March 10, 2009
The Language That Connects Us Most
I met Alyssa DeCaro in Long Beach recently the week of TED where she performed. There's something about her energy when she started dancing to Eric Lewis' music that was magical. Improv sure, but it was more than that.
On top of her fabulous energy, we had the beauty of Eric, who is an incredibly talented crossover jazz pianist who never seems to tire at the keyboard. (Click here to hear his performance)
I think to myself as I watch her energy: yeah, I need to meet this woman. In less than fifteen minutes, she's swirling around and accidentally falls into me. This kind of thing happens to me all the time so I'm not surprised, then I learn that she is from San Francisco, we have mutual friends, Esalen is a common thread, dance even more so. Later, I learn about her name. Alyssa: bringer of light, DeCaro: of the heart.
I'm also a dancer, hence the reason I connected with her most. She has an upcoming event in San Francisco on March 15th for those who are local and those who are not but have friends in the area, let them know, particularly if they understand and love movement.
She writes something on her site that not only resonates but is true. It's the way I try to live my life. Read, listen and then read and listen again.
"There is a hidden language that lives deep within us…
a language of the body… of the voice… of the breath… of the heart…
and of the soul. It goes beyond the fear that keeps us separate.
This language connects each one of us to our deepest self knowing.
This language weaves our thread into the web of all life."
December 05, 2008
Children Dance in the Richtersveld
Take a look at South Africa's Richtersveld as seen through the eyes of Nama children, who danced for us on the banks of the Orange River, along the Namibian border.
It was followed by a picnic lunch consisting of grilled fish, game stew, salads and cheese......and of course, a taste of the local beer. You'll be incredibly moved and if the dancing alone doesn't bring on a smile, the face below most certainly will. See if you can find her in the videos.
Videos of their performance below:
November 28, 2007
Kenichi at the SF Hip Hop Festival
At TED last year, I had the pleasure of meeting, chatting and dancing with performance talent Kenichi Ebina. At this year's San Francisco Hip Hop Dance Festival, he and new partner Takahiro Ueno blew the audience away with a creative dance duo that mixed mime and hip hop with the playfulness of Gene Kelly on his best day.
Kenichi also has such a warm smile that he draws you in, in many of the same ways a leader does when he or she speaks and you long for more. His performances are like that.
Below me with Kenichi and also a shot of Founder and Artistic Director Micaya on stage with all the performers at the end of the festival. My favorites from the line up? Without a doubt, Nobulus out of Austria (mind boggling) and Kenichi & Takahiro's "Junction of Worlds - Mirror." Both were world class.
A member of the Nobulus dance troupe below.
July 26, 2007
Dancing in Chicago
Life's magic moments. So many. How often do you take the time to reflect on the kind of magic moments you want to create in your life on a consistent basis? I don't mean the memory of your child's first word or your first glimpse of the Taj Mahal, but magic moments you can more predictably create daily.
For me, one such magic moment is the pleasure of watching self expression through dance and capturing it visually, sometimes behind a lens and sometimes on canvas. Dance. Movement. Expression. What a joy to shoot human expression.
I stayed with a friend recently who is in the design and branding business. In his guest room, I discovered piles (and piles) of worldwide fashion and design magazines. I couldn't resist browsing through them for a few creative ideas -- ones I could use artistically as well as professionally.
There it was, a wonderful reminder only a few hours before basking in one of my favorite magic moments -- human expression through dance. The excerpt jumped off the inside page of a high-end glossy tabloid. Life is not about the number of breaths you take, but the number of magic moments that take your breath away. Hear hear.
Seeing human expression lights a torch within me. How can you do anything but smile ear to ear -- and for a long time -- when you see this kind of movement, this kind of joy, this kind of energy?
Below are some magic moments I witnessed in Chicago's Balboa Park this week at night. Dancers were energized by the rythym of local band Occidental Brothers Dance Band International.
July 25, 2007
5 Rhythms & The TreeSpiritProject
I think of the Sweat Your Prayers experience as a combination of yoga, meditation, dance and spiritual connection. Based on The 5 Rhythms practice, it is a moving meditation of listening and following, integrating our physicality, inner awareness, spirituality and feelings into each movement.
Also known as The Wave, the experimental dance has been around for over 25 years. The process starts with calming music where you move using gentle motions, then you gradually increase your pulse rate (staccato), work up a sweat (chaos), and then luxuriate in it (lyrical).
At the end, you ultimately come to a place of positive and conscious relaxation (stillness) -- the 5th and final rhythm. Regular practice offers the chance to free yourselves from inertia, to shift the habits and attitudes which keep you stuck in old patterns.
I don't have an opportunity to go regularly, but whenever I do, I often meet interesting people who are working on projects at the opposite end of my professional spectrum, like Jack.
His photography has appeared in numerous national magazines, books, calendars, posters, greeting cards and advertising. A few years ago, he started The TreeSpirit Project, which combines his lifelong passions for nature, people, his photographic heritage, and continuing support of organizations that preserve greenspace and wilderness.
The project is a series of nudes on trees. An example of one such shot, entitled The Tea Tree Tangle, is below. More photos can be found on his site. Apparently there are also a few hanging at my friend's Italian restaurant: Frantoio in Marin, the only restaurant in the U.S. which houses an in-house state-of-the-art olive oil production facility.
Says Jack, "In and around trees, people feel they are a part of something bigger, as we humans do at the ocean or under the night sky."
March 18, 2007
The TED Dancers
The last night of TED party had a world renown DJ Emotional Technology playing music......."they're called a band Renee, they consider themselves a band" my friend Rory tells me as he hands me one of their CDs.
Emotional Technology’s centerpiece and soul come in the form of "Dark Heart Dawning" and "The Great Escape," two of their more abstract pieces.
And so a bunch of old-time and a handful of new TEDsters dance up a storm.
March 17, 2007
Dancing Up a Storm with Kenichi
March 15, 2007
Kenichi Ebina Knows How to Move
New York based Kenichi Ebina knows how to move. Click play and turn up the volume.
March 08, 2007
January 03, 2007
The Commercial Luau
I had a spontaneous opportunity to spend a little time in Hawaii over the holidays, so how could I refuse? Alas, with CES around the corner, my laptop went with me -- no real peace and quiet around the holidays between CES in early January and the numerous events and holiday activities.
Although I had to work, I did manage to sneak in a few fabulous hikes, and a luau: odd that I've never been to one given how much travel I've done. Of course, I can't forget to mention wildly singing to holiday tunes with the top down.
Largely, the luau has become tacky and commercialized -- for $100, you don't even get a lei or a photo thrown in and with the exception of "the pig," the food is often marginal. Below: the pig being hoisted from the pit. I have to admit, it was delicious.
Dancing will always draw me in, regardless of the event and to add to the drama, they use fire. How could you not?