Archive 2017

November 2017

Autumn dance share day, Alva

October 2017

Dance Day with Susanne Anders Bartholomäi, by Keryn Evely

Two years in the arranging and at last Susanne Anders Bartholomäi was with us in the Three Kings’ Hall, Auchterarder. Susanne said this was the first time she had been invited to teach a day’s workshop in Scotland.

We were 21 dancers, the majority of whom were probably not sure quite what to expect.

Susanne certainly got 100% concentration from the dancers as she got us to feel and think about where a movement was initiated, making suggestions to help us appreciate that.

She led us into a gentle movement, or short sequence, which then became part of a dance.

The pictures on the website show us dancing a lively partner dance called Vira de Frielas. However most of the dances were quieter and calmer ones giving us time to be thinking and putting into practice the awareness that we were developing.

Some of the dancers commented on being exhausted at the end of the day – not from the dancing itself so much as from the amount of concentrating. But they were also extremely appreciative as a selection of their comments show:

I thought the day was really brilliant, Susanne certainly made me think about dancing in a different way. What a lovely, lively and enthusiastic teacher, she is. I do hope Susanne can be persuaded to come back for another session soon.
Alyson L.

Susanne helped me truly connect with mind, space and movement….more days like this please.
Maria S.

…it was a wonderful experience. I would very much like to dance with Susanne again. I think she experiences dance in a very deep way, with a Mindfulness approach. Which I think is quite difficult for us to do until we know the dances quite well as all our focus starts with learning the dance and focusing on the ‘correct’ movements! It was a very new approach for me
Rosie D.

I felt much better at the end of the day; much more balanced and aligned as well as a bit taller and straighter. It was lovely to be given permission to do adjustments – I was shown how to do the arm movements sitting down; focusing on coordinating movement and breathing as well as stretching.
Elke B.

I would love to dance with Susanne again. It was a brilliant day. “The steps are not the dance”!
Irene K.

I really enjoyed going deep into the dances & gaining knowledge of how to express the dance. I enjoyed Susanne’s style of teaching, I think we soaked up her enthusiasm and joy.
Kate D.

This was billed as a Taster Workshop, with view to something longer in the future. The taster day has been greatly appreciated and left us with an appetite for more. I do hope this will be a possibility. If you haven’t read it already please also see Diana’s Grapevine article below (April 2017).

September 2017

Dee & Nawal, Sauchie

July 2017

Teachers’ Practice Day in Auchterarder, by Keryn Evely

We started promptly at 11.00 with our six teachers. Three were CSCD ones – Lynne, Keryn and Elke . Rose and Maria were unable to join us so we invited three new/emerging teachers Katie Jack, Kate Daly and Carol Holtom all of whom have come to past TPD and supported us as ‘willing guinea pigs’.

We were joined by an additional 9 dancers. There were 5 more dancers signed up who were unfortunately not able to make it on the day.

By luck rather than design we had a good mix of dances. The programme was arranged as best it could not knowing how much time would be needed for teaching but it worked out well with time for repeats as we went through. The
new teachers brought us new insights.

Carol with her information about the variants of the dance ‘Delila the Crafty’ and the original story which gave it more meaning. She also introduced a lively salsa type dance (which was new for many of us) ‘Cumbria Celtica’ choreographed by Jenny Oswald.

Katie introduced us to arm movements for ‘Pineschi Chorovod’ and we had the opportunity to dance ‘Lo Yisa Goy’ as a round. Kate practised spirals to ‘Air on a G String’ (Judy King choreography) and later had us in short lines, basket weave, for ‘Uprising’.

Elke made Mandy de Winter’s ‘Crystal Clear’ very clear and we were able to produce a reasonably polished performance the second time around. I was pleased that after two goes at ‘Fado Sagitario’ in a single circle we were able to progress to the partner version which I had never had the opportunity to teach before.

Lynne rounded us off with a lively Russian number ‘Dunya Tankapryakha’ and then calmed us down again with ‘A Thousand Dreams’ (Barbara Driscoll) which we then danced out on the grass as our finale.

The weather was pleasantly warm and sunny so we could lunch outside and it contributed to the relaxed atmosphere of the day. The teachers and dancers all seemed to enjoy themselves (see comments below) and I am sure we all
got something useful from the day. We were able to send £60 from the day’s donations to FCRS.

Just home after a really special TPD. There was a relaxed atmosphere, it was a lovely, enjoyable time with all the guinea pigs behaving themselves, and being very patient whilst the teachers were leading the dances. It was especially nice to have Kate, Katie and Carol sharing in the teaching. Lynne

Just wanted to thank you and all the other teachers, for a lovely day of dance. All the dances were great and I enjoyed myself a lot. Alyson

I know it’s the only way to build my confidence. I really enjoyed the day and the nice relaxed atmosphere. Carol

What a lovely and very helpful day yesterday. It was lovely to meet up with everyone again and have the chance to practice new dances. Thanks all for your support and encouragement. Kate x

June 2017

Mandy de Winter, St Andrews

Pictures: Maria Miller / Jenny Collins

April 2017

Sally Ditzel, Cupar – Dreamweaving

Dancing with Susanne Anders Bartholomäi, by Diana Treffry

I’ve been lucky enough to dance with Susanne a few times as part of the Findhorn Festival of Sacred Dance, Music and Song, where I especially appreciated the way she invited our bodies to wake up to the dance in her morning attunement sessions. At other times she introduced us to and accompanied her treasured mentors, like Dimitris
Barbaroussis and Nanni Kloke.

I was so taken with her style of teaching that twice I’ve joined the group that Frances Fawkes gathers together in Somerset to dance with Susanne. A whole weekend of her teaching is a revelation. It seems to me her teaching is organic. It grows from body awareness movements, for instance exploring the vertical and horizontal dimensions,
that may gradually morph into dances; from attention to how the foot touches the floor to how the shoulders can relax; from the space and time that opens up when you’re with the music, not trying to get ahead. And if this all sounds deadly serious, there’s big laughter as well as big breaths from all the concentration.

Susanne particularly teaches Friedel and Nanni dances, revelling in the creative tension between dynamism and containment in their choreographies. She also teaches traditional dances and treasures the way they hold the space, supporting everyone in the circle, so everyone is actively giving and receiving as they dance.

Her theme at this year’s weekend was ‘Longing to Belong, inspired by a John O’Donohue poem. She explored this through a number of Nanni’s dances, words, music, body movement and dances all coming together, making a whole rich experience. These are the words that came to me afterwards to describe that experience:

We flock together to dance
to dance ‘Longing to Belong’
to belong for the time to each other
to each other and to the dance
the dance of our separate lives
lives touched by loss
loss cradled in the circle
the circle where we belong

It would be lovely if more people were able to experience Susanne’s teaching. We are hoping she will come to Central Scotland before too long, so if you’re interested, keep an eye on the Grapevine Diary Dates.