Friday, November 15, 2013

November 16-23 @ SPINE studios

A few announcements:

1) The friggin' L train is down this weekend between Manhattan and Brooklyn !#$^&!. If you are visiting me this weekend. Please plan accordingly.

2) I am not teaching late night on Tuesday because I'm going to the fundraiser listed below. Let me know if you'd like to join or make a donation.

3) THE NEW EQUIPMENT IS HERE!  I'm doing reduced priced private sessions in the new space on Morgan Ave. until the end of the year---especially for those of you who have never been on it before, or you might as well have never been on it because it has been years. If you do want to hop on some new equipment during your private, please mention it in your reservation request. Have a wonderful weekend!

Next week's availability:

Sunday, November 17th

Monday, November 18th
8:30PM Open Mat Class, Loom Yoga Center

Tuesday, November 19th
Fundraiser for the Philippines

Wednesday, November, 20th
10:45 AM Greenpoint Tattoo Company Open Mat Class

Thursday, November 21st

Friday, November 22nd

Saturday, November 23rd

Friday, September 20, 2013

This week in movement 9/15-9/21

Started the week with Becoming Corpus at BAM. Contemporary Butoh and the marriage of video projection and movement. From a movement perspective, it was conceptually confused and by turns frenetic and belabored. The exceptional video work and sound on the other hand was focused and quite dazzling--but sadly, only existed to support choreography that lacked clarity. The job of transitioning from idea to idea was left solely to lighting and video. Actually, Brian Seibert's account in NYT is spot on.

Ending the week with Drill Piece at CPR. Got to hang out with Motley Dance during rehearsal and snap these pics:

More pics and my interview with Elisabeth Motley can be found on the Dance Enthusiast.

And here's my availability for next week:

Monday, September 23rd
8:30PM-9PM @ Loom Yoga

Tuesday, September 24th

Wednesday, September 25th

Thursday, September 26th

Friday, September 27th

Saturday, September 28th

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Gravity Management & The Art of Getting Down

I so wanted to title this post something more illustrative of the energy and motion of the elusive concept of "getting grounded"; something eloquent like Irene Dowd's tome, Taking Root to Fly--a little flowery for my taste, but brilliant nonetheless. She teaches workshops in kinesthetic anatomy and neuromuscular re-education in the city. If you get the chance to study with her you won't be sorry.

In just about every aspect of my life, this summer was about the ground: gaining some, losing some, finding common ground, and getting comfy with groundlessness; basically what supports us, but what's of more interest to me is the complex relationship between foundation and freedom. On the one hand we all want to enjoy the literal and metaphoric sensation of having something solid under our feet, but root too deeply and you're buried--no movement, no growth. On the other hand, a more tenuous relationship with the earth promises more movement, but no direction, or control. What we have here is a gravity management issue. We need to change the conversation from one about being grounded vs. not, to how to approach groundedness as a means to an end: how to get down to go anywhere.

I've been exploring this a lot with the actors I work with. We've all been in the theatre at one time or another, and have seen really good actors, with tremendous energy, weaving about the stage like a wino, or allowing nervous ticks to get the best of them. What they're saying comes through loud and clear, but do we believe them--more importantly, do we feel them? Grounding. Direction. Control.

Without grounding performers are victim to the myriad and vast amounts of sensory information coming at them from the outside and inside. Human beings are by nature chaotic--there's a lot going on. It all shows up in the body. As an audience, we believe the body. An actor who cannot connect his body (his center) to the ground, can't hope to channel the elusive, ephemeral energies of ideas and emotions, without grounding they remain abstractions that can't be transformed into the palpable.

Sooo. What have I been doing with these guys?

Pilates: Find, feel and strengthen the center.

Yoga and Alexander technique: creating space in the body for breath. Without breath, can't connect to center.

Release work: release energy blocks (tension).  Channel energy into the lower body.  Connect center with ground.

Extra credit: get rolfed by Marie Zahn to release that really stubborn tension to facilitate new movement patterns.

As I continued to work with these guys I was especially inspired by two performances:

1) Alan Cumming in Macbeth

2) The entire cast of Shun-kin, Complicite's new show

Cumming's one-man physical extravaganza, which included multiple characters, extreme emotional and mental states, and a clear depiction of multiple relationships, would not have been possible without a discernible physical center. At moments he appeared to fly up stairs, he would often have a very fast paced dialogue as two distinct characters. To achieve that kind of speed and physical range demands a firm connection with the ground if only as springboard and an unfailing sense of center if only as the glue that holds your many pages together.

 Even though I wept for the duration of Shun-kin, through my tears I marveled at the detail and dexterity with which the puppet (and title character) was imbued with humanism, personality, and eh-hem sexuality--how the puppeteer/actors, through movement, humanized a piece of fiberglass to such a degree that when a live actress replaced the puppet, you couldn't quite tell the difference. To make this kind of realism happen takes commitment and an openness to the present moment that requires a great deal of  endurance. Not just concentration and attention to detail, but the ability to endure the sensation of groundlessness--of not having any idea what's going to happen next, of being vulnerable, of feeling lost. The longer you can stay in those moments, the more interesting things get. If you find that your performances are stuck in a physical rut, this would be the next thing to work on. Building an endurance for uncertainty (which you can work on physically), not judging sensations, but using them as information, and then resisting the urge to use that information for a desired outcome will, ironically, ground you--it's like Irene Dowd says, "Taking Root to Fly."

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Next week's availability and getting on the list.

For the past three years I've been running community class at the Spine Studio #1 (yes, a Spine Studio #2 is in the works!). The community classes are wallet-friendly private and semi-private sessions that are offered to people in the neighborhood and our neighboring artists.

The community of artists, entrepreneurs, and freelance people around Williamsburg live on a different clock (those that actually HAVE a clock), and this includes me. My freelance work as a consultant and choreographer would have me rearranging my work and sleep schedule at least once a week: crunch times, dead times, incubation periods, early morning meetings, late night rehearsals, you get the picture.

Instead of fixed hours of operation I decided to offer a new schedule of availability every week based around my schedule and standing appointments. Reservations are made on a first come first served basis. The result is classes that work around your ever changing schedule, lots of options for rescheduling, and most importantly, no more excuses for not taking care of yourself.

Getting on the community class list is easy. Send an email address, and get a new list of options every week. Hope to see you soon and here's what's left this week:

Tuesday, August 20th

Wednesday, August 21st

Thursday, August 22nd

Friday, August 23rd

Saturday, August 24th

Friday, August 2, 2013

Corporate services and next week's availability.

Hey, where is everybody? Oh, right it's August.

It's been an interesting summer so far. I've had the good fortune of acquiring some new clients who've trusted me to expand my practice. I've been having so much fun working with some of you on your acting training, voice work, and overall "movement makeovers" for your home and office. I've especially enjoyed the stints I've had with my corporate clients, and would love to add more in-office/ in-studio groups to my client base. If any of you happen to know of a group, corporation or other organization that would like on-site visits, please feel free to give them my contact info. If you're a little unsure of what I do with these groups, there's some information below. Time to sort out my fall schedule! Happy August! Thanks for all your support.

"I design specialized wellness programs, classes and workshops for corporations and schools. I've been doing this in New York City for about five years now, and love it so much that I'm looking to share this work with more people; especially creative people in high pressure environments who work long hours and weekends. For most of these people, finding time for consistent, quality fitness/wellness seems near impossible when you factor in travel time, child care arrangements, etc. I offer innovative solutions for people with these constraints who are looking to maintain high levels of energy, creativity, and concentration.

Some examples of what I offer include:

  • In office private and group visits.
  • "On the road visits" for off-site projects.
  • Flexible hours including midday and late night.
  • Classes designed around company needs at any given moment (i.e. late night restorative yoga sessions and guided breath work during high stress/ high output periods, 30-minute express yoga and Pilates classes for times when there is "no time," ergonomic movement assessments for those with chronic neck, shoulder, back, or wrist discomfort, etc.)
  • Performance coaching prior to big presentations and meetings.

Whether these programs are paid for by the company or the employees organize themselves, what makes these classes so popular is that they're getting customized work delivered to them at a fraction of the cost of gyms and business coaching corporations."

*End of pitch*

Here's the schedule:

Monday, August 5th
2PM Mat class 1 spot open
3:30PM & 7:45PM

Tuesday, August 6th

Wednesday, August 7th
2PM mat class 1 spot open
3:30PM & 7:45PM

Thursday, August 8th

Friday, August 9th
3:30PM Mat class 1 spot open

Saturday, August 10th

Cory Nakasue
Twitter: @coryspine