WHAT A YEAR – 2020

Oh, what a year— !!! And what a long, unprecedented challenging isolating time with the pandemic, and all the political events that transpired.

What saved me? kept me going? Teaching almost daily, as I had for many years. Without the use of touch and one on one physical closeness to the journey and process, as a student, was – simplier? more satisfying, less frustrating? For the teacher- definitely more challenging. Just the basics -zoom! The initial days/weeks were so much about learning how to just manage the logistics.

To continue – Everyday classes were well attended, and even without touch and a more personal connection, I watched people change and understand themselves, feel better in their bodies, work through their injuries, be present, be ok, be ok not to be ok. Their experience was palpable to me, and to them, as well as others in attendance, on the other side of the screen, and at times, the other side of the world. Together, we would work, breathe, focus, work on grounding, be together, talk bones, breathe, work on connections ; be in community.

Their were people from all over the world- across the pond. New students, students of 20, 35 years ago. This daily ritual also encouraged me to delve further into myself, my movement, my body and to expand my own movement possibilities. I would give myself Klein Technique class most days and on occassion was blessed to zoom inot someone elseś class.

Along with more deeply embodying this work (1977 a long time!!), I, in my tiny apartment took/take 3-5 ballet classes a week with the Corvinos. Yes, I have been a dancer for many many years, but classical ballet technique seems a whole new world , quite different and challenging and I so deeply enjoy applying my own body knowledge to other systems, because in truth, from my early teacher Susan, its applicatble to all styles of dance. It just really takes concentration, analysis, self-understanding, patience and time- So, ast 68 I am jumping for the first time in a long while, to the occassional annoyance of my neightbors!, my brain twisting and overflowing with information, my body totally confused for a while, messing everything up on occassion.

I also particpate in a an ocassional pilates and yoga classes, Chi Kung, a bit of belly dancing. so so fun ! Many other movement forms I watched or participated in to clarify refine and challenge my vocabulary, my perspective, my knowledge.

All of my workshops usually done traveling were brought on line beginning in April, Tanzfabrik, Berlin 4 or 5 times, IDA-Independant Dance Agency, in London, and weekly with Movement Rearch .

A special and deep thanks here to my first teacher Professor Dorothy Vislocky at Hunter College for first showing my the action of the rotators on herself w no gluteal muscles…Hunter College is where I began dancing, where my introduction to improvisation took place. I am back, in my own practice, to improvisatng often.

My performance below was a practiced improvisation.

A special and most profound thanks in this time of times to Susan Klein, for I have a body of work I can use to impart information and share to others, to continue to grow myself, In fact, I first met Susan in the office of Dorothy Vislocky, 1976 perhaps? Mailing lists,or anatomy sheets or something…..such a vivid moment still etched in my memory!

My next post will be more about my students as I see I have been rambling on about myself!

I missed my annual workshop in Santiago, Chile my special teaching trips to Taipai (Horse Dance Theater) , missingthe FOOD!!!! sigh sigh sigh. The annual workshop (year 5!) was done on line…zooming!

(These photos are by JPinlac for the outdoor virtual performance at Windmuller Park 2020.)

And of course, I found a way to dance often or should i say MOVE!! in my apartment, outside when the weather was good, and randomly, when the health risk was less, in a studio.I created some short works, worked on improvisation in performnce, found ways to stay connected. Queensborodancefestival -7th annual event, this year a 6 month tour was rapidly converted to a virtual series with classes, virtual performances, live stream, instagram. SO NEW TO ME!!! EVEN ZOOM WAS A NEW WORD FOR ME!!

And where I live was quite//is quite a hard hit covid zone. A very challenging time. There is still in the neighborhood a feeling of community, of hope. Below is one of the 3 of my virtual performances – the first of my series of ¨The Broken Sidewalk¨ to John Cage.

Wishing everyone love, and health! stay safe .!!!

AND COMING UP IN FEBRUARY PANDEMIC ZOOM WORKSHOP with TANZFABRIK!

LINK February 26-March 19….4 consecutive classes workshop style

https://www.tanzfabrik-berlin-de/en/events/1245 ..if this link does not work please go to the tanzfabrik website!!!

About Barbara Mahler Dances

Barbara Mahler is a long-standing and active member of the New York City dance community as a choreographer, performer and educator - a master teacher of and contributor to the out reach of Klein Technique™ ( first certified teacher, teaching at the school 1982-2004). She is a Zero Balancing Teacher and Practitioner, and through these mediums of touch, movement, performance - creating in all of these realms, involved in the extraordinary and intricate world of movement and the body: moving, sculpting, teaching, re-educating: always learning. As a Her choreographer, she draws upon the intricate and infinite possibilities of the textures of time, space and the (her) body, creating dances that are spare, articulate, emotional," and elegant" (NY Times). Her choreography is consistent with her teaching vision and bodywork: exploring the endless possibilities that the body can reveal. Barbara has been an on-going faculty member with Movement Research (NYC) since 2004 and was an ongoing guest faculty at the State Theater School in Copenhagen, Denmark 1994-2015. She has taught at many other studios, colleges, and dance festivals in the greater NY area as well as across the US. She travels abroad and across the United States, Canada and Europe creating, performing and teaching. Barbara is a senior teacher and practitioner of Zero Balancing, a hands on healing modality, maintaining a private practice in movement therapy, and body work.
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