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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

 

 

Smashing that glass ceiling into pieces

It makes me boil, boil to the bone
All my efforts were in vain – I wish I had known
It didn’t matter whether or not – artistically – I had grown
That glass ceiling wanted me away from the throne

Initially, I saw myself rise and rise and rise
During the ascension – I thought it was all lies
Women were flying high – as much as the guys
Little did I know it was sneering in the background – in disguise

Let me introduce you: The Glass Ceiling
Ladies and Gents: Gender Inequality
Drum rolls… OFF BEAT please!

It hit me hard, and by surprise.

– by Cindy Claes

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It feels a little bit like…

Walking straight into a glass door.
Whether your nose is bleeding or your eye is bruised, nobody even noticed you missed the entrance.

It feels a little bit like…

Running with sweat and tears after a train who has already departed.
But your waving ain’t catching nobody’s attention.

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FACT: 
The arts industry is poisoned by gender inequality.

FACT: 
Female choreographers / theatre directors are not receiving the same commissions, support and opportunities.

FACT: 
I don’t have all the answers on how to make a deep long lasting difference.

I can only share with you the way it made me feel:
Frustrated, sad, angry, helpless AND…

FLIPPING POWERFUL!!

Lisa Nichols says:

“Some motivation will come wrapped in sandpaper.”

 

That which was initially rage, has fueled an un-negotiable hunger for growth.

I am making a radical life-changing decision:
studying at Jacques Lecoq in Paris for 1-2 years.

I am leaving everything behind.
Current network, reputation, gigs, home, friends, etc.
Scary? YES!

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I am going to invest time and energy into become the best artist I can ever be.

I am gonna raise my game, learn a world-widely renown technique approaching theatre, comedy and dance in the most magnificent way.

This is the way I will contribute in smashing this glass ceiling into pieces.
With skills, by skills, and through skillful creations.
(Wait for it, when I am back…)

Opening the door, for the next generation of girls and women.
And making the flipping train WAIT for them before departing without them.

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SUPPORT FEMALE LEADERSHIP

DONATE TOWARDS MY TUITION FEE to study at Jacques Lecoq:

CLICK HERE

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Picture & necklace Wei Wang

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Groundwork

Drum rolls please!

Here is a brand new opportunity for the Hiphop – Dancehall – Afrobeats – Krump community!

I will be one of the lead guest teachers on a one week course in Belgium: Groundwork. Alongside Yves Ruth, and other invited teachers, we are about to share our dance theatre knowledge with a bunch of really enthusiastic dancers and choreographers. I can’t wait!

The good news: dancers from all over the world can apply!

We will start on Monday morning. The week will be made of dance theatre workshops, creative time, reflection time, as well as a performance opportunity!!!

Everybody will reside at Destelheide during the week. It’s an incredible arts centre in Belgium. We will eat together, create together, get tired together, jam together and more! In other words, there will be zero distractions from the outside world. Only artistic expression and the team!

When I was a young dancer, I didn’t know which possibilities even existed to make a living from my creativity. It is the Hiphop Theatre world that changed the game for me. And I am always extremely excited to share what’s possible when our dance forms meet physical theatre on stage. It’s one of the most magic and rewarding experiences ever. I always see dancers’ eyes light up.

It will be a very powerful experience for myself as an artist as well.

I am about to start studying at Jacques Lecoq in Paris (physical theatre and comedy). The school gave me special permission to miss out a week of training to teach at Groundwork. I will be coming from Paris with loads of new energy and new knowledge! Let me tell you… I wanna put it in practice! So be ready to experience the fire in the belly I will be coming with all the way from Jacques Lecoq!

If you have any questions about this professional development program, please email mouss@timiss.be directly.

If your heart is saying YES to live this experience… do not let anything hold you back!! GO FOR IT!!

The program is for dance artists who are hungry to expand. There is no audition, it’s not about your technical skills, it is about your vision and your motivation.

 

PS: when they say YOUNG ARTISTS… (we have debated about this a lot) – it means 18+, but there are people who are 35 years old who want o do this as well 23 years old dance artists. We will make sure there is a focussed hard working atmosphere in the studio. You make sure you apply and don’t find excuses not to apply.

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Practical Info:

Groundwork is organised by TIMISS and DESTELHEIDE in Belgium:

Dates of the residency: 29 OCT – 2 NOV

Price: 120 euros, inclusive of food and accommodation!

MUST apply before 12 SEPT to be considered.

Info & Application Forms:

https://www.facebook.com/events/2123397871313843/

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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.

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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 🙂

Solo Hip hop and Dancehall Theatre performance on SAT 15th NOV

Exciting news!!!

 

I will be performing my Hip hop Theatre & Dancehall Theatre solo piece “Time is Ticking, Phone is Ringing” this SAT 15th NOV.  Buy your tickets asap (call: 020 7622 9208) , come and enjoy a night of solo madness at the Lost Theatre in London!  An amazing line up of artists is awaiting you!!

 

SAT 15th NOV

7pm

BreakOut The Solos

at the Lost Theatre

£10

 

 

“Time is ticking, Phone is ringing”, my latest solo piece. The story of someone in search for love & romance while following a drive, a passion and perhaps a need for success. What to choose? Which relationships are toxic? How to see and understand when a relationship is unhealthy? Are we having our priorities right, how can we justify choosing success over people? Shall we go for the dream or shall we go for love?

A solo piece that raises many questions through Dancehall Hiphop and a bit of Krump.

Breakouthesolos

Hip hop Dancehall Krumping – … from the streets to the Theatre…

Bringing Hip hop from the streets to the Theatre wasn’t a natural progression “per se”… artists had to fight for it and break down walls. Today the movement of Hip hop Theatre, Dancehall Theatre and Krumping Theatre is growing. In some countries street dancers creating Theatre work still are not valued, in other parts of the world the art form has been embraced and acknowledged long time ago… Which challenges do we, as Hip hop dance theatre, Dancehall Theatre, or Krumping Theatre makers have to face today?

Sharing a few thoughts on my video blog series… I could talk about it for hours, but I am trying to keep the videos short… 🙂

If you have questions, please holla at me!

Cindy

Behind the scenes – rehearsals of Cindy Claes’ new solo piece

“Time is ticking, phone is ringing” is a new Hip hop & Dancehall Theatre piece I am currently working on. A piece that questions our goal-orientated society and looks at how romance and relationships coexist in a world where professional success has become so important… I created this piece with the hope that it will create debate, raise questions and make people talk about a topic that always triggers something deeply hidden within us.

My next performance will be at the ADAD Trailblazers Showcase, on SAT 31st MAY at The Place in London.

BOOK TICKETS HERE:

http://www.theplace.org.uk/adad

Hope to see you there!

Cindy

TIME FOR AN UPDATE!!!

It’s been so hectic in Cindy Claes Productions’ Headquarters that I realised an update was mandatory!

What have we been up to since January 2014? Here is just a small list of what we achieved over the last few months:

UK:
– Not only did we sell out two Dancehall Theatre shows at Sadler’s Wells in London, the show was sold out 3 weeks prior to the event!
– We organised a professional development program, a one week course aimed at dancers/teachers and choreographers looking for authentic Dancehall training and wanting to further their knowledge in Dance Theatre. Not only was the DTxTP program sold out as well… we actually worked with a whole team of European students! People came over from Belgium, France, Czech Republic, UK etc to attend the program.
– We were able to invite and work with a Jamaican based multi award winning Dancehall crew: Shady Squad. The international exchange happening in London was… POWERFUL and magic!!
– We worked with a whole team of interns who went on a journey of growth! Look out for the new team who are ready to take over the world again!
– We performed a new fresh version of “Is My Whining Winding You Up?” at Wild Card: Dancehall Takover. Three women on fiyah!
– The company received Arts Council England fundings to support their dance theatre activities and international exchanges with Jamaica.

Belgium:
– Cindy Claes worked set up a new company called PuzzelB in Belgium… 8 dancers aged 15-32 who’s drive is creating tornado’s of creative happiness!
– PuzzelB was initially a one hour production produced in association with Zinnema in Brussels, Belgium. The show was massively successful, a powerful and political Hip hop Theatre production challenging society in many ways.

Jamaica:
– Cindy is an ADAD Trailblazer 2013-14 and went off to Jamaica for 6 weeks. Her main aim was to set up a Dancehall Theatre Exchange Program between the UK and Jamaica, as well as train and perfect her skills in Dancehall.
– Cindy met with the Minister of Youth & Culture.
– She also performed a new 8min solo (“Time is Ticking, Phone is Ringing”) at Dance Umbrella festival at UWI in Kingston Jamaica.
– Cindy lead a series of Dancehall Theatre rehearsals at DanceJa.
– She also produced a one hour and a half showcase at the outdoor theatre venue at DanceJa, showcasing some Dancehall Theatre work and the talent from all the crews teaching at the school. More info on Talent Pree: Dancehall Theatre Takeover coming soon!
– She lead interviews with dancers at DanceJa, she discovered a new passion: being a TV presenter, and it gave a new insight to her research on Dancehall culture.
– Cindy performed at several occasions with Shady Squad in Jamaica.
– Not only did she network and meet people about the Dancehall Theatre Exchange Program, she also featured on TVJ (Television Jamaica) Smile Jamaica to talk about the project. This interview took place at 7am on the same day she was flying back to the UK. A true highlight!!!

This is just what happened in a nutshell over the last 3 months…

More blog posts will follow with anecdotes, videos and more happiness to be shared to inspire others.

Stay tuned!!

Cindy

Cindy Claes – new blog!!

I am very excited to share artistic energy and creativity with you on this new blog!

As this page is brand new, I will be posting a few articles, pictures, quotes and videos from the past.  New posts will follow soon after!  Thank you for reading and following me on this artistic journey,

May your day be blessed with laughter and happiness,

Cindy

http://www.cindyclaes.com

**photo by Irven Lewis**

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