Yaroslavl, Russia Day Three: Festival Begins and Remy Charlip

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)

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