Hello! although I promised to write often about my pandemic journey, I found myself strangely VERY busy! Logistics on the internet are challenging! I am using this page to catch you up on some not before posted information! The above video – “In Bundled Postures” first performed at the Judson Church 3/19 thanks to Movement Research, and then with NDA Performance Mix as well as ” Solstice” an evening of work by independent choreographers. It was created during a peer group workshop, “Lift-Off”, overseen by Karen Bernard.
Performed with New Dance Alliance, performance Mix 2015/16, TURF in Santa Barbara as well as Pieter Space, ,CA; an SOLTICE, an evening of independent choreographers – Zarah, Schwartz, Rosario-Puleo.
At the Brooklyn Studios for Dance – April 2018 Part of a creative and taaching Residency with dancers Jamie Graham, and Trina Mannino.
Solo section performed in Bio Bio Festival, Chile, and as a revised solo for the QueensboroDanceFestival 2018, as well as Solstice, An evening of independent choreographers
I think how the days would have gone should there have been much commuting from Jackson Heights to Manhattan and other bouroughs, and I think HOW could it POSSIBLY have been done!!
I. have been blessed, albeit exhausted at times as well, by zoom teaching daily classes, as well as 5 Workshops with TanzFabrik, Berlin ; one workshop with Cuerpo, Intelligente; Chile, Mexico, and a workshop with HORSE Dance Theater, in Taipai Taiwan. All of these . along with a few others, have in the past years, been done via traveling – no live travel for me for 17 months, and we are back in a set back, hoping for live interaction to soon happen.
Live classes, with Movement Research are in the thinking tank, -much hope for that!
I have created 2 solo dances during this time – Barbara Mahler-vimeo, as well as Barbara Mahler Dances. They have both been seen “virtually”, with MDGD (Mark de Garmo Salon Series, Fertile Ground at Green Space, LIC; SCDTnoho Works in Process, as well as FreeSkewl. The videos, This is How it HaPPened, and Waiting, with Jamie Graham, can be viewed on my accounts. (Somehow I always have more than one!!!) I am currently working on a duet and a new solo, for Fall/Winter 2021.
Back to teaching – one of the highlights during this most challenging time! It used to be, for many years, a daily ritual along with family and dancing, and became less so and different. Daily- such growth happens for all involved, and always a “good seer’ and perceptive educator, has become even more deeply embodied having to work through the screen.
Some of this information should be on my first page of the site, updated workshops, etc, as well as a couple of the videos, and I shall. I’m very grateful for a
During summer 2020. the QueensboroDanceFestival went virtual on almost no notice! a 6 month tour happened all on the internet, with Instagram live, youtube live, as well as performances video taped outdoors, and presented on line. This was the third of my solo performances which were improvisational, different with each and every environment. Can all be found on vimeo. I posted this one because I felt it truly expressed, atmospherically, how we were all managing to be creative, in community, outdoors as the world tried to present some kind of normalcy and as present during this time as possible. Hats in the air to the team, especially Karesia Baton.
The photo just above this video is from QueensboroFestival 2020
As I wrote in my previous post, I will begin to add quotes, statements, etc from my tstudents as to how they experience class, how they feel after, what they learned, why they come, all matter of experiences; and and it through experience in the body that we process non-liner learnings, work that is of this depth.
When i began to study, sooooo long ago, there wasnt’really anything like this, kleintechniqe/stretch and placement, and by ¨like this,¨I mean ideas, movements, theory, practices, converstions, practice and more practice,( smile!) somatic, or felt experiences, postures, etc that i felt I could use to help my fit into my ¨dancer self¨, that would help me understand how not to hurt myself, that would help open me up to other possibilities for being a dancer. help me understand how to be in my body, to manifest the way, i wanted to move, and to be strong. How could I weave my own story out of what I was learning? With a strong history of various techniques and trainings, my process, beginning in 1977 or so, was as it needed to be -slow, and then more slow. Rushing to change, I learned, was not beneficial to me, not helpful and sometimes harming. These important things I came to in myself and from myself. And lastly, for the moment, no one can possibly know how the individual, except peIrhaps the individual, will feel; how a series of movements will come together in feeling, experience, thoughts, and transfer to other modalities. Yes, a different time now, with multitudes of movement experiences to be had, and very experienced and strong teachers. Everyone finds their way. Here are some thoughts:
Skeletal alignment is stressed, with particular attention to the lumbar spine, sacroiliiac joints, pelvis, hip joints and all of their relationships to each other, is key to finding, and using the floor. The postions of the individual parts are less important than the communictations between them all, An individual learns to utilize the information that is both in the mind and the body, (theory and practice). How the body moves, how an individual learns how to handle themselves while moving; fully embracing their individuality, strength and weaknesses, is a key component. Remembering a ¨feeling¨ will not help the next time the movement, excerise is done because all is different, and the present moment is where the seed of change lies. Practice the movements, understand the relationships between the parts. So here are a few bits of the personal experiences of quite experienced as well as novice ¨dancers¨. This includes short and or long writings from many different individuals.
Ruping Wang writes- Klein technique w Barbara redefines the idea of moving. Moving is constant, and so is learning. With Barbara´s teaching experience and eagle eyes she leads class with substantial and pracitcal anatomical knowledge, applying it to the needs of each each and every individual.
From a class this week.. upon working with movment of the spine, arms, fingers, shoulder blades – – free in the chest, shoulder blades are light,
Working on the relationships of the hand/ head/neck helped release my hip flexors, and made me aware of how much i use my stomach muscles when not necessary, which I learned in turn, tightens my hip flexors.
Feeling articulate and connectied, both heavy and light at the same time. The connections are supple.
change happens even without being aware of it – we need to stay out of our own way?
Feeling more upright, on top of my legs without stress and holding.
photo – Fernando Maneca
I am a new student of the work, I appreciate the imagery, skeletal parts and props she uses to help me visualize what is going on in the body while I am going through the excercises. I am amazed to find more openness and space between ribs and lumbar spine, surrounding muscles, and sacrum! The practice seems to help me unwind my tightness due to scoliosis, (student of 3 or 4 classes, mature dancer), My body likes the process and I love when Barbara asks us to walk around and asks us how we are feeling! eye opening!!!! and pleasurable.
¨Fransisco Cuervo- Berlin writes: I have been studying Klein with Barbara Mahler for quite some years, taking classes and workshops with Barbara have taken me to explore the principles of this work from a different and new perspectives. Her playful way of teaching has supported my deep understanding of the connectivity of my unique anatomy, my own body,- to me, to others and to the World!¨
Marcus – Vienna- Thank you for all the time you spent in front of your computer this past year, allowing me/us in your apartment to teach us (how) to connect. Iḿ pretty sure lockdown, without your expertise-and your jokes- would have been much more disturbing to me. (smile).I always felt a particular strength and drive after your classes or was finally able to relax. In general, I observe a substantial difference, especially with the state of my lower back and my knee injury!! In this sense, the pandemic had a postive side effect for me . (However it might be uncanny to say that regarding the trauma it has caused so many). But only because of this and the internet I had a chance to practice that often and over a long period.
Wu-Kang Chen, Horse dance theater, Taipai..We have invited Barbara to teach Klein Teachnique 5 yrs in a row, 2020 was via Zoom. She always leads us into the work further. Through Kleintechniqe we felt grounded, Spiritual, self confidence, light when we walk. Balanced for a little while until the next time we get to take her class. Of course, sometimes (the work) remains (in our body) more permanently, which is then how we think about our self.- a self that could be grounded, Spiritual, self-confident.
Oh, what a year— !!!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. Learning to zoom classes, keeping my international workshops on line! Without the use of touch and one on one physical closeness , was the journey and process, inherent in Klein Technique simplier? more satisfying, less frustrating? Was the distance helpful? The stay at home circumstances definitely made attendance more consistent, and we have been a group now for a long time. We know for certain group learning speeds up the process of change, encourages trust. Does that happen with the barrier of miles and miles, of the barrier of the internet? For ME, the teacher, leader of the clasess, the situation was definitely more challenging. However, i have come to embrace it, to relish in the faces I see most days, in the consistency, and the desire for learning. I teach, along with my daily classes, a weekly class for Movement Research – a service to the community, and to certainly to Movement Research for their faith and trust in my teaching, experience for 19 years.
The initial days/weeks were so much about learning how to just manage the logistics of zoom, getting the appropriate computer that supports zoom, dealing with crashing and unstable internet.Still i have become quite adept. My saying is often Ïf i can do it, anyway can¨ – A slow and precise learner am I!
Everyday classes were/ are well attended, and even without touch and a more personal connection, I am watching people/bodies change and understand themselves, feel better in their bodies, work through their injuries, be present, be ok, be ok be ok with not being ok. Still showing up, working, resting, making the trip, which seems to get longer every day !!! from their kitchen to the computer room, studio whatever.
The experiences of growth have been palpable to me, and to the students as well, to others in attendance on the other side of the screen, the other side of the world. Together, we still work, breathe, focus, work on grounding; we are together; we talk bones, breathe, work on connections ; we are in community.
Their were people from all over the world- across the pond. New students, students of 20, 35 years ago. Our daily ritual has 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 into someone elseś class Klein Technique 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 have been so deeply enjoying applying my own body knowledge to other techniques, because in truth, from my main teacher Susan Klein, its applicatble to all styles of dance, and is about embodying owning and handling ones particular set of body parts (smile!!) well, with ease , grace, power, specificity, connection, groundedness, ease, strength, It is a long circular process well worth investing in. It takes concentration, analysis, self-understanding, patience and time. So, at 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. Not so terrifying actually as the whole world seems upside down .
Many other movement forms I watched or participate 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 .Taipai, Horse Dance Theater, also on line….ahh but i so miss the amazing food, not to mention all the amazing, warm, generous people. I missed my yearly travel to Chile – no zoom classes there but some students have been regularly present.
A special and deep thanks here to my first teacher Professor Dorothy Vislocky at Hunter College , where I began my dance training, – improvising before i could stand up, really,! in 1971, I thank her for so many things but especially for first showing me the action of the rotators on herself w no gluteal muscles–blew my mind. She also taught me how to see under/beyond technique, and introduced me to the principles of Zen, Castenada, and instinct. Little did I know then! All I could think of was why the heck we were reading these books for a dance class!!!!!!! Also I met Jana Feinman there, a life long friend.
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. It was for me the first of 3 outdoor virtual performaces part of the Queensboro dance Festivals´ 5th season where 40 plus choreographers and events were turned virtual in the wake of an eye. Extraordinary, time consuming. I am so grateful.! Festival 2021 shall also be virtual for the most part.
A special and most profound thanks in this time of times to Susan Klein, for always inspiring me, For me, she is still my teacher. I have a body of work I can use to impart information and share to others, to continue to grow within 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 BEGINNING THE 26 PANDEMIC ZOOM WORKSHOP with TANZFABRIK!
LINK February 26-March 19….4 consecutive classes workshop style
photo: David Gonsier …Performance as part of the Movement Research Presenting Series 3/19/19 ..¨In Bundled Postures¨ loosely inspired by Eadweard Muybridge´s motiion photogaphy
I have been teaching quite a bit lately, as I have been for 30 years. I am always learning a lot about the body, about connecting, about relating, about moving. Without teaching I myself would probably no longer be interested in moving /dancing, employing both subtle and powerful, expressive and abstract textures because the journey then, as a solo artist, would be I feel, too deep and challenging a journey to go alone.
From some of my recent workshops this past year I have written about my experiences. Most are directly connected to and inspired by the particular group of people I was working with.
Here are some of my random thoughts….
A few of the hardest things to do in a short period of time, I feel, is to change the way one thinks about how they should ¨look¨, what ¨good alignment is¨, what does it mean to ¨let go¨, how to integrate a huge amount of information, and to be confident in the process. How do we continue to practice without over-analyzing, and by using imagery, direction and patience to support daily work, regardless of the style, aesthetic, viewpoint, perspective, – it all takes practice that is thoughtful, and physically exploratory.
Align the bones, using thought, direction and gravity, and the muscles, tissue, fascia etc will sort itself out over time, allowing a new structure to evolve. Change happens slowly, over time, and can happen so slowly that by the time we realize there has been a shift, it can seem all of a sudden,- sparked by one, minute, one hour, one movement, one class although in reality its slow , and non-linear.
Sensations – the small aches, pains, soreness , etc, are fleeting ephemeral experiences that come and go. The tend to be seductive, drawing our attention away from the simplicity and steadiness of our practice, the work at hand, – the work we do with our body, our structure. The skeleton itself has no real sensation.
All too often our sensations and feelings, which are subjectively different than our ¨knowing” can became the base upon which we place our attention. These experiences are important, lending themselves to our interest and embodiment , keeping us excited and encouraging depth, but they do not lend themselves to deep change, to a deep knowing of ourselves and the way we move in the world in our bodies .
Think of, imagine the movement. Refrain, as best you an, to fit everything you feel into a linear container of right and wrong, of black and white. Learning is a process, revealing itself over time with patience and practice. Sometimes change happens and cannot be simply explained, or intellectually understood but clearly, it has occurred.
Let the body learn. Use information to relax the mind, for the body cannot be directed by thoughts, but it can be directed through imagery, movement and breath.
Now more than 40 years ago, it is understood that the mind and body are not separate, and practiced imagery/direction creates change by helping to override the habitual movement patterns.
During this now 9 month pandemic time, teaching almost every day without touching, with two dimensional small views, with on occassion 100 (that was fun!!!) students, and international workshops moved to zoom….
more in the next post!!!
video from NDA Performance Mix 33 at University Settlement Speyer Hall by Jacob Hiss
Originally posted on Barbara Mahler: ? í I´m taking time to write, to dance, take classes online in my small apartment(!!!) AND Teaching teaching Teaching 7-8 classes a week on Zoom, GRATEFULLY!, each week including once a week a class…
Originally posted on Barbara Mahler: Right now, my Website class/workshop schedule is not quite updated, so you can find my schedule here. My zoom classes, until further notice, are Monday 830am-1 0am, Tuesday-Friday 10-15-1150. Tuesday at 2pm and…
I´m taking time to write, to dance, take classes online in my small apartment(!!!) AND Teaching teaching Teaching 7-8 classes a week on Zoom, GRATEFULLY!, each week including once a week a class through MOVEMENT RESEARCH Thursdays at 1 pm ..the schedule will be below at the end. This class will end on Thursday June 25, as SUMMER MELT begins…
My week for MELT is JULY 27, Monday – Friday 1-3 pm. I will also be teaching my open daily classes, Monday – Friday during this week.
My WEEKEND dancing/creating/discovering time downtown NYC is over. Gratful for the times! It was an NDA SATELLITE PANDEMIC 2020 RESIDENCY, and it led to many hours of movement exploration in a space larger than my apartment! I have been extraordinarily blessed with time.
Photo from my residency time…Fragile Twig w Dog
Pinky is always helping me teach
Update from my previous blog post.. MY ZOOM workshop in connection with Taipei/HORSE Dance Theater ! Yay!! JUNE 29-JULY 3 FOR BEGINNGER/First Timers in KLEIN TECHNIQUE and JULY 2 -4 Advanced. We will be working from their Studio, as the covid 19 virus has been under control in Taiwan for some time. Although I won´t be missing the flying (!!!) I will be missing deepening the Zero Balancing – Hands on part of my time with the community. And, the food!! extraordinary ! And the close encounters , hugs,and tremendous the generosity of the community. But, I will still be seeing their faces, their generous smiles feeling their spirit, teaching them.This is my fifth visist with HORSE!
BERLIN- my second workshop with Tanzbabrik is coming to an end…there were be four 2 hour classes over a period of 6 weeks, – it has been quite international,! Th upside to this stay home pandemic has been students from all over the world – from long ago as well as new!
This on line method of -connecting, teaching , zooming, sharing will most likely continue through the end of August as Movement Research and other Studios work with the slow re-opening of NYC. Everyone is welcome to my zoom classes! Schedule is below.
My email address, should you wish to contact me is email@example.com for ZOOM ID and Password
My Zoom Schedule is Mondays 830am (no classes June 29 or July5)
Tuesdays 1015 and 2 pm (no 2pm during MELT
Wednesdays– Fridays 1015
My classes are open to all, suggested 10-15$
Thursdays 1pm with Movement Research…please sign up on their website or eblast…very inspiring, international, large, fun, grounding.-TILL JUNE 25
Stay safe, stay healthy, help others, be kind.
Stay tuned for workshop details AND QUEENSBORO DANCE FESTIVAL performances.
Photo credits…Me, except for the 4 headshots – Julie Lemberger and the photo Below – Performance MIX 33 2019 Kathryn Butler.
Right now, my Website class/workshop schedule is not quite updated, so you can find my schedule here.
My zoom classes, until further notice, are Monday 830am-10am, Tuesday-Friday 10-15-1150. Tuesday at 2pm and Thursday 1 -215 with MOVEMENT RESEARCH. Message them for info on that class!!! THE LAST THURSDAY 1pm CLASS IS JuNE 25
I have had a zoom weekend workshop with IDA in London, and 6 workshop classes with TanzFabrik, Berlin. I have had a few students from the original TanzQuartier, Austria Workshop join my daily ongoing classes.
Yes. i have been negligent in my writings. So much has happened this year, especially these 3-4 months, and more now with amazing change and growth with people coming together. It is SO INSPIRING and UPlifting, challenging and heartbreaking all at once. It is important time and will ultimately make the world a better place.
Even when I was young -7, 8 years old often criticized for being too idealistic – . Alas, I am still as such, hopeful for community, dynamic change, possibilities.
Recently, I was to post my “happening now” travels/tour to Europe – Vienna, Berlin and London–Taipei in June, my performances in NORTHHAMPTON, WIP in March, – all which have been adjusted, rescheduled, or virtual. Many events of the 7 annual QueensboroDance Festival, which occur outside in Queens in Parks and other open areas, have had to be accomodated for the Virtual. My VIRTUAL DATE IS MONDAY JULY 21 4pm!
UPCOMING WORKSHOP – HORSEDANCE in Banqiao District, Taiwan ZOOM WORKSHOP
Monday June 29-Friday July 3 7pm -10 pm (NOT EST TIME) – beginning level Klein Technique Workshop
Advanced ( meaning one has studied before the principles of Klein Technique)
July 3-5 10am -12pm (NOT EST)
Please contact me Barbmahler@aol.com if you wish to connect with HORSE or find their event on FACEBOOK – MY PAGES
Everything has moved around, and I have been doing all my teaching on – quite a challenging feat for me and my work, as I thrive on touch, the group and their energy in my classes. – I look to these things for guidance and direction on where as a class we should go. Over the past 3 months my skills (much much teaching ) have increased in this method of teaching and although challenging, has brought much clarity in my ëyes¨ and my left brain. I do find it tiring but I am very grateful for the at least visual contact with people I know and love, and meeting new people from around the world – a GIANT PLUS of the use of the internet. My device offers its own challenges, it being an IPAD. I have had the IPAD drop on its face with much yelling from the students (smile) “WE CAN”T SEE YOU”.. plus flipping through pages of people on occassion with Movement Research – 85 people sometimes with only 9 on my screen at time. Still, there are many upsides to this situation.
Month 3 1/2. teaching almost everyday – Love seeing the faces and smiles, kitchens, pets, childrens, family, etc as well as and bodies of the many beautiful people who come to class.- it warms my heart and soul, and helps me to stand on my feet. Even without the energy of the bodies, feeling both connected and so far away, I am moved,- it is the highlight of my days almost 90 days. I stretch inside myself to see more specifics of the moving bodies, the deep connections. My intentions – my teachings – grounding, being together, time for the mind to release the tension of this now we are in….friends see each other, and people from the past many many years ago join with and meet new. I feel it is so important to connect with everyone by name -and watch with great attention. The tiny important details of movement, addressing by name. It is a tiny thing but it is what humanity is – being together, being present. I still try for my silly jokes – still works!
Re my workshops with Tanzfabrik and IDA –IThe link below tells more of my thoughts and experiences of these past weeks along with class info..click on day 1 for that.