Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Patience in practice

Today I felt I did master the hand twist challenge that I set myself, to some extent. It was a slow start to today. Knowing that its a public holiday here isn't great motivation, but I knew there was work to do.

Did a hour's quiet practice at home, where I'm staying, and really did start to figure stuff out. I also decided that I needed to fill up on energy foods so that I'm not feeling so tired before, during and after the lessons, as is the case at the moment.

Then it was off to the space I'll be using to practice near Placa Reial for a lovely lunch of very healthy vegetable and tofu stir fry followed by mango and pomegranate. Is this an art blog or a food blog?

That set me up for 2 hours practice and I felt so proud of myself for achieving what I achieved in this time, following the first couple of lessons of footage to get the positions and moves as right as I could.

Admittedly I'm still struggling with some of the co-ordination though and to be honest, I'm hoping that will fall into place naturally and unexpectedly because right now its not at the stage I want it to be. Do I need to learn more patience? I think, yes. As I've written, that's part of the issue here, racing to get to the next level. I do do these things!

But today I felt as though I mastered the hand twisting for sure and also the second arm position. I'm starting to see how the way I'm learning is more like the male flamenco moves, but again there is still a lot to do and I was quite reticent to practice the stamping because of the tiles on the floor of the space I'm using. But was I really just holding myself back on that? Sometimes I think we fear our own strength and power and I really have to get to grips with that in my art practice as a whole.

What I realised today was that I am learning through looking at the shapes of the postures. I can't decide if this is right or wrong, but its working for me. I'm just so happy that I'm getting somewhere with the hand and arm movements. They have been the proverbial fly in the ointment for this first week.

I also realised from viewing some of the footage, just how encouraging my teacher has been when I've been flagging through tiredness. Its made me think about how to encourage and engage the participants in the next phase of this project back in the UK.

Really happy with the work I put in today and was even able to enjoy the final 'La Merce' fireworks display with my flatmate and her friend. Personally, I think the display at Barceloneta was much better the other evening, but maybe I'm biased because of its flamenco theme, which on reflection I really do think this was about.

My flatmate's friend enquired why I wasn't making a documentary out of this project, and because I come from that background, obviously that's been at the forefront of my mind since Dia 1. Its just so full on with focussing upon the actual flamenco training that something has to give sometimes. Its a shame though, it would have been so good, but maybe the next project will allow for that?

I also learnt a new 'term' today from these new German friends. When you can't get a song out of your head they call it an 'ear worm', which I'd never heard of, and my 'ear worm' is definitely the Nina Pastori tune I have lessons to.

Its been a successful day in that I'm taking the training much more seriously now and feel a bit more settled here. The daughter of the lady's who's space I'm borrowing for extra practice asked what was harder, samurai archery, which I learnt to look at my creative process a few years ago, or flamenco. I would definitely say flamenco right now. I don't know if its because my learning capacity has regressed as time has moved on, but its going to take yet more hard work still to get past this basics stage.

The clock continues ticking.

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