Friday, September 19, 2008

New things to do

I have added a few other things to my Calgary/ Canada to do list;

I went to the bank after class today, only to find myself journeying to the C-train stop that is one up from my normal stop. In doing so, I took better notice of a cemetery that I had always seen, but never really gave a second thought. I had noticed on my walk to the train that the view of the city was quite nice, but figured it would be bettered by added height. So I walked up the fairly steep hill to the top of the cemetery, and noticed a sign for the 'Reader Rock Gardens.' I decided to check that out as well. The view from the top was pretty incredible, but dampened by the fact that there were large trees blocking the way to the best view of the city. I caroused a little, and discovered that the cemetery was not just on a hilly change in terrain, but literally on a mound - the other side opened up to a large view as well (South East, I am assuming). This view was not quite as exciting as the city scape (ie, it was a highway, some houses and businesses), but created the interest behind the terrain arrangement of the cemetery. It was tree-covered, lit with sun, and peaceful. I felt like I was taking in views and experiences that everyone below was missing.

I headed back to check out the Reader Rock Gardens, and it turns out that there is a restaurant/ cafe at the top of the gardens - super-cute with a great view of the city and of the stampede grounds (which up until that point, I had only seen the gates at my C-train stop. I am still utterly disturbed that I am not going to get to go to the Stampede!) I made sure to ask if they are open year-round, and of course it turns out that they are not - only until Thanksgiving. I thought it might be nice to go when Kris is here, but he will miss it by a few weekends. I will have to find a different reason to go.

In conclusion, the two places added to my list;

VALUE VILLAGE (one NE of Chinook stop)

I thought on Wednesday I would accomplish my wish to go to Heritage Park, and while I did go to the park and trail, the actual historic city part of the park is only open on weekends through Thanksgiving. I am contemplating going tomorrow morning so I can catch it. Free history lesson? Yes please. As for the park itself, I had to hike up a bit of a hill (quite like the one I experienced today) and did not know what to expect when I made it to the top, which I am sure made what I found even better; a huge lake (the Glenmore Reserve). With its large walk-path and populous visitors, it reminded me of Lake Calhoun, only with mountains in the background - spectacular! I decided to take a walk around the trail, though it looked long and I was not sure where it ended. Just when I thought of turning around to go back, I stopped a woman walking by me to ask how much further it was until the trail would open up and I would see mountains again, and she mentioned that it was not much further. If you kept going to around the curve, you would hit the Glemore Sailing Club, where they were currently conducting lessons, and you can pull up a bench and watch. I did just that. It was amazing how clear their voices transmitted to one another over the body of lake. This experience ran me too more on my list;

GLENMORE SAILING CLUB (will have to happen soon, or in the spring)

In other news, I may have mentioned already in my last post, but the artistic director of the dance company pulled me aside a few days ago and asked if I would be interested in cleaning for her once in awhile, as she had beent thinking about how difficult it has been for me to find work. I thought it was incredible of her that she had thought about it. I passed my information along to her, and told her to let me know when she needed assistance. She is also the instructor for our Friday morning classes. The last few classes, we have been improvising for about 45 minutes, and then talking about our experiences, the music, etc. It has been truly amazing to have, scheduled into my week, a consistent time to be spent solely for the purpose of improvising, especially when so much other time in spent in the week perfecting techniques outside of your own body. It is almost to me, as someone who likes to be scheduled, organized and purposeful, like having the time scheduled in makes it legitimate. I tried this spring to schedule in improvisation time (Paula calls it 'daily practice'), but I found it exceedingly difficult for a couple of different reasons; 1.) I did not have adequate space in my apartment, 2.) I had no one to share it with, 3.) I did not have a moderator. These few factors seem to really authenticate the experience. Having the energy of others makes improvising much more fresh for me. This is similar to why, even though I am someone who likes independence and alone time, I like to share the stage with others - the energy produced between several people just heightens many of these experiences, and what they put out. I wonder what can be done to re-create such factors when I am by myself. It may come down to practicing weekly instead of daily, so I can have studio space (Dance Xchange?), that way the space factor is addressed. I could also add in the presence of a video camera to add to the 'moderated' feeling. Plus, I often have moments during improvising where I wish I could have captured it, because I realize it will never be recreated, not exactly. This was another suggestion of Paula's regarding daily practice. If you do not feel that the presence of a capturing device will dictate your ability to be free, go for it. The final factor - energy of others. Music. This connects directly back to a thought I had today - today was the first day we improvised to music with lyrics, and I noticed that it did not dictate what I did, but informed and inspired me as a second presence. I had been doing my 'daily practice' in silence. Maybe it sometimes takes having the presence of music to spur this along. It seems especially so, now that I am embracing my love of jazz and all that it represents, which is another tangent in itself.....

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