Friday, December 19, 2014

Paris je flipping t'aime, quand je suis tres malade aussi.

So I managed to catch the flu, presumably just before I came to Paris, such that it hit me hard on the second afternoon of my three day stay.

No matter! The Peter and I took a picnic to the edge of the Canal and we had a breakfast of fourteen-year-old-reserve oolong (good god, when tea is good it's good), warm croissants, salami and an assortment of fruit, after which Bernbaum escorted me to Centre Pompidou (Marcel Duchamp is a badass, btw) and we had street crepes for lunch, then I changed into a dress and met Peter, Jeanine and Catherine for Blues Dancing at the L'horloge, went home with Peter where Poznanter had made THREE giant pans of quiche and was painting masks for show he and Peter are currently developing. Which turned into lounging about a watching some masterful mask improvisation. I can't wait to see their show, guys. It's going to be amazing.

Woke up today actually really sick, but couldn't bear to spend my last day in Paris in bed, so I decide to make a pilgrimage to Les Enfants Perdus. I walk through the Gare de l'est Christmas faire and the Jardin mersomething, and arrive at the restaurant for brunch, where they look baffled that I think I can get in without a reservation, but I hold up my pointer finger and with my pitiful French and best puppy eyes I say "pour une personne?". They roll their eyes and smile and tell me (in English) to come back in ten minutes. I am now writing this post from a tiny table curled next to an old timey French radiator, in a beautiful Parisienne restaurant, drinking cafe au lait and fresh orange juice, eating a tiny croissant and a fresh salmon salad. This is the only way to be sick, guys. Perhaps the most French way to suffer possible.

Things I love about the waiters here:

They are constantly cracking jokes, yelling at each other good naturedly and then taking breaks out front in the rain with a glass of red wine in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Their hair is either a giant tousled mess, in a tiny ponytail on the very top of their head, unless they are the maitre de, who is wearing a hat that for all the world looks like a calmed down version of Crocodile Dundee. They all wear tiny tight polo shirts or button downs that are open at least halfway down the front with a tiny vest. Oh yeah, no lady waiters here for some reason. Just smokey Paris-boys.

Okay, and now the ponytailed bartender (who looks like Miyaka Cochranes long lost brother) has sent me two shots of sipping tequila, and invited me out dancing tonight. Hilarious. If I were not deliriously flu-ridden I would so go. 

Next time, Paris. Next time.

Friday, December 05, 2014

I followed the circus boys to Paris yesterday...

And oh Lordy its already the best.

For those who don't know, three circus boys closest to my heart (David, David, and Peter) are in Paris for a month studying at Centre Wutao. They are advanced (circus boys all are, I think, at least physically)but in this case they've all been studying the discipline for some time as well, and the month long intensive course they are doing is meant to be a teacher training situation. I've been intrigued by Wutao for some time, and was crossing my fingers I could pick up a pamphlet and watch some masters. After breakfast this morning I walked Peter to class and in doing so met several resident Wutao-ers. Including the co-founder Pol Charoy who immediately, nonchalantly, benevolently (in a manner that can only be discribed as utterly French) invited me to participate for the day at no charge.


Basically it was freaking amazing. Wutao has been called many things, most of the Internet describes it as a sort of dance meditation practice. Like so many movement disciplines, trying to translate it into spoken language can be very frustrating and leave the most central and unique principles unexpressed.

Peter describing Wutao says "take Chen's Tai Chi, unfold it every direction, and add bio-energetic breath techniques" which still only really makes sense if you were there. But bottom line is it is cool stuff, that has many practical applications as a theatre performer.

I had three hours of it today (short day) and I am plotting ways to get more training in it.

To be continued...