Showing posts from 2018

Ghost Light

Doing this show was a whirlwind incredible experience. I consider myself, for the most part, retired from show business and now only pursue acting for the love of the art and the joy of practicing. I only occasionally look at casting call websites and am not interested in 95% of what I find there. But this particular notice for Ghost Light caught my eye for many reasons.

Tod Rainey's ad introduced him as an award winning theater artist from NYC who had worked with Alan Menkin and Public Enemy and on the Sleep No More project. He didn't describe the Ghost Light script except to say that he was interested in doing an immersive thing similar to Sleep No More. If you don't know what Sleep No More is, I urge you to look into it as it was one of the most memorable evenings I have ever spent immersed in a theatrical production. So I put together a monologue really quickly and went to go meet Tod.

Tod's energy was distinctly "New York"and I felt a connection right aw…

JAG Menu 2018

The two new routines I have for 2018 are Blue Earth and Spirit Bird.

Blue Earth is a collaboration. It was created through a project I initiated on Facebook so that I could co-create with Nia teachers all over the world. What we put together is a wonderful routine, with a focus on the Sensation of Feet Touching Earth and the intention to both Relax into and Generate Power from the Steps and Stances. I have also used a focus on Feldenkrais Technique with the intention to invite Ease and increase Range of Motion.  It uses great music and fun movements, some familiar and some new. Further descriptions of the Blue Earth routine are here. 

Spirit Bird is a routine that I created on my own, except that I included two songs that were created in Choreography Playshops. This is my newest creation and I'm sure it will grow and change as I teach it more. But at this time, the focus is on the Low Middle and High planes with the intention being to Sense Grounded Flight in our movement. 
The fe…

JAG and River Itinerary, Fall 2018

In October of 2017, as soon as I got home from my epic road trip, I took over the classes of a teacher who was leaving town, so I decided to stay in town to nurture these classes. I didn't take a trip in 2018 so I could spend the year in Seattle.

But then I was invited to participate in the Men of Nia event in StudioNia Santa Fe in October. Originally, I planned to fly there and only miss a minimal amount of my classes at home, but it proved to be difficult to organize the flight and someone to stay home with River. Eventually, I decided to drive. 

I figured a fairly direct route to Santa Fe and back could be pretty quick. As it turns out, I'll only need to take two weeks off from my classes.

So here's the schedule I worked out.

Friday, Oct 12
DRIVE: Seattle to Walla Walla
TEACH: Nia in Richland (Shelley)

Saturday, Oct 13
DRIVE: Walla Walla to Boise
TEACH: Nia in Boise (Britta)

Sunday, Oct 14
DRIVE: Boise to Woods Cross, UT

Monday, Oct 15
DRIVE: Woods Cross to Green River

the SPIRIT of Nia

I come from a sports background. After I got out of school, I no longer had an outlet for my athleticism so I got into dance. I felt it was a discipline that offered me a good physical challenge. I had considered going into boxing or martial arts, but I had a problem with the fighting mentality that pervaded. Being a dancer eventually led me to become an aerobics instructor, professionally.
This satisfied me for several years until I started to notice my body breaking down. I was in constant pain and it was not uncommon to see overuse and misuse injuries in my field.
So it was this that led me to Nia. I read about it as a practice that combined the best of all worlds. The martial arts barefoot practice of self discipline, the healing qualities and self awareness of Alexander and Feldenkrais, the spiritual connections of yoga and tai chi, the freedom and expression of modern and jazz dance.... it was perfect for me. It combined exercise with self improvement with healing.

And as I scie…

Blue Earth

The Blue Earth routine was created as a very special project initiated by JAG in July of 2017. His idea was to enlist Nia teachers from all over the globe to collaborate via electronic media on a brand new routine. Using mostly Facebook and Dropbox, JAG, in Seattle, worked together with about a dozen teachers from as nearby as Portland, OR and as far away as New Zealand. Together they compiled a playlist and shared choreography ideas over video until, after several months, they co-created a wonderful routine.

The focus of the routine is on The Base and the intent is to bring Stability to our movements by touching the Earth. The routine begins with a strong Feldenkrais energy and then moves into a sultry jazzy Tai Chi feeling. The third song features Graham style Modern Dance and Nia FreeDance while the fourth is strongly rooted in Aikido. The fifth song captures a sparkly Jazz feeling, while the sixth has a very powerful Tae Kwon Do attitude. The seventh song has a lovely Duncan Danc…

The Cocktail Hour

I have wanted to do an A. R. Gurney play for many years. His vivisection of upper middle class WASP culture speaks to my upbringing and I've always been drawn to the humor and humanity in his writing. So when I heard that Renton Civic Theatre was doing The Cocktail Hour, I was thrilled and excited to audition. It was one of his plays I hadn't heard of, but as soon as I read it, I loved it.

The story is of a playwright who has written a play about his father and comes home one weekend to ask his permission to produce it. The play contains some family secrets and a less than flattering characterization of his father, so he's not surprised when the father denied permission to produce the play. I loved the fact that the play the characters are discussing is actually the one we are seeing on stage. It is a fun, meta experience with lots of laughs and some seriously touching moments.

As I was preparing for my audition, I focused on John, since he was my age. But I was envious o…

April Playshop of the Month: Mental Energy in Nia

Nia is described as a Body-Mind Workout. But how do we integrate the Body and the Mind?

April 1 is Easter this year. And it's April Fools Day. April 1 is also the first Sunday of the month, which means JAG is teaching a Nia playshop at Balance Studio from 9 - 10:30 am, followed by a one-hour Nia class at 10:30 am. 

This month we're focused on Mental Energy in Nia. There are many ways that Nia asks us to use our minds. Some examples are Awareness, Conscious Personal Trainer, Measure and Movement, Counting, Pattern Recognition, and many more.

This playshop is going to cover the myriad ways we utilize Mental Energy in Nia to keep our minds sharp and quick and the ways we connect our Body to our Mind.

Students are encouraged to bring questions and concerns regarding Mental Energy for JAG to answer and discuss. The first 90 minutes of this playshop will be discussion and practice without music. And the final hour, from 10:30 to 11:30 will be a full classic Nia class where we'll…