Archive for August, 2012

Yaroslavl, Russia Day Three: Festival Begins and Remy Charlip

August 25, 2012

Our festival kicks off with a downpour of rain, and a full day of classes and workshops.  Anne led an Alexander infused Modern Dance Technique class for a group of local Russian students and some festival guest artists.  We introduced a movement section for the “Forgiveness Project” to the class, as well, conducted interviews with some of our fellow artists, as part of the project research. (FRANCES)

First class: Anne’s doing dance philosophy in midst of technique class w interpreter 🙂

Knowing this morning my dear friend, Remy was to be buried made the day a bitter-sweet one for me here in Yaroslavl. His spirit has been with me as I overlook the Volga river and as I anticipate the workshops ahead and how I might incorporate his influence in my work. I let my particular anxieties rest, remembering his unwavering support and faith in my work. I miss him dearly treasuring not only the years we worked and made art together, not only the years of our deepening friendship after his stroke, not only the tears and laughter as we worked and confided through our struggles and victories these many months, but also the days and hours as he made his final transition, and also the moments after when we all gathered around him, and also the beautiful ceremony we had bedside, and finally the intimacy I will never lose with those of us who shared those moments, the way I feel he brought us together and bound us in the love he had given us individually. That he is flying free is absolutely clear to me. That his spirit burns brighter than ever is also clear. My tears are for myself as I will so miss my weekly visits – the most gracious hour of my week. Thank you so much, dear Remy!

Overlooking the Volga River, thinking of Remy

I have brought Remy up on several occasions here among my international colleagues. Always his name is greeted with at least one pair of widening eyes and several stories of his travels to the various countries represented here, of his sense of wonder, of his broad influence and his delightful spirit.

We kicked off the festival with a roundtable of dance artists from Russia, America, Italy, Hungary, France, Austria, and others – a beginning of talking across cultures and economies into the conditions and aesthetics operating in our dance worlds. Then I taught a packed modern class interpreted rigorously by Nastya.  The rain is washing the city now as I sit with the pleasure of that class and also with the memory of my friend.

Remy, I know you were so excited for this trip I’m on and would be thrilled to hear my stories. And, I’m sorry to not be there among your beloveds back home as they send you off in what I imagine to be a beautiful, elegant, and grand way.

Rita Felciano on Remy

John Held on Remy’s life and work

Tomorrow we begin work on the Forgiveness Project – the Russian chapter. More on this to come soon! (ANNE)

Yarolslavl, Russia Day Two: Waking Up

August 24, 2012

Frances and Anne across from our hotel at the river’s edge.

Eyes still glued together Frances and I made it downstairs for a breakfast of pickled cabbage, eggs and coffee, overlooking the Volga… sunshine outside.

At orientation we met translators, guides and participants around a crowded table where we were briefed on teaching, rehearsal, and performance schedules, maps, and logistics.

There was a lovely festival of bells at the local monastery down the street, which many of us attended. Later, we did the 30 minute trek to


In our neighborhood…

the theater building in which we will teach, chatting thru lovely streets, admiring the color and form of the old Yaroslavl buildings and the lush parks along the way, getting acquainted with artists. After spending some time admiring the 700+ seat theater, we took a street car back to our hotel where dinner and bed awaited. More cabbage salad and our second or third potato and mushroom entre (standard vegetarian offering), Frances and I began our art research. As part of our Yaroslavl Community Collaboration, we are interviewing participants on the subject of forgiveness. We’ll be gathering anecdotes, insights, and heart revelations that will inform our laboratory this week.

Tomorrow it all begins with a roundtable discussion after which I’ll be teaching technique! More tomorrow. (ANNE)

Yaroslavl Day One: Travel

August 24, 2012

Anne Bluethenthal and Frances Sedayao on Aeroflot to Moscow

After 16+ hours of air travel, 2 fish meals at hours we could not place and drinks courtesy of elegant women dressed in orange, we finally arrived in Moscow! we are Greeted by our poised and lovely volunteer host, Anna, who eased our wait with bits of comfort that remind us of home. It’s a beautiful day, 8pm and still daylight… the adventure and excitement begins.. through my veins, visions and longing for home ebb and flow… (FRANCES)

Frances and I started on our way at 9:00 a.m. Friday SF time, arriving in Moscow at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Moscow time. Being aboard our Aeroflot Airlines carrier was a visual feast of orange décor, peppered with bright 70s’ style orange flight attendant outfits, repleat w crisp nurse caps. We devoured our meals ravenously and unquestioningly, various movies accompanying our fleeting sleep, and after several failed attempts to memorize the Cyrillic alphabet, we finally placed our feet on Russian soil.

Our first 6 hours in Russia were spent in scenic Moscow Airport with music by the BeeGees, luggage covered tightly in plastic wrap, a few attempts at coffee and internet connections, all while traversing various terminals to meet festival attendees arriving from far flung countries.

Nicolas, Alessandro, Anna, Veronique, Anne, Angelica, Charlotte are here and ready for the drive to Yaroslavl.

Having met up with Charlotte, Nicolas, and Alessandro (from Florence);Veronique (from Paris), Angelica and Anna escorted us on the last leg of our journey – a  6-hour van-ride from Moscow to Yaroslavl beginning at 10:30p.m. Occasionally I awoke to peer into the darkness, searching fleeting images of landscape and architecture for a sense of our new environs…in the dark with only occasional glimpses of our new landscape and architecture. We arrived at our hotel at 2am and fell into our beds. (ANNE)

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