace and thought. What I mean by stories is basically taking this connected and sexual dance feeling to bed. WE, in our present culture don’t understand how to be in our bodies, so when we experience such a connection with someone that’s so strong, be it sensual sexual or otherwise. We mistake it for love in many cases. In others where there is more experience of this phenomenon, it’s more about a necessity in the fulfilment of desire, closeness and often wanting to be in RELATIONSHIP but have many fears around this in everyday life. Tango attracts many people who are unable to be in relationships in the outside world and so instead search for the hedonistic instant gratification found in tango. Often being disappointed (after a while), in what they find. But for me one thing seems clear. We all want to feel secure and be LOVED. Not all will agree, but if you look closely I think that you will at least see in others that what motivates us is to find security in what we need to live, one aspect of this is intimacy with others. We will go through many profound emotions, experiences the unfathomable histories of hurt and pain that are deeply held in our body memory. Also remember the joy and laughter, the happiness of good times and what it was to be accepted in a group or by an individual. The embrace once more allows us to experience this acceptance.

Permission is given, one dancer to another. The embrace is unhurriedly made. The dance begins, and the connection is made. The exploration of what is comfortable starts and then the tuning in fades. The individual ceases to exist in the sluicing movements of tango, endlessly moving around each other, sometimes for hours on end. All senses are unified in the sole purpose of staying present NOW. Attention focused somewhere in the centre of the embrace. Oblivion to the outside world in a cocooned sphere of energy and desire. Again the need for containment is present which intensifies all. The more restrained one is in not acting on desire, the more one is able to experience the nature of the desired. It’s like standing still when the music is building higher and with more energy, higher and higher again elevated into a climax of notes that ecstatically entwine themselves in the bodies of the two dancers.

The other alternative is to take all the energy of this epiphany and to spend it in movement, thus diluting and loosing the moment. Often seen in show tango because it’s more interesting for the audience to see movement and speed rather than a seeming closed off unemotional dance. The image of an animal with four legs comes to mind. Words hardly do this justice but if you have felt it you will know what I am talking about. If you haven’t then you have an idea of what could come.

Politics is also rife in tango as with any place where strong emotions exist and there are high personal stakes to be gained and lost. I am not talking about the politics of tango schools or those that exist between two teachers. But of the politics of hierarchy. One rises or falls on the grounds of dance ability and social ability. Being a performer, a teacher and/or organisers also has a big effect. The status is not so important as what it means. SECURITY in ones social group. More dances giving more chance of INTIMACY and possibly LOVE. Along with Stability and acceptance. We are happy in these states but what about taking a step to the dark side?

The alternatives are infinitely more interesting. Feelings of exclusion, not being loved, loneliness in a room full of people. Not feeling good enough, young enough or beautiful enough to be danced with. Age-old insecurities held in mind and body, suddenly exposed by rejections, the intimacy of an embrace or even a teacher working with a specific body part.

For example the jostling that can give a feeling of being with the in crowd is often due to past angst with groups. Someone who has experienced being a nerd or social outcast in school might feel the need to be ‘cool’ surrounded by those people who represent this. But if one is not accepted and in some way feels excluded deep emotions arise. I have the experience of one particular person being distraught, crying and intensely angry at not being asked to dance. She saw it as her right to have a set number of dances in one evening. The anger was directed at me because I am a host and teacher. For three days this woman let go of all her frustration at the situation, her anger and later the tears and sadness she felt at once again feeling like an outcast. I simply held the space, open for her to feel and to experience the process she needed to go through. On the fourth day she came and apologised. She owned her feelings and we talked of a time at school where she felt insecure and lonely. It was due to a lot of things happening in her family life at the time, but the loneliness and insecurity were created by a group of people at school. She had unknowingly transferred this past situation into this new group of people, and strangely they were reacting in the way she expected because she was projecting past pain onto new people. Of course they wouldn’t want to dance. On the 5th day she had the most dances she had ever had and said goodbye to be smiling and happy. She had been able to find a way of releasing old histories and found security and even a possibility for intimacy in someone else.

Another example is of a businessman who is used to working for himself. Having full autonomy and power to do, as he will in his working life. In other words an alpha person. He is used to being associated with the top, and will find it difficult firstly to start at the bottom in learning to dance. But also in not necessarily being seen as alpha in the tango world. The number of times I have been surprised to discover how many men and women there are, with high powered jobs and who are confident at what they do. When it comes to tango they become shy and seemingly needy of attention. Like a fish out of water, they try to find their way back to what they know. The top of the hierarchy. Either through obsessive learning of the dance or by association with the top. Anger is something often felt if they aren’t able to find water, i.e. to become alpha. I have another experience of an aggressive man in classes who is incredibly intelligent. He has the need to be recognised. He knows all the terminology and tries to bully teachers into giving more information than he is ready for. He gets angry if he thinks someone is denying him and passive when he is receiving a lot of personal attention from the teacher. When things don’t go his way or he can’t find a movement he is ‘supposed’ to know he will often take it out on his partner. A while ago we had a private lesson that I was secretly dreading, but agreed to. We had 2 dances in the whole lesson. One to start and one to finish. We ended up working with aggression and anger, what these meant for him. He wanted to explore these topics with me, and we made a good start. He realised that by being anxious about where he was in the social world of tango and as a dancer he was becoming a monster. Someone who everyone avoided and refused to dance with. His story is a little longer and took a lot more lessons but over the months he has become calmer and softer with his partners. Again through being aware of feeling insecure and out of water he was able to start to find more favourable place for himself.



Whether we are aware of tango as love and passion, or a simmering cauldron of sexual energy and sensuality is based on point of view. Backed by personal experience both in life and how much experience of tango one has. I am not intending to make you mind up for you, but to simply bring a little more light to the sexuality, sensuality, lust, love and politics that are seemingly inherent in tango.

Alongside this our own personal quests for the ‘Holy Grail’, each of will have a completely different story to tell, but there will be similarities in experience. Many people I have talked to at one moment or another, have felt some disillusionment about these deeply unfathomable moments of connection that at times surpass anything they have ever felt with a lover or partner. One has no idea its possible until it happens, it’s rarely talked about in any depth and one automatically assumes you have felt it when it is talked about. Without knowing for sure, with no context of what it is and what it means. It’s often misunderstood to be love instead or lust. There is no black and white here only a grey area for every individual is different, every experience of the ‘Holy Grail’ is different and is for the dancers to place.

If we take one step into the dark side we can become more aware of ourselves, we can open up possibilities in creating the security and intimacy we want and need to be happy. But this road is more difficult as you will find many things about yourself you don’t like and will want to change. And many others aspects of yourself which are truly beautiful and should never be exchanged for simple acceptance in a group.

The journey through darkness is more profound than the light at the end.


 

'A Vision of Tango'

 

Doble Ocho Festival Paper 2009 
Smoothmoves Ezine March 2009

I thought to try and describe how it is to dance tango but the words escape me, partly because I like the words unsaid. … maybe also because for me the tango has allowed me to experience myriad of situations, emotions and people. When all is stripped away I find myself, and inevitably the long search for the something that remains out of reach just far enough to take me further along the road and close enough to let me glimpse something of what I seek. But the subject of my journeying remains elusive even now.

Over the past 7 years (since the age of 16), Argentine Tango has become my life. It has changed the shape of my body, it has shaped the way I move when I walk down the street or enter a room. The fascination is in finding an understanding of Tango vocabulary felt in the core body, rather than externalised brain-induced shapes that fit a tango mould, and inevitably feel tense and ungrounded. The music offers me a chance to express my emotion, cliché I know. But if you imagine an individual who is so used to walking through the world alone, that they need a key to allow them to embrace another person, and through this embracing themselves. What are we without the key that unlocks us, and the mirror that is our partner when we dance? A question I am asking myself now, while searching for a little of life in the outside world.

Imagine being ensconced in red and black sheets, entangled in the naked beautiful limbs of a lover who is resting in this tiny cocooned world of two. Thoughts taking flight from the seeming entrapment of body, going to past experiences, scared of not living the full potential of life. Translated into encountering big experiences. Another box to tick off. But once you have found familiarity in the grand, one realises the skill of living is being present in the tiniest moment. I come back to my unbound body, to realise that I was trapped by my own search for freedom and any place apart from the one that I inhabit now. For me absolute freedom renders an individual immobile, but a periphery can be a starting point for boundless creativity and improvisation. Contained by dancers around you, moving inside the embrace of a partner giving integrity to their frame saying, I AM HERE.

My vision of tango is really a set of experiences and images; it’s a way to express my self in the fullness of the person that I am now. My views and thoughts are always changing, growing with time, as is the feeling of always wanting to learn and explore new ideas. If I remain true and present now, then tomorrow will be transformed. The last image a friend gave me, her vision of tango in brief. A good dance is like being snug in a sleeping bag, sinking deeper into this tiny world of two. A bad dance is being trapped in a sleeping bag with a partner and desperately trying to get out.



Other articles in the dance genre:


'Abundant obsession', Argentine tango

Why we love Pilates (and you should too)