That’s a Wrap

It’s been over 4 months since the final video of The Freebox Everyday Dance project. Most of which time I’ve been working in a restaurant, building my teaching business and helping Mark get his book, Riding Man, on Kindle (it’s by Mark Gardiner – and it’s a brilliant book about following dreams). What I haven’t done is blog, Facebook or think about The FED project.

As I write this, I am acutely aware of an unfolding crisis of potentially epic proportions happening right now in Japan. I am praying for the safety of my friends Sato, Mariko, Satoru, their family and of course all of Japan. I ask myself how to live when tragedies of such proportions exist. The only answer I can come up with is to do so with reverence and appreciation for what I have and to spread joy. Tragedy will continue, it needs no help. Spreading joy in the midst of it is valuable work.

That basically sums up why I did what I did last year. I’ve been asking myself what it was for, what it was all about and what do I have to show for it. The world may never pay me money for frivolously spreading joy, but I’m in it for the long term rewards.

Thank you Edward Kramer, Tracy Phillips and The People’s Post in San Diego for producing this wonderful [blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/hP8tgqyKcgI%5D

What Just Happened?

It’s been one week since I’ve posted. After posting everyday for so long, I assumed it would feel strange to stop. But the last week has flown by! Early in the week I got to see a lot of friends in Encinitas. I wish I could have seen more people, but time wouldn’t permit.

I keep getting the question, “Are you at loose ends? What’s next?” I have an idea, but I need to figure out, What’s Now? So that I won’t be at loose ends. I’ve been keeping myself distracted and I’ve been spinning about it, but now I realize that it’s time to Pause, really Pause.

The Everyday Dance Project kept me disciplined. For the moment, I’m going to replace that with daily yoga classes (some hot). I have used this as a ritual in transitions before and found it to have a cleansing and centering effect. The stability of a class and the freedom to submit to the teacher appeals to me right now. And of course, I’m still dancing everyday…just not making a video.

While I do that, I’ll be starting the process of editing together a summary mini-documentary to answer all of those questions. Part of that process is to go through the year and create a “Best of” list…maybe in several categories. I’ll be asking for input on this too. For now, I’ll post one of my all time favorite solos -“Boogie Shoes.”

Day 36 – The Walmart Waltz

You asked for it, we delivered!  Please now…no-one ask for the Sears Salsa, the Lowes Lindy Hop or the Barnes and Noble Bolero.  Feel free to send in your own.  This really was fun and a real adrenaline pump. After doing it twice in one week with very little reactions from store patrons – and today’s only employee reaction was that she wanted to dance with us – it’s not a scary as a proposition as it seemed before.

I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please pass it along!

Day 319 – Vincent

I recently heard this classic song by Don McLean the other day. I guess I hadn’t heard it since I was a kid or something because I just realized the song is about Vincent Van Gogh. Truth is, as many times as I’ve heard it and sung along with it in the past, I really just heard it for the first time the other day.

Earlier Mark was going to the gym (it’s on our floor of our building) and I said “in case a tornado comes, I love you.” He said it wasn’t too likely that we’d die if a tornado hit our building, but that wasn’t really the point. The point was that any of us could die at any moment. I got to thinking about that exchange and the fact that I seem hyper aware of how fragile life is. I like to make sure I say what’s in my heart as a regular practice. I never want to slip into thinking that ending an argument or telling someone I love them can wait until later.

I suppose I know why I’m so aware of the fragility of life. I’ve lost many loved ones. Some by their own hand, just like Vincent. I dedicate today’s dance to them.

Day 262 –

This past weekend was a lot about deep listening to the body and today I realize that my body wanted very little movement. I was having a conversation this morning with Kimberly about this project and how there are a variety of forms the videos take. Some exercise my actual dance muscles more than others. Others exercise my creativity muscles and still others expand my comfort zone (think dancing in a crowd of bikers – Day 232 or with bikers on the highway Day 78 or even in Target, Day 34.

Today I was inspired by this piece of music – it’s the them from Schindler’s List (good ole John Williams!). I found a patch of sunlight and when I turned on my camera, I had the sense that my face disappeared in the light. I don’t know what made me try the overlay effects, but it seems like it took on a somewhat psychedelic – almost mystical feel. I really love the way every video reveals itself to me as I go along. Sometimes I plan, but mostly I just practice listening.

Day 256 – Hafiz “Dividing God”

I really love this poem by Hafiz, so I recorded it today on my iphone, imported it into Garage band to make a few tweaks and add a music track and voila…I had a soundtrack for today’s dance. I kept the movement simple, but I really love the graphic effect that made good use of my loft’s windows.

DIVIDING GOD

The moon starts singing
When everyone is asleep
And the planets throw a bright robe
Around their shoulders and whirl up
Close to her side.

Once I asked the moon,
“Why do you and your sweet friends
Not perform so romantically like that
To a larger crowd?”

And the whole sky chorus resounded,

“The admission price to hear
The lofty minstrels
Speak of love

Is affordable only to those
Who have not exhausted themselves
Dividing God all day
And thus need rest.

The thrilled Tavern fiddlers
Who are perched on the roof

Do not want their notes to intrude
Upon the ears
Where an accountant lives
With a sharp pencil
Keeping score of words
Another
In their great sorrow or sad anger
May have once said
To you.”

Hafiz knows:
The sun will stand as your best man
And whistle

When you have found the courage
To marry forgiveness,

When you have found the courage
To marry
Love.

(“The Gift” – versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)

Day 251- Fun with Fabric

This song is called Heartbeats and it’s by José González. I was searching for inspiration and remembered the fabric. I tossed it over the A/C vent and created my own little play ground with Jose’s (and Marky’s) help.

Day 224 – Thank you very much, Mr. Nerdbot(o)

We had some fun tonight with our new Nerdbot. I had forgotten about this song. In my first dance studio job, my manager – Jerry – used to sing, “Domo Arigato Ms. Pinizzotto”  I loved it. I forgot that it was by Styx!