Posts Tagged ‘Montreal’

and more Gratitude….

February 9, 2009

Audra Simmons sent me a link to the last dance our class in Montreal did Jan. 24th .  That 4 hour Marathon Class.

The arm dance song was Ara
Batur from the band Sigur Ros.

She calls it “arm dance” because it starts with arms, the whole class (of 40 women at least) in unison, but that broke down and the individuality of each dancer was celebrated by the internal mechanisms, flow and vision and incredible beauty of that individual vision.

Needless to say, we all were crying by the end of it.

Thank you, Audra….for this transcendent ending to your marvelous and unforgettable class in cold Montreal.

It’s an Icelandic band, and  this piece is so beautiful.

I’m back….With ATTITUDE.

January 28, 2009

And speaking of cold, Montreal was.  And windy.  However, it was a very interesting city, with some very interesting people.

I’m glad to be back in Atlanta for many, many reasons.  5 days gone doing anything, pleasurable or not, is too long to leave home.  And what a pile of laundry (the airlines have lost our two checked bags…) and cleaning I face.

Over the week  remaining, I am going to break up reporting events, only because I know that there are people that read this blog who are interested in what happened in those 5 days.  Mostly belly dancers and the usual perverts (friends).

The 4 hour workshop with Audra Simmons was incredible.  I learned more in those 4 hours than I have learned in a month of heavy classes.

I thought that it would be straight Tribal Fusion, but I was mistaken.  It had a LOT of flamenco techniques, attitude and of course, the hated routines.  However, I was surprised ol’  Teela could keep up with the youngsters, with only one 15 minute workshop break.

I did, but only because Audra made the class so damn  interesting. I just flew through it, and even my stumbling on the choreography smoothed out eventually.  It was the toughest class I have EVER taken, but it was the absolute best one, too.

Audra is a trip.  Older, with a background in ballet, Turkish/Egyptian and other techniques….she really worked the bejesus out of us girls. Sweat and pain was flying around the room for 4 hours.

One of the major points she pushed is this one of  “attitude”.  So many times we are dancing without it…we are just going through the motions, worrying about the steps, what comes next in a routine, and our faces show it.  Our bodies show it.  This is NOT what being a good belly dance is all about.

Attitude is the expression of our joy and our claiming the dance.  Our individuality and pushing that into focus.  We dance before others, but we should be dancing for our lives!  Our joy and expertise should be present and all important to us.  Don’t worry about getting every part of the choreography right, it doesn’t matter (when you are performing individually….’showboating it’) that every step and movement is remembered as practiced…

It’s the claiming, the lyrical/breathing/excitement you present.

I saw all body shapes there: sagging bellies, etc. and it really didn’t matter.  When you UNDERSTAND dance, you understand the transformation of the physical body, what it ‘looks’ like…into the marvelous and complex illusion of WHAT IT IS.

This was what was so impressive.  It was ATTITUDE.

Mentally I was flying, I was claiming my own Attitude, my own interpretation of the dance, my own contribution to this marvelous, healing, transforming thing we do called Belly Dance.

And it is healing.  And in the next few days, I would need that.  I would need to keep my joy at what I could do and strengthen my resolve not to lose sight of myself.  To know I would come through.

Sometimes ‘attitude’ ain’t pretty.  But it keeps your head above water, it can be the only life preserver around, and you throw it to yourself while in deep, confusing, troubling and alien waters.

Bless you, Audra, Woman with Attitude.  You take no prisoners.

Teela with a fresh Attitude, and holding on to it firmly today.


November 30, 2008

I am preparing a new manuscript for possible publication this spring. It’s a collection of all the Japanese inspired flashers, poetry, tanka, haiku and some other sundry writings in this vein. It’s piling up, too much was written this year in this ‘style’ and I do have people interested in seeing it all together. That’s the good news.

The bad news is I have had to push back the publication of “A Seasoning of Lust” just because of a more careful rewrite of that manuscript. But Bill Penrose is the editor of all things good and is still the best of news. Bill inspires confidence and takes a great burden off my shoulders and on to his formidable ones.

Looks like “Seasoning” will be due (??? is this birth??) February 14, 2009 and that seems very appropriate.

I have set myself a writing schedule that forgot the big appointment in Montreal in late January. A 5 hour workshop with Audra Simmons at Dance Conmigo and a gala performance that night. I won’t be performing, but it was close. I had to decline because it meant a piece of choreography developed and that does take months. At least for me.

This workshop is an introduction, as I have written here before, to a whole new strange world for me. Trained in Turkish/Egyptian, Tribal Fusion is a riot…and definitely a discipline that is alien right now.

So, I’m posting a little poem, non tanka, just to coast by.

Some new tanka tomorrow….this is still Saturday on this side of the pond.

Lady Nyo


You stir my loins
Like a long kitchen spoon,
Worn smooth
With years of
Bowl of it
With sexual waves
Long forgotten.

You stir my loins
Make me shiver
Make me weak
Make me cream
Make me wet

Make me lean
Over the counter
Your hands
Slipping up my thighs,
Under my apron
That piece of cloth
No barrier for modesty
Legs spread wide,
You move
To crush me against
Marble and
The marble of my skin
Soft, smooth, cold
Heating to your lust
Telling me to
Keep stirring
Act like nothing
Is disturbing
The making
Of this cake.

You rise-
I don’t know about the batter.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2008

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