I am now back from doing my show and my YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine workshops as part of the St Pete Yoga Festival in the Tampa, Florida area. It was an excellent time. I met super people and was able to be part of a new wave of conscious energy in that part of the world.
The show promoters arranged that I would meet a couple local dancers who would learn my choreography and perform with me at the festival. Five days before I was to perform, I met Lana and Kerry, two yoga teachers who were willing to be part of the show.
It took some yogic adaptability on their part to get their heads around what they had signed up for: a fully choreographed show, not free form improvised movement. Oh my! Not being trained dancers, they adjusted and rolled with the opportunity with grace and skill.
We met and worked together each day for hours. There was a lot to learn. I watched them move, understood where they were at and modified the choreography to suit their comfort level. We ended up with an excellent final product, a show that wove together a couple local yoga teachers who played the role of reptiles that transform into Disco Yoga Tantric Fairies. Fun!
They both did amazingly well at delivering with confidence and conviction. They were so good in fact that people thought they were part of my tour! Thank you Lana and Kerry for your superb contribution to the success of my show.
As Kerry’s rehearsals continued on her own time at her home, her son Porter took interest in learning the moves as well. The photos and video of Porter are here below. A crystal light with intelligent luminosity, I just love that child!
As an active blogger, Kerry wrote a short piece below about her experience being part of my show. Tomorrow I will post my next entry in the Ask Parvati series.
Electronica’s Inner Child
by Kerry Wills
10/22/11 @ 4PM
My son is a sucker for a synthesized beat with a dash of gold glitter. He found his heart’s longing in Parvati, a Canadian performer who recently graced our little Florida town with her big show, “Yoga in the Nightclub.” In fact, I managed to land a temp job as one of her two back-up dancers. Enter Lana and Kerry as the yoga disco tantric fairies. Don’t know how that happened exactly, but it’s not really the point of the story.
We’ve been rehearsing for a week and the show is tonight. I have been listening to dance-y fabulous-ness for about three hours. Only a third of that has been me rehearsing. The other two hours have been that incessant son of mine (He’s five; it’s normal). If I flub my moves tonight, it will not be because I have not learned the music.
I have had quite the turn around from my mood 10 days ago upon viewing the show for the first time. My first thought was, “Who the hell do they think I am?” And then, “Who the hell are these people?” And finally, “Oh, shit!”
I can be a bit of a curmudgeon sometimes. More self-absorbed than curmudgeonly, I guess. I mean, fun for me is spending six hours studying the anatomy of the foot. That’s what I was doing right up until I watched the ‘blocking videos’ last week. Apparently, Lana and I were to figure out our dance moves based on these. Enter Audacity 🙂
Well, Lana and I spent a few days wrapping our head around this new assignment before Parvati arrived, or shall we call her ‘Natamba’ for our purposes here. That is her character’s name in the show. She’s an alien being of Cosmic Intelligence, come to Earth in human form to explore yoga. With a sense of humor, thankfully, or I might have cried after that first full rehearsal.
I respond rather well to straightforward instructions though, and Parvati has that in oodles. She’s direct and tactful, which is a hard combination to nail. Somehow I’ve managed to learn the music, the moves and get my head in the right space for a full-on live performance in a few hours. Enter Light… my son.
As I’ve watched him prance through our family room with his improvised head dress and costume (à la Natamba), singing and dancing to his heart’s content, I found the inner child who will accompany me tonight to the performance. And that IS the point of the story.
Kerry Wills is certified in Dharma Yoga (Austin, TX), an approach that emphasizes mindfulness. She has also studied Ashtanga, Iyengar and Yin Yoga, and is currently enrolled in Leslie Kaminoff’s Yoga Anatomy Course. She studies the Yoga Sutras online with AG Mohan. Kerry’s teaching style stresses breath support and functional alignment, which allows each student to feel the internal forms of poses. Awareness in each posture tends to encourage more spacious movement and breath patterns. From this perspective, asana is a tool that facilitates increasing awareness of oneself. She draws inspiration from Yogic and Buddhist philosophy, yet resonates most directly with the sciences of Psychology, Neuroscience and Evolutionary Theory (particularly the work of Steven Pinker, Oliver Sacks and Richard Dawkins). She teaches a naturalistic approach to this ancient practice.