Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Diagonals, Grids, and 9-points- OH MY!

This week the dancers are back in the studio with Artistic Director Sue Schroeder and Guest Collaborator Amanda K. Miller-Fasshauer to revisit their process of "a world too wide" As per usual with this work, the dancers are whisked away well beyond their comfort zone, abandoning old habits and inhabiting a new type of body intelligence. Although many of us left the workday not knowing whether to laugh or cry, one thing was certain: we are evolving as movers and performers and will present something that Atlanta has never seen from CORE.

"a world too wide" incorporates a variety of elements to construct a new reality, a new world in which the dancers traverse grids, follow diagonals, and work through a system of "9-points" to develop a uniquely expressive vocabulary of movement. Although the show is a few months away, the work requires a great amount of concentration for it to be authentic. 

CPC's newest company member, Kristin D'Addario, has jumped right into the process, utilizing her strong ballet technique and professional experience to become part of this world! Catch her and the rest of Core Performance Comapny in "a world too wide" on March 7, 2015 at the Rialto Center for the Arts. Also follow us on social media and for more information about our other performances in Atlanta and Houston.

Until next time, keep moving!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

CORE at Cucalorus

Thalian Hall
This week, CORE has traveled to Wilmington, North Carolina to participate in the Cucalorus Film Festival. The dancers have created a piece to accompany a film by Company Manager Patton White. Their work will be shown at Dance-alorus, which is the official opener of the Cucalorus Film Festival; during this event, dancers and choreographers will be presenting work that pairs film and dance, shown at the historic Thalian Hall.

Following the show is an after-party at the Bellamy Mansion, where CORE will perform a site-specific work for the guests of the soirée.

Company Member Josh Rackliffe on the steps of Bellamy Mansion

View of Masonboro Sound, as seen from the backyard where the dancers are being housed

Friday, November 07, 2014

Finishing up the first week of rehearsal after our break last week...

We are getting ready for Willmington, NC to participate in the Cucalorus Film Festival specifically the Dance-A-Lorus. Beautiful, intriguing, moving pictures are going to be paired with live movement on stage. We had a blast just playing and getting silly while finding movement structures and meaning for this piece. Letting go and diving into absolute ridiculousness brought lightness, laughter and a quite fun dance.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Houston's Monarch School kicks off its seventh year as part of Dynamic X-Change

At the Monarch School in Houston, the beginning of CORE’s seventh year bringing Dynamic X-Change to their students has been fun and adventurous. Led by CORE's DXC Teaching Artist, local performer and choreographer Leslie Scates, the students at Monarch were thrilled to be having "dance class" with "Miss Leslie" again. The kids have been teaching her Gangnam style and The Wobble, and she's showing them moves from her generation as part of the new flash mob style format we're testing this fall.

This is a true collaboration with the kids and staff at Monarch to create an evolving class structured to facilitate increased interaction and engagement, which can be challenging for these kids, most of whom are on the Autism Spectrum. Nearly all of the students are enjoying the fast pace, repetitive moves, and popular music Leslie incorporates. About her first session back at Monarch, she said, "Eyes lit up and moves started emerging everywhere in the room. We learned to dance collaboratively this morning, which is my favorite sport."

The classes have also moved to a new location on Monarch Campus. They are now in the Living Building which is a freestanding sustainable building. It is solar and wind powered. The space is open, roomy and has doors that open up for outside/inside living. The space is a delight and allows for students that "need to take a break" to sit outside on the decks and still see the class inside.

"I miss dancing and I like how we are doing it again. I like the feeling of dancing and it is really fun." - Monarch student

The Monarch School is dedicated to providing an innovative, therapeutic education for individuals with neurological differences—such as those associated with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder, learning disabilities, Tourette Syndrome, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, traumatic brain injury and seizure disorders. Offering a learner-centered approach that helps students progress in Four Core Goal areas, The Monarch School is a service of the Monarch Institute for Neurological Differences, where we’re shaping lives from the inside out™.

And we're back, plus one!

And we're back! After a restorative and restful week off, we are back and busy in the studio! We haven't wasted a minute getting back in the swing of things - we started with a great class from Sue this morning (with lots of new faces, which we love!) and got right into remounting 'A World Too Wide' which we have had quite a long break from. 

We watched the gorgeous video from the performance in Houston at Miller Theatre, and reminisced on the experience before returning to some movement. The movement journeyed from foreign to familiar quickly and was deepened even more as we began to transfer the work into a new body: Kristen D'Addario! We are thrilled to have Kristen as a new part of our family and can't wait to experience a beautiful new process with her!

The company is also preparing for an upcoming tour to Wilmington, North Carolina where we will be performing at the Cucalorus Film Festival! Check us out Facebook and Instagram for more exciting updates and photos on that! #coredance

Monday, October 27, 2014

Foreign Exchange week: Israel, France, Atlanta, Houston

So last week was full of inspiration! On Monday the company got to take a workshop with the Israeli company Vertigo Dance. After the workshop, we got to visit with them and talk about our experiences on different sides of the world making dances. There are so many similarities in how the work is collaborative between director and dancers and how they explore movement in the studio. There are also many interesting differences like how they sometimes work in a kibbutz and even rehearse there. We were very happy to share the time with them and sad to see them leave so soon. Hope our paths cross again in the near future!

By Wednesday, we flew to Houston with the French choreographers Isabel and Adolfo from Association Manifeste. They performed their "Point of View on the Street Corner: The American Corner" piece outside the Magnolia Ballroom on Friday twice! It was so fun to see people getting off at a bus stop coming upon this wild, crazy, and thoughtful dance. It certainly was a beautiful evening for it too.
I'll never forget how one lady walked up to me to ask about what she was seeing and after watching for 5 minutes she responded, "Now THIS is art. This is how art should be." I'm wondering if she was referring to the fact that it was free and available for everyone to see.

Earlier on Thursday, we previewed the collaborative work we created between CORE & Association Manifeste called "Je Suis/I am" at the French Consulate-General's house. It was a blast! So many people there that night enjoyed the dance AND dancing with us. 
Then on Saturday we performed the full version of "Je Suis/I Am" at the East End Festival. One viewer decided to stay immersed in our dancing by sitting on a bench with us during our character section that took place on the bench. Talk about best seat in the house. 

Hope all of the Houston-ites enjoyed the weekend of French & American dancing!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Celebrating Southern/France: a Petanque and Fried Chicken Party

CORE had a big weekend in Atlanta with multiple performances of “Point of View” and “Je Suis” in collaboration with Toulouse, France-based Association Manifeste: at the High Museum, on street corners downtown, and in Historic Fourth Ward Park as part of the closing day of Art on the Atlanta BeltLine. And because that didn’t seem quite enough for one weekend, CORE co-presented Israel-based Vertigo at the Rialto. Phew!

A weekend that full deserved a party at its conclusion, and party we all did… on the pétanque courts in the back yard of Pearl and Tom McHaney’s home. There’s a bit of a story to how CORE, Association Manifeste, Vertigo, the deputy-mayor of Toulouse, representatives from the French Consulate, and other VIPs ended up in the McHaneys’ back yard Sunday night.

Pearl is director of Georgia State’s Center for International and Collaborative Arts (CENCIA) and Associate Dean for Fine Arts, and has published extensively on Eudora Welty. Tom is Professor Emeritus of American Literature at Georgia State and a William Faulkner expert. And they’re both big-time Francophiles. I learned this last Christmas, when myself and fellow CORE board member Gregory Burbidge (Senior Program Specialist with the Atlanta Regional Commission) were asked by a mutual friend to run as two of the three French hens in a “12 Days of Christmas” run on Christmas morning. Gregory sourced the chicken beak masks. And the wine bottle filled with Gatorade. I took care of the baguette. We each found our own berets. But I was having the darndest time finding French mime shirts. Or, as I’ve learned they’re more appropriately called, French Navy shirts. You know the ones: horizontal white and black/navy blue stripes. Couldn’t find one anywhere. So I put out the word on Facebook.

Pearl McHaney, who I knew from her and Tom’s longtime support of the AJC Decatur Book Festival, got in touch. She had my mime shirts. She and Tom had bought them in France. They were tres authentique. I made sure she understood that we would in fact be sweating profusely in these shirts. She said this was not a problem.

So I made my way to the McHaney’s Decatur home to pick up the shirts, and it was then that I learned they had two pétanque courts in their back yard. Actually, it was then that I first learned that there was such a thing as pétanque. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s very similar to bocce ball, but with metal rather than wood balls. Pearl and Tom told me that they had a weekly pétanque gathering, and that I should come play anytime. I filed this information away.

Months later, Sue Schroeder told me she was looking for a place to hold a cast party when Association Manifest was in town. I knew the pétanque court and the McHaney’s home was the perfect setting. I got in touch with the McHaneys and, as I knew they would, they loved the idea.

If you haven’t met the McHaneys before, well, that’s a tragic omission in your life. They are two of the most fascinating and friendly people you’ll ever meet. And on Sunday night, after we’d all had a very full weekend, they welcomed us warmly to celebrate. Five nations that I know of (and undoubtedly some that I missed) were represented among the guests (France, Israel, Germany, Ghana, and the U.S.).

Dancers did pirouettes and leaps on the pétanque court in preparation for their throws. CORE company manager Patton White turned out to be a natural at the game. One of the Association Manifeste choreographers was a ringer for his team. I managed to score one point during my time on the court. A minimum of three languages echoed off the trees. Pearl and Tom taught and coached and refereed the games. We all feasted on chicken and Tom’s homemade pimento cheese. We drank wine and looked back with more than a little wonder at all that this overflowing weekend of art had managed to hold.

Our thanks to the McHaneys for a magical night!

Tom Bell, Board President at CORE

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"Je Suis / I Am"
Finally... the piece is finished!!!! Yes, and it's soooo nice to meet you! 

After bringing back all the material we had created with Association Manifest from Toulouse/France last year in October and this year in March during our trip to France has grown into a quite funny piece! All of a sudden it all makes sense. 
This week we took it out to our two different sites where we are going to show "Je Suis / I am" - At the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and also at the Old Fourth Ward Park in Atlanta. Two quite different sites and therefore the piece is sightly different as well. So you definitely want to come out to see both! 
Lost in translation was definitely a little part of this week's work process again - English, French, a bit of Spanish and a word of German here and there thrown in as well. But I feel we resolved it pretty well and met each other with a little more patience and didn't take it all too seriously. The outcome: We had sooo much fun! 

Next week we are getting ready to bring this work to yet another site in our other home, Houston Texas! 
We are excited to share our work with you!!! Hope to see you there! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Studio Spotlight: Lyrical Hip-Hop Dance Class Series with Liz West

Elizabeth “Liz” West has been choreographing and teaching dance classes for 15 years. Her latest dance projects have been Wedding First Dances and Quiñceanera’s. She currently teaches a Lyrical Hip-Hop Dance Class Series at Core on Mondays at 8:30pm.
What is Lyrical Hip-Hop Dance? It’s where you dance to the lyrics of R&B, Neo-Soul, Hip-Hop and/or Pop songs. If you are familiar with the hit show “So You Think You Can Dance” or the choreographer’s Tabitha and Napoleon, then you have an idea of this style of dance! This class is great for any level student - from beginners to those with experience to those just looking for a great workout!

At the end of the class series, the class will have learned a full dance routine, and there is an opportunity for a performance showcase!
For more information about Liz at her website  
And be sure to join her at CORE Studios Monday nights for Lyrical Hip-Hop Dance!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Working Hard and Sore Muscles

We've been kickin' it hard these last two weeks, and it's been feeling great to work and play hard in the studio. I'm super excited about what we'll be showing inside the Mi Casa Your Casa exhibit at the High Museum of Art next week Friday. It's been feeling so satisfying to do this work that now I'm feeling it, and by "it" I mean sore!

I was trying to figure out what I'd blog about and decided to share some of my favorite ways to help these sore muscles be ready to rock the next day. So here we go...

1. I like to have fish or eggs in my dinner to help with damaged muscle fibers.

2. I go for a nice easy walk/jog for 10-15 minutes to get fresh blood pumping. I believe it helps decrease lactic acid and increase fresh nutrients to sore muscles.

3. I stretch and roll on a foam roller... Or get a massage, but a foam roller is the cheaper massage therapist, haha.

4. Epsome salts bath!!! 

4. I add some Ionic-Fizz Magnesium Plus to my water to help muscle cramps and encourage a nice restful sleep.

5. Tai chi - I've been telling myself I'd do more tai chi prior to and after long rehearsal days because it truly has helped me reduce sore fatigued muscles. I haven't been doing it as of late, but now that it's in the blog... I better do it! =) 
I learned a tai chi practice that was always done for an hour after kung fu and it helped me feel so much less sore after intense practices. There is some interesting thought on this practice, and in case anyone is curious, an intro article from a place where I have trained can be found here

So that's some of the things I like to do when I have overworked muscles.



P.S. - I Captured a few pictures of Anna showing some of her traveling phrase we'll be doing while weaving in and out of the geometric sculpture.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

And we're back

It feels as if we have started the new season in a place of solid understanding and communication. We are hard at work on the first of two pieces that we will perform in the piazza of the High Museum of Art, a piece centered around the phrase (and the title of the work) "A home is a home is a home". The piece will take place in the new public installation by Hector Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena here in Atlanta and then again in Arkansas in an installation by artist Peter Daugherty.

We began our process with a stream of consciousness writing on the prompt "A home is a home is a home", picking words that stuck out to us and then developing movement phrases from one of these words. From the start I have been intrigued by the repeated movement ideas that have shown themselves through all of our individual work, revealing commonalities in our understandings of what home is. We rest our heads, we emerge from a small shape to a larger one, we feel chaotic, we put things in order. We have used similar processes in the past to devise work but while the process is the same it seems we have changed. We know each other more intimately than we did this time last year and it shows in the work. We can push ourselves in new directions, helping each other grow as artists. We can communicate in a free and easy way. We can help fulfill one another's ideas. 

I am beginning to see our processes as a series of riddles All of us trying to figure them out. All of us striving to reveal something beautiful. I am so lucky to get to work in this supportive group of artists and I am excited to see where this season takes us.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

YAY! Our new season has started!

I'm super excited about this upcoming season with CORE. It looks like we have a lot of wonderful projects ahead of us, and I am so ready to get back into the studio and create! I'm also looking forward to being amongst my fellow dancers as it's always invigorating having so many creative energies in one room. I can honestly say I've missed their individual personalities and fun spirits. Here's to jumping in to our 2014/2015 season on such a gorgeous day!


Monday, August 25, 2014

CORE hits the road with new programs in West Palm Beach

This past weekend CORE Artistic Director, Sue Schroeder along with Company Manager Patton White traveled to West Palm Beach, FL for two exciting projects bringing CORE into new communities.

Sue and Kate Klein, the Director of West Palm Beach Atlantic University's dance program, have developed a project that engages the dance students of WPBAU in the process of discovering the extent to which dance can serve as a channel of communication. With the support of a Touring and Residency grant from Alternate ROOTS, Sue and Patton spent some time in residence at WPBAU to create an original dance with and for the Palm Beach Atlantic University Dance Ensemble.

While there, CORE also presented movement workshops to the Palm Beach Habilitation Center in nearby Lake Worth, an agency dedicated to helping adults with disabilities become more independent through skills training and employment placement, as well to the residents of the Lourdes Noreen McKeen assisted living facility.

Reflecting on the time spent in West Palm Beach, Sue says, "Our work was tremendous. The students were open and receptive to us and all the new information that we shared with them. Our experience in the community at the Habilitation Center of Lake Worth and at Lourdes Noreen McKeen assisted living facility touched us deeply and broadened the meaning of our work.  We left West Palm Beach very filled and with great satisfaction. We created a new work with and for the Palm Beach Atlantic University Dance Ensemble, a home is a home is a home. The piece will premiere in early November at the Kravis Center."

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dynamic X-Change Teaching Artist Lydia Hance

CORE Collaborator Lydia Hance is a dancer, a choreographer, and a teaching artist. As part of CORE's Dynamic X-Change, she works with students at the Monarch School.

"My time at the Monarch School as a DX teacher is some of the most rewarding and fruitful time I've spent as a teacher, and that's because it was truly an exchange.  It was an exchange of joy, of risk, and of celebration.  Before I came to the DX program, I was mostly teaching technique to dancers.  While this is so important to our craft and our art, teaching in the DX was fulfilling in another way.  In a way that allows teachers to walk into the room and know they don't have to have all the answers,  in a way that allows for discovery and sharing in the classroom.  The students see that their teachers are still students.  And that is the most valuable of lessons."



Monday, July 21, 2014

Thoughts on Fieldwork from Houston Fieldwork Facilitator Neil Ellis Orts

Thoughts on Fieldwork from Houston Fieldwork Facilitator Neil Ellis Orts

True confession: I did not like Fieldwork at first. I won't tell the story here, but suffice to say, it was not my cuppa. Or so I thought.

But that experience was in another city. When I moved to Houston in 2003, I needed to meet people, artist people. I knew there was a Fieldwork session here, so I looked it up, gritted my teeth, and signed on. Then, Fieldwork became the foundation for my Houston artist community. By participating in Fieldwork, I found not only artists I admired, I found collaborators. Never mind the affordable cost for the weeks of feedback and a showcase at the end. It's the best deal in town.

And my original dislike? Here's the thing: the feedback format is difficult. It takes some work just learning how to give feedback. But giving feedback in this particular way also tuned my ear to how to receive feedback, as well. Giving myself over to the process, I hope, has made me a better colleague as well as a better artist.

Best way to get a bigger picture? Join us next session.

Breath & Bone/Orts Performance, Until Spring, at Box 13 Artspace, Lone Star Explosion 2014. Performers: Joanna Bowen Bridget Lois Jensen, and Neil Ellis Orts. Photo by Alex Barber

Friday, July 11, 2014

CORE's Leslie Scates named one of HOUSTON PRESS 100 Creatives

All photos by Catalina Molnari,
courtesy of HOUSTON PRESS
Choreographer, dance educator, and CORE collaborator Leslie Scates was recently named one of the Houston's 100 Creatives by Houston Press.

Leslie has created numerous commissions for CORE, including last season's herd, and recently became a Dynamic X-change teacher, working with students at The Monarch School.

"I feel honored to work with the company... No other company works quite the way CORE does. So fertile and humane. Across disciplines. Across borders."

Leslie's work at The Monarch School teaching movement classes began this past spring:
I said yes to the opportunity to work with a population on the autistic spectrum because I have a deep interest in therapeutic movement and also a keen interest in brains that think and operate differently than my own.  I love the work and the students are delightful and challenging. Some of the needs that I feel the movement classes meet for these movers are:
  • Stress reduction
    • Somatic awareness 
    • Kinesthetic awareness 
    • Sensory integration 
    • Collaborative skill acquisition 
    • Social skill acquisition 
    • Range of motion increases 
    • Motor skill refinement; gross and fine 
    I am looking forward to continuing my work with the Monarch school students. It is a laboratory for me as an educator and dancer to listen very closely to the emergent needs of a class of individuals, and to provide a conduit for creative expression, social interaction, collaboration and movement pathways.  These students are filled with language that inspires me to keep setting and reaching personal goals. And we have fun and sometimes we have intense moments. This is all valuable to me. I am glad to be a part of the students' weekly movement program at Monarch. I am also deeply grateful and my artistic process has been enhanced and shaped by being a part of CORE performance company.

    Read Leslie's 100 Creatives interview here,

    Thursday, May 08, 2014

    On Cultural Exchange

    On Cultural Exchange

    D. Patton White, CORE Company Manager

    CPC in America! question
    Exactly 10 years ago, I was one of 6 CORE Performance Company dancers working in Berlin with Tanztheater Rubato, a duo company made up of husband/wife dancer/choreographers Dieter Baumann and Utta Hell.  We were there for 6 weeks of work which concluded with the premiere performance of the new dance, America! question.  As a dancer, it was a very exciting time for me.  I was getting the opportunity to do what I am passionate about doing—dance—and getting to do that in a very different place than I was familiar with.  Imagine, instead of driving to work I walked down the 6 flights of stairs to the street (where Christopher Isherwood had once lived) and headed to the U-bahn—the  Berlin subway/elevated train—and took it to the studio called Halle. 

    Experiencing Toulouse
    Jump 10 years later and I was again experiencing the good fortune to be participating in another cultural exchange.  Once again CORE was collaborating with a duo company made up of partners-in-life dancer/choreographers, this time Association Manifeste’s Isabelle Saulle and Adolfo Vargas in Toulouse, France.  And this time I was part of the creative leadership team—one of four ‘directors’ of the new work, Je Suis/I am (Saulle, Vargas, myself and CORE Artistic Director Sue Schroeder).  Again I am getting to do another thing I am passionate about—to choreograph/design, and in another very different place than I am familiar with.  I have been given the opportunity to forcibly improve my understanding of and ability to speak French.  I have the pleasure of experiencing life in a smaller and much older urban area than where I currently live.  And once again I was able to enjoy life without a car.

    Beyond these every-day things, I am struck by the other incredible gifts that international and inter-cultural exchange/collaborations provide the players.  In both of these instances, our exchange has been with western/European cultures.  Within the realm of contemporary or modern dance, this means that we get to dialogue with the descendants of the European ‘line’ of modern/contemporary dance which had a very different focus on theatricality.  Influences from Mary Wigman, to Bejart, to Maguy Marin were present, as well as an entirely ‘new’ way of approaching performance—informed by a heightened sense of real-ness.    As someone who finds inspiration in all aspects of culture, the opportunities for architecture, visual art, sounds/music, religious history, as well as geographical and climactic realities to filter into the creative process are all exciting.  Isabelle and Adolfo bring vast experience as both performers and creators to the studio, and it is present throughout the process.  The subtle but powerful presence they exude in the simplest exercise reminds us that technique is not simply pyrotechnics, but a deep connection to the internal self.   An attention to authentic relationships, with no room for imitation emotions, brings a richness to the creative process. 

    I don’t believe that just any American company would have benefitted from either cultural exchange in the way that CORE has.  I believe that in both instances we were ideally suited to undertake the challenging work that is cross-cultural collaboration.  Each relationship had its own unique parameters but the culture of CORE, with an appreciation of transparency, individual expression and non-violent communication proved to be a healthy incubator in which new work could be nurtured and developed. 

    The collaboration with Manifeste is in its infancy, at this point, so I look forward to being a part of the adolescence and the full maturity in the coming months and years – look for the premiere performances in Atlanta and Houston in the Fall of 2014.  I look forward to learning and sharing, and to dipping my toe back in to the performance pool.  All that, and the opportunity to improve my abilities in the French language, too—even if it is to simply know that the Toulousienne response to ‘Thank you’, is ‘With pleasure’—just as I feel about this experience.

    Wednesday, May 07, 2014

    Wonderful Wednesday

    We had a wonderful final TTI Wednesday here at CORE! We had the pleasure of spending a full day workshoping with incomparable Ann Law. We spent the day expanding our teachers 'tool box' and creating full 5-day lesson plans with partners. Our brains were full and minds were fed with a generous amount new knowledge and insight. One concept that stuck with me was the idea to teach as you. Not to try to be someone else or teach something you're not completely passionate about. Teach what you love, love what you teach!

    Until next year, TTI!


    Monday, May 05, 2014

    Gettin' ready

    Erik is getting' ready to dance...

    Anna & Josh gettin' ready for our  run through of Heart of the Matter

    Patton's feet gettin' ready for our company meeting

    Dancers in a meeting, gettin' ready for the week!

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

    Monday Funday

    We were happy to have Sue back in the studio with us today as we continued work on Vivaldi Dances in the Park!

    Friday, April 25, 2014

    Today was...

    Today in rehearsal we laughed, we cried, we danced on a journey...
                             of Baroque
                                  of spirals
                                           of pirate walks
                                               of seven ages in
                                                  "All the world's a stage"

    We worked deep on the purpose and meaningfulness of movement (and stillness) and we continue to do this work that is ever-growing.

    I can't wait for when we're live with the musicians on stage!

    We continue to do our best to be curiouser and curiouser...
                                        Our imaginations are exercised more and more
                                                 every time we move
                                                        every time we are still
                                                             every time we listen
                                                                 every time we dance

    Amanda is always reminding us to pick up our feet!

    Amanda's hiding place revealed...  well, the third panel reads "nuttin's sacred"

    Monday, April 14, 2014

    Rose's France Experience, Part 2

    Musicians jammin' on the Pont Neuf Bridge

    Another layer under the sameness layer is that there ARE folks here in Toulouse wanting changes and growth and are seeking it.

    I see it in…
    • Isobelle and Adolfo and their drive to be successful artists that matter to their society/city and the world
    •Juliet (their daughter) who is a young adult not wanting to just fit in, and shows us where to party in places that hold like-minded night-time socializers.
    • Sylvain (our housemate) who battles a similar subject of being a successful artist, still striving to prove to a government that’s decreasing its funds that an artist is providing something substantial to his community… a voice for new ideas; like gender, how does it affect our perceptions of beauty?
    • The graffiti artist next door TILT who battles the validation of his ideas of beauty in a city that doesn’t accept his work as “real” and legal art… or does it?
    I think the underground believes it is art because I noticed graffiti all over the city especially in the public park areas. It is so similar in Atlanta, the only difference is that the conversations are happening more here to accept this art, like with Living Walls who can/has made an agreement with the city to utilize certain structures to present graffiti art in a way that lines up with the vision of many. I think there is room for this in Toulouse as well. It’s just a matter of speaking up and listening in turn; being heard and then also being willing to hear.

    One of the many talented street performers, a one man band!
    Best place for young folk to hang is along the Garonne River bank.

    Friday, April 04, 2014


    am in a foreign country for the first time since Isreal. 
    I am lagged and exhausted.
    Fed and inspired.
    Taken care of here.

    I wish I had it in me to take off on a night stroll through these new streets.
    But my eyes cross as I write this.

    Some things on my mind are:
    Diana Vreeland
    The French Appitite
    And French Eye Contact

    Thank you for every experience that has come between us
    Us as brothers.

    Photographic fruit tray 
    beside my sea urchin bed.
    I pass the fruit de mer and go straight for the duck.

    Is it French to eat slowly?
    Is it American to eat quickly?
    Is everything really more than we need?
    At times I am the white minimalist
    And others the swine.

    I'm thinking about control issues as the waitress takes away my uneaten fries.


    I am self conscious about:

    eye contact or lack there of
    windows and the actions within
    the people
    the food
    the attitude
    the way the city is organized
    our habits while playing foreigner

    is what can be found
    in places of vulnerability

    What is the outside eye that is ever judging?
    I know it belongs to me.

    Why choose fear?
    And how do I let go of the other?

    Strength is love and strength is flexibility

    Physical directions
    void of emotions
    laid emotions within

    How sweet the lessons learned when I throw my body someplace new
    I can go nowhere to escape the insecurities
    Security doesn't live outside of me
    It's within these walls wherever they may be


    See how time moves differently?
    Is that my age or the nature of the use of my time?

    I am surrounded by support and love and creating beautiful things.
    Learning exquisite lessons.
    I feel through play as a child I am able to speak as an adult and that it's ok
    I am ok
    I can become vulnerable and there is strength

    I went for a long run with Stephanie yesterday afternoon and remembered that more things bloom between myself and another when I can let them in. Or let me in. Or let me out.
    We ran for an hour. We talked.
    I ran slower for longer and my body felt very different afterwards than it usually does after a run.
    It was strong but also light. As one of the pigeons swooping down for a small piece of the infitinite amount of bread in this country.

    I ate horse.
    Along with some great conversation.
    It made me feel strong. Maybe the way one feels after eating buffalo. Or elephant. Or another man.

    As much as I love being here at a certain point I become anxious for home. For my routines and my privacy. My secrets and my vices to be indulged in alone. Without the eyes of others known or foreign.
    It is always the future perfect version of me that I chase. I'm not sure if it's blindly anymore.
    But with a snipper's percussion

    What makes us forget that we are human?
    What makes us forget that we are beautiful?

    A friend on a balcony told me she lives with a large amount of anxiety and when she drinks
    her hands stop shaking
    and she can speak her mind

    What makes me forget that they are beautiful?

    What will be back home?
    What has this place done to me?
    Or was it the act of moving my body to here, around here and back again?

    Maybe one day I will live in a monastary. In a monastic life.
    Or grow old and fat and not hate myself so much.

    Where are the roots of self loathing?
    How do I get to them?

    I feel different as a:

    from Toulouse to Paris where I will get on another plane that will take me back to the motherland.
    Everyone's persons are so exaggerated at this point:

    He replies in an all knowing tone (but maybe he does actually know all)
    She seeks videos relentlessly, or something from within a magazine
    as does he.
    The other girls have their eyes closed
    and I play the tour de control
    and I'm ready for a break from this me

    Toulouse was pink
    Toulouse was nice
    Toulouse was winding

    No one sees you like you do
    No one sees you like you do