Running- Through My Eyes

So, I was running the other day… yes, what else is new?

I was running through Central Park, my required 5 mile run for half-marathon training… ok that’s kinds cool but what does it have to do with eyes?

And I was in total awe of how beautiful the park was with the setting sun sparkling off the snow and ice, which was covering the ground and trees.  It looked something like a winter wonderland.  A silent white glistening undisturbed other-world.

I suddenly had the desire to show everyone what beauty I stare at when I run.  I wanted to share that with everyone.

It’s the same way I feel when I’m running Hudson Greenway/ Riverside Park path and the George Washington Bridge appears for the first time in the distance around a corner, peeking up from behind the trees.

GWB sunset

Or the way I felt on New Years Eve on the downhill final mile of the run- New York City all lit up for the night coming into view in all it’s splendor and glory.

I don’t know how to show it.  To share what I see.  And I don’t know if any of you would care.  I can’t find words to do the view justice… and I can’t stop a run every 2 minutes to take more pictures.

So what’s the point of this post?  
I don’t really know.  I do know that I haven’t written in ages and that when I’m running these are just things I realize.  I suppose, what i see is so often what keeps me going.  I’m almost finished with week 2 of training and it’s starting to take me to places that are truly challenging.  I know it will only get harder before it gets easier and I reach the final prize.  And when I’m somewhere in the middle of a run and my mind starts to talk me down and get tired I start looking around me.  I put myself in the present moment and open my eyes to truly see what I’m in.  I distract my mind with light and shadows and eventually it clears and is calm and quiet.  My body takes over and I look on.

Snowy trees

I had someone ask if I get emotional when I run… or when I’m done with a run.  My reply- Yes.  “When I do a really good run- in time, distance, or just feeling- I get a little choked up at the end (and sometimes in the middle when I hear my mile count and get really proud of myself).  Partly because it’s over, and partly because- in that moment- I feel so powerful and amazing”.

I’m discovering how personal running can be.  It’s become more then just a workout routine for me… more then just a way to lose weight or make myself forget about how lonely I am.  It’s a time when it’s just me.  I have to be honest and true to myself and no one else.  It comes down to myself- body and mind,  my shoes, and the road(or the tread mill).

I still have a long way to go to 13.1 miles… then eventually the big 26.2.  In fact, in about 12 hours I’ll be out on a 5 mile run to wrap up this week.  But the only one who’s gonna get me there is me. 

What keeps you moving?  Comment, Share, Like, Follow, Tweet (@nychristiane) or Instagram (@nychristiane).

lovealways, christiane

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Sharing is Scary Part 2: “Solo” in Progress

Happy Friday fabulous readers!

As promised, I’m continuing to work on and share dance performance and choreography. In this post I’m featuring the first rehearsal footage of a brand new piece I’m working on. This solo, untitled to date, is being performed by yours truly at the moment. I have always feared sharing a piece when is it still very much in progress, because things will change, be added or taken away, and people don’t always take well to seeing mistakes. However, I want to keep working on this piece and I feel like I will be more motivated if I have an audience to share it with. This is also helping me overcome my reservations and hesitations of sharing my original work.  (the link is at the bottom of the post… in hopes that you will read the post then watch the piece!)

 

With this piece being in progress, I thought I would talk a little about the many aspects and pieces that come together to begin work on a piece of choreography, at least as it applies to me. Each dancer and choreographer has their own process and method of working, so do not define the “choreographers way” as what I’m about to talk about… this is just my way.

 

MUSIC

Music is an important, but not totally crucial aspect for dance performance. Many pieces are done with and without music, sometimes the dancers know the track before getting onstage, other times it may be a game of chance. Some choreographers prefer not to use music with lyrics, not wanting the movement or the audience’s perception of the movement to be affected by the preexisting tone of the music.

Personally, I like to choreograph with my music already chosen. I don’t mind pieces with lyrics, but I’ll usually look for one that will compliment the style, movement and “story” of my dance. Often, when I hear a piece of music, I can already start to see the movement come to life in my head… this is how I know it’s something I want to work with. However, it’s not always the first piece of music that ends up fitting for a piece of dance. For this solo, I had chosen a very different piece of music, one that was very personal to me, and would fir well with the track for “Shaded Blue”… but at this time I was not motivated as I should be, to choreograph to it.   The piece I ended up choosing, “Elements” by Lindsay Stirling (check out her site and music!), found me. It came on a co-workers Pandora Radio station on day and I was hooked.  I could feel the creative juices starting to flow and I wanted to start creating right there in the middle of work… I know this was a piece I had to work with.

 

MOVEMENT

I like to create and set movement that is comfortable in my body. If I’m working on a piece for myself, or without a particular performer in mind, I will create using movement that highlight my strengths and show my body the way I want. On the other hand, if I’m setting movement on a particular dancer(s) or working with someone specific in mind, I will choreograph to highlight their strengths, while staying true to my form and style. For example, the opening solo to “Shaded Blue” which was specifically designed for Emily! I’m not at all adverse to making choreographic adjustments in the future, to make any piece a better fit for the dancer.

I have a tendency to pull from the variety of styles 

 

STRUCTURE, FORM, FUTURE

Some choreographers have a piece already mostly set, either in theirs heads or on paper, then the rehearsal process is just getting that out onto actual dancers. Others prefer to create as they go… maybe having definite points or movements that will happen as a given time, but the rest come together like a puzzle as they work. I am a little of both I think, depending on the piece. “Shaded Blue” was 90% written out on paper before I ever set foot in the studio with it and dancers. While changes and adjustments were made throughout the process, most of it is as I originally set. This new solo, on the other hand, is very much coming together each time I get in the studio to work.  While I have some ideas for the overall look and direction of the piece, I don’t always know what’s coming next… so much of my rehearsal time, right now, is playing and seeing what comes out.  The rehearsal process will be for another post… Yay, something to look forward too!!

In my head, this piece is a sister piece to “Shaded Blue” (premiered in the last Sharing is Scary post). watch it again! While “Shaded Blue” was more so movement for movement’s sake, this solo is a little more aggressive and the character is troubled. There is more tension on the stage and she is always looking off to something else… something just off stage… something she can’t have. The movement is more angular and sharp and I actually love the silhouette look I got in the studio! The music adds to the driving element, while being light and easy to listen to… and believe me, I listen to it a LOT!  the first week of working on this piece, I listened to the track every day on my 45 minute train commute, just to get it in my body and lear the music, phrasing, and character.  

When this piece will be finished… performed… with or without “Shaded Blue” is beyond me.  Right now I’m working on it so I can keep creating and to have something special to share with you all!  I would LOVE to reset Blue with this piece when it’s done… but I also don’t want to rush myself so I truly create something I’m proud of and enjoy.  (“Shaded Blue” is by far my favorite piece of Modern/Contemporary dance I’ve done… so this new one has a big sister to live up to)!!

And on that note… I should fork over the link to the new piece and let y’all see it for yourselves!  Here it is “Solo” 2014.  Please feel free to share, like, comment, etc!!  I love your feedback and support!  

 

Love always,  Christiane 

 

Is there a good title for this?

WHAT? Another entry so soon? Christiane, is this going to be a trend… Posting every other day, I did not sign up to get that many email about this!
No no, have no fear- today was just so crazy, exciting, scary, and more it needed an entry. I needed to talk about today… Maybe make it a little more real for myself? And with training starting tomorrow, I will get busy and then you may find yourself wishing I was posting more! Haha 🙂

So, shall we start at the very beginning? A very good place to start (points to those who got that)
Yesterday, was a busy productive day- filled out official MoMA paperwork and sent that off, moved everything out of Agnes apartment and packed baby Pete (my dear darling car) full of stuff, cleaned the apartment, visited DSA, and got to my last Decatur Big Peach group run! A nice dinner with the family and slept well.
This morning was easy. I was already checked into my flight, thank you Delta app. and my bags were ready to go. We were taking baby Pete to the airport, so we went for one last cruise down NDH to the gas station (Is it bad that writing about my car is making me cry?) then we left for the lovely large Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson international airport around 12:45.
Did this awesome thing- curb side baggage check- SO EASY… Very glad I checked both of my large bags. After some pictures and many good byes with Mother dear it was off to security– “Waiting, everyone is just waiting”… But I got through that no problem at all and the I was right there on concourse T, so easy to get to the gate! I was vert early so i got a good seat looking right over e air field and watched the planes… when ours got there i even saw my luggage get scanned and loaded on board, so cool! Plane was on time, we boarded and were up at what, 30,000 feet, in no time at all. And after a glass of juice, pretzels, the introduction to A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities (thank you so much MD) and a cup of coffee… It was back to the upright and locked position for landing.

(Now it gets good!)

I’m LANDED IN NEW YORK!!!

If anyone can navigate Hartsfield, any other airport is a piece of cake… De-boarded and got to baggage claim in no time at all. Had to wait there a bit, but when they came around, there was NO missing my matching set of pink floral Vera Bradley duffle bags!

It wasn’t raining, thank goodness, so I bought my first ever MTA metro card and headed for the BUS! M60 to Manhattan, and let it begin. Immediately my skills of observation kicked in, I did not want to look like I had no idea what I was really doing… I think I did a good job. Sort ride later I’m getting off in Queens and calling my new roommate (whom I’ve only via Facebook and Skype mind you). “You see the big highway” ” yes…” ” cross that and I’ll be down to meet you”. Alright I thought, here I go.

I have gotten moved in and unpacked… It feels more real now. Not like I’m here for a long weekend or something, but that I can call this home, to some extent, and take things in over time.
My new roommate and I the went for a lovely evening tour walk around my new neighborhood, showing me laundry matts, grocery store, delis and bakeries, shopping, and tons of other things in my new neighborhood.
AND the SUBWAY… Which I will use for the first time tomorrow to get to training!

I went grocery shopping and came home for dinner. Isn’t there a saying or something that once you buy your first round of groceries you are really living in a place? Well, that’s me!

I’m still calm, surprisingly… I have not cried much or been so nervous that I do something incredibly Stupid (get that reference??) so I think I’m taking this well and adjusting.

Dinner was my comfort go to food- peanut butter sandwich and an apple.

Then with a hot mug of Georgia Peach tea (thank you Emilia!!) it was blog time.

And now, clocking in around 11:15pm in NYC, I think it is bed time.

And tomorrow, the real work begins.
(Ill give you that one, it’s a line from the Disney movie Mulan )

So, a few photos to close out the night.

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Pete, I miss you! ❤

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There she is!

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And there we go.

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Coffee coffee coffee

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My new space!

Enjoy, good night y’all! (Remember to follow and share the blog, I’m not just writing for my own amusement.) 😀

<3always, Christiane