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Why I want to study at Jacques Lecoq

Six videos, trying to explain to the readers of my blog, the incredible work of Jacques Lecoq.

Yep… I have been accepted to do the professional course at the International School of Theatre of Jacques Lecoq!

I moved to Paris last week, left my old life behind, and decided to fully invest in my future vision.

Jacques Lecoq’s work is expansive: from physical theatre, to clowning, to the deep analysis of human behaviour, to mask work, to comedy… one way to resume it is that EVERYTHING starts with movement.

Dancers, gymnasts, circus artists, theatre directors and actors train at the school. There are no boxes artists are stuck in. The technique is a whole.

I set up a crowdfunding campaign to help me cover the costs of my tuition fee.

It is a private school. With the support of over 100 people, I was already able to raise over £4000! Yet, I need £7125 to finish the year.

 

Only 24H left to make a donation towards my crowdfunding campaign.

DONATE – CLICK HERE

I made a few short video clips – a mix of videos and documentaries I found on Youtube – trying to explain how rich and groundbreaking Jacques Lecoq’s approach to theatre is.

 

The first time I entered this historique place… the studios of the Jacques Lecoq’s school, I felt home!

The training and the quality of the teachings brought me to tears. It was calling me.

 

Imagine this kind of knowledge being available to more Hiphop, Dancehall and Krump Theatre artists.

That’s what you’ll be investing in, in a bigger vision.

 

DONATE – CLICK HERE

 

VIDEO 1

 

VIDEO 2

 

VIDEO 3

 

VIDEO 4

 

VIDEO 5

 

VIDEO 6

 

Thank you for your support!

DONATE – CLICK HERE

 

 

Accepting International Applications

Groundwork is a one week professional development program for dancers and choreographers.

If you have a background in Hiphop, Dancehall, Krumping, Afrobeats, or House, and you want to learn /improve your skills in the dance theatre sector, this program is for you.

I am excited to be one of the guest teachers on the program, but a whole line up is awaiting for you!

It is a residential program, in other words, you will stay, sleep, eat and create all week in Destelheide, an amazing arts centre.

 

We are opening up a few spots for international artists.

Belgian dancers: applications are closed.

Internationals: apply ASAP or before 28th SEPT.

 

If you get selected, it only costs 120€ to do the program! (And yes that includes accommodation and food 3 meals / day).

Applicants from outside of Belgium, you will just have to travel to Brussels by your own means. The rest is taken care of by the organisation.

 

Full info & applications: https://www.facebook.com/events/2123397871313843/

 

You can also contact the organisers directly: TIMISS

 

To anyone who ever found excuses not to live their wildest dreams

To anyone who ever found excuses not to live their wildest dreams:

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I thought I was pretty good at catching myself when making excuses until…

Until I hit a wall.
The wall of unhappiness.
I felt unfulfilled, stuck.

I was “busy”.
I had 2 business coaches, tried a whole bunch of new things.

I was still MISERABLE.

Why?
My creative self wasn’t expressing itself to its highest potential.
Professionally, I was stagnating*
(*more in another post)

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But there was one place where I still felt home, at peace, alive, and creative: Jacques Lecoq.

Yet, I gave myself 5001 excuses NOT to study at Jacques Lecoq in Paris. Moving there for 1-2 years?!?!

I talked myself out of this dream for a LONG TIME.

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My EXCUSES were:

“I am too old.”
“It’s too expensive I can’t afford it.”
“I can’t put my career on hold now. Stop the non sense.”
“Tell theaters you’ll be gone for 1-2 years… and all the hard work you done so far will go to the bin.”
“Everybody will forget about your existence if you leave.”
“Leave the dance scene for a year and you’ll be back to square one. Forget it.”
“Euh… what you gonna do in Paris?”
“People will laugh at you. They ain’t gonna understand the concept of professional development. They gonna think you were an imposture for all those years.”
“It’s too late.”
“You wanna become a better theatre director, choreographer and blahablahblah… who the F&^$$K cares?”

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I CARE!

I wanna grow. I wanna fullfill my highest potential as an artist. I wanna stop playing mediocre and raise my game.

====

I had to remember that it is MY LIFE, and I CARE.

And that’s not a bad start if you wanna be happy. 

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Inner voice: “So… what you gonna do about it Cindy?”

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I got tired of my own inner talk.

I hated the wall of unhappiness I had hit.

I spoke to a 55 years old woman living her theatre dream and felt soooo silly. My excuses crumbled.

I applied – extremely last minute.

Got onto the waiting list.

(Just getting on the waiting list was high in emotions, I cried. It was as if my soul said “YES GIRL! IT WAS ABOUT TIME!”)

Three days later, I got an email saying I go a place to start in October.

The next day I created a crowdfunding campaign for my tuition fee.

Now I am planning the move, following the path to happiness.

I trust that all the resources I need are already on its way to me. Blessings come as a full package. 

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So, too anyone who ever found excuses NOT to live their big dream… look the wall in the eye, and say “you are about to crumble down my friend” 😉

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I am currently fundraising.

To support and make a donation towards my tuition fee to study at Jacques Lecoq:

 

 

Compassion and Creativity

I was on a meditation course this weekend with my favourite teacher (a Buddhist monk called Gelong Thubten).
We talked in-depth about the importance of integrating compassion and kindness to our practice of mindfulness.

For example:

During the meditation practice, our mind will inevitably wonder and thoughts will pop up, all in the name of distraction.
If people tell themselves things like “common’ you, can’t you focus!” it raises their stress levels.
If on the other hand, we kindly, gently bring ourselves back to focussing on the breath, without judgement, oxytocin is being released, which makes us feel safe and calm.

How compassionate are we with OUR creativity?

I am guilty.
I have definitely attended dance classes where I thought: “Common’ Cindy! You aren’t getting the groove right!”
Looked at my poetry thinking: “This isn’t good enough. You are not sharing that with the world.”
Preparing a show: “Girl, you better hurry up. Doesn’t look like ideas come quickly to you, or is it?”

Meditation combined with the practice of compassion brought me on a different journey.
Being kind to myself when ideas popped up transformed my relationship with my creative juices, but also with how I share it with the world.

 

Creativity and making this world a better world

As an artist, I always reflected how my creativity could make this world a better world. Whether I am creating a show, teach a class or perform, I want it to benefit society in some way, shape or form.

In Buddhism, we dedicate our practice to the benefit of others. Meditation is not a selfish act to improve our own lives, it is also a practice to benefit others, making all lives more peaceful and joyful.

I believe that when we tap into our most profound creative potential, we have the ability to impact our communities, relationships and environment. I want to see everyone feel confident in their creative approach to life.

When I talk about creativity, I mean ALL creative ventures:

– finding solutions to business problems
– being creative in our public speaking
– putting ideas on the table during a meeting at work
– etc.

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It is because I believe in the compassionate power of creativity, that I set up the:

DYNAMIC CREATIVITY RETREATS

A full weekend of dance, theatre, storytelling, creative writing… and compassion!

No previous experience necessary. All welcome.

SAT 25th & 26th AUG in London

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The benefits of engaging in fun and mindful creative tasks impacts all areas of our lives (personal and professional).
Join us to tickle your funny bone and learn to think on your feet!
The objective of this Retreat Weekend is to:

  • cultivate a creative approach to life
  • a solution-orientated mindset

 

BOOK TICKETS  CLICK HERE

Cindy

PS: we have early offers on at the moment, book your spot now 🙂

Why you should book your ticket for the 24th Jan

On Tuesday 24th January, I will be performing my new re-branded solo “Things aren’t always black or white”.  While I will be warming up back stage, you will stroll into the theatre at 8pm and watch 3 companies perform their new creations at The Place.

This new solo is a political story told through Dancehall and Hiphop, tackling the problems related to the privatisations of prisons.

BOOK TICKETS HERE

I performed the piece in front of a few small audiences during the creative process, here is what they had to say:

 

I have also had the privilege to work with two mentors, Gbemisola Ikumelo, playwright and theatre director, and Frank Wilson, Hiphop Theatre expert:

 

Coming to the theatre on Tuesday will also mean you’ll get to make new friends, socialize and have a great night out, they got their tickets… are you ready to book yours?!!!

 

BOOK TICKETS HERE

 

Dance storytelling… some videos!

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Here are a few videos of some dance stories I worked on over the years:

from solo’s to full length productions… from working with professional dancers and students on their journey into the dance theatre world… here are a few extracts of showcases and rehearsals.

I am running dance storytelling workshops for all levels, and I also lead an intensive leadership program for choreographers called 1000 Pieces Puzzle. Please get in touch if you would like to book the program in your city / country / school!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrdssTBuqGw

Book your tickets NOW for Cindy’s upcoming solo performance!

 

I am starting the year sweating and rehearsing for my next upcoming solo. Clear your diaries and make sur you are free for…

“Things aren’t always black or white”

TUESDAY 24th JANUARY

at 8pm, The Place

(near Euston tube station)

BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE

 

VIDEO TRAILER:

WHAT INSPIRED “Things aren’t always black or white”?

The story of what and who lead me to create this solo is quite a journey… From NYC to Philadelphia to Brussels, I came across so many signs, people, cold factual information, tears, questions and events that it all had to be translated into a piece.

One of the shocking images that stays in my mind each time I rehearse is… those 50 coffins. Visiting my Krump dance family in Los Angeles in 2016, I saw bout 50 coffins when entering the dance studio…

It was an arts project. Young men who passed away at the hands of police brutality were remembered through colors, collages and graffiti art.

“Things aren’t always black or white” is a Dancehall / Hiphop Theatre piece, a dark poetic dance drama, exploring the themes of police brutality, mass incarceration and the ugly realities of privatized prisons.

My solo performance is part of Resolutions, a triple bill shared with MCDC and Jannick Moth. We are all very eager to bring a raw night of dance theatre to our audiences.

TICKETS:

http://www.theplace.org.uk/whats-on/jannick-moth-and-company-cindy-claes-productions-mcdc

Thank you for your support, looking forward to sharing this piece with you,

Cindy

Dancehall for Black Lives Matter

Top Up Dancehall Camp (Germany) and its founder Swaggi Maggi invited me to teach a Dancehall Theatre workshop in Berlin earlier this year.

I was extremely excited to share the power of the art form with students, many of who might have never experienced this creative process before. Half a day, that’s all I had to give them a taster of what Dancehall Theatre is / could be, train them up, give them a unique experience AND… create a show! Students were to perform a short extract of the work the day Battles were to take place.

For a very long time I was trying to prepare my class, having too many ideas… I thought to introduce them to some fun stuffs, explore suspense and storytelling, or fiction, or comedy… until I finally came to the conclusion I should just stick to what make me wake up every morning:

CREATING WORK THAT MATTERS AND THAT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIAL CHANGE.

 

I am an artist passionate about creating socio-political work. And I have been researching extensivelly the themes of mass incarceration, police brutality and the privatisation of prisons in the USA for about two years.

Top Up Dancehall Camp became a workshop and an adventure not only focussing on the possibilities of Dancehall Theatre but also the power we have as artists to be heard on topics that matter.

Here is a video from the work in progress the students presented after only a few hours of work:

 

Dancing Character Explorations

Sometimes it is about letting loose and not taking ourselves too seriously.

When you in the studio having a creative block, give yourself a couple of minutes and throw in a character exploration jam…

Which one did you like the most and which character do you want to know more of?

 

 

Venezuela, first blog post of many to come…

I recently came back from Caracas – Venezuela, where I was leading an intensive week of Dancehall Theatre workshops.

The project was organised and set up by the British Council, and initiated by a young Venezualian university student Kimberley Tarache.

I had the priviledge and honour to work alongside two Jamaican icons: Orville Hall (Dancehall choreographer, lecturer, performer, playwright) and Dr Donna Hope (UWI).

About 100 dancers attended the workshops and lectures during that week.  The dancers were so hungry for knowledge and training, they travelled from all over Venezuela to Caracas to attend the training program.

It was a very emotional experience.  The exchanges were rich, socially, intellectually and artistically. We all created a strong bond and many friendships.  The sense of family and brother/sisterhood made the thought of travelling back each day a little bit harder.

I have a 1000 things to say about my experiences in Venezuela, and I am still dreaming and refecting about 1000 others.

For the time being, I am posting a few pictures of this beautiful trip which has left a print in my heart:

 

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