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IN : French Girl Learns Indian Classical Dance

Jan 9, 2012 by     No Comments    Posted under: India

Lise Moulet

Lise Moulet

 

« Today I bought a new skirt for my next performance, a 25 yards one, doubled layered, and I almost fell to the ground when I tried to turn with it… too heavy.

Quick turns are one of the essential techniques to get when one starts a Kathak dance training. You are supposed to be able to turn more than 50 times quickly, rhythmically, and on your left heal. I started to dance Kathak last year when I decided to undertake an intensive dance training in Delhi, India. Kathak is one of the 8 classical dance styles of India…and it is like learning a new language and the culture attached to it.
When I landed in Delhi, I didn’t know who would be my Guru yet. But when I met her, I knew it couldn’t be anyone else.
I trained with Ruby in Delhi like some Kung Fu training in China, in a wooden house on the top of the peak of the opening lotus. Except that I didn’t feel any sensation of solitude or altitude being in Delhi. And the air is a little bit different too. A mix of cow pooh, petrol and plastic. But besides this, it was as special, because an intensive Kathak dance training is not only about dance, drama or music and rhythm – 3 disciplines you need to understand being part of a whole – it is also about how to find a way to reach your deeper self and play with it, express it in a unique way to become the rhythm, to become a character. It is about finding the courage to go further transcending your body and psychic limit.
And I have 3 problems. The first is that I can’t help but acting stupid all the time because, for some very strange reason, I always visualize the comic version of everything Ruby wants from me when I practice role playing. Very fortunately for me, this makes her laugh a lot. The other problem is that I’m “too long” like Ruby says (I’m much taller than her, and than the majority of Indian women AND men). My arms are too stretchy and reach too high in the air and I can’t do certain very quick moves. The last problem is that I’m not very self-confident. And when I say things such as “ok that wasn’t really good”, the normal reaction of any Indian person wanting to be nice is to answer in agreement: “You’re right, it wasn’t really good”, instead of the “It’s ok Lise, you can do it” that I’m used to hearing at home.

But in the end, everything was better. Plus, several people asked me if I was Indian in the subway. Which for me means that I’m maybe not too far in becoming one. If it is possible for an Indian girl to be blond and white skinned. And long. »

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Lise Moulet is a dance artist specializes in Kathak, Bollywood and Arabic dances.
She currently trains and performs in France, India, and Canada.
http://lisemoulet.blogspot.com/

FR : Strasbourg ‘the Christmas’ Photowalk

Dec 6, 2011 by     No Comments    Posted under: Activities, France, Photography
Strasbourg Photowalk

Strasbourg 'the Christmas' first Photowalk

 

We will be holding our first Strasbourg Photowalk honoring this city for it’s 441 year long ‘Noel’ tradition. December 11. If we are not done, we could go back.

 

 

 

 

TH : Saphankwaai Saphankwai Saphankhwai

Jan 28, 2011 by     2 Comments    Posted under: Thailand

This is a Thai version of the god.

Phra Yom (พระยม) and his water buffalo ride

If you have stayed with us at the N6, you’d know a little bit about the name of this neighborhood. Saphankwai (S’paan Kwaa-i or สะพานควาย). “Bridge-Water buffalo” or Water Buffalo Bridge, the history has it that this area was where bunches of them cross to get to the market area to be sold. Some would go for use as work force, those that were too old would go to the slaughter house.

Over the few decades since our house “N6″ has been bought by my family, the intersection hasn’t changed that much. Minus the old shopping mall, which was burned down in the 90s, sitting empty since. (Probably has to do with the cost of rebuilding the whole thing.) Incidentally, the whole area impresses me to be the case of current property owners holding out on selling by asking too much. Ever since the BTS skytrain station has been established there, everyone expect a large commercial snatch of the whole neighborhood. So far developers only spawned up some high rise condos. I suspect it’s the case of land owners in the areas are not pressed to sell their properties – because ? Because they are already rich, and they are not pressed for money. This is one of the reasons I hear on the street.

I’ll continue to do the research.

Unrelatedly, I dug up some mythologies involving a water buffalo. I turned up with a character, a deity in charge of death and/or justice. This particular god, as existed in Chinese, Indian, and Thai versions, has his vehicle of choice being a water buffalo. Jekky told me that it is so because the water buffalos are strong and royal. They are also very fierce that only the mighty strong god can tame them.

TH : Ask Peak

Jul 7, 2010 by     No Comments    Posted under: Recommendations

Clothes shopping : Platinum Mall, Chatuchak weekend market if you have plenty of time. Watch your wallet.

Bar : a dime a dozen. After one beer, it’s all the same. Watch your wallet.

Special Bar : The King Castle, the Ladyboy bar in Patphong, the red light district. Can be scary if you don’t go with a Thai handler, um, mediator. Really watch your wallet.

Theatre - Pratavadi Theatre by the river. Modern Thai.

Eco tourism : Samut Songkhram province

TH : Ask Jekky

Jul 7, 2010 by     No Comments    Posted under: Recommendations

 

Jekky goes camping | photo by Ethan Folk

“We want to see the floating market. Where do we go?”

Jekky : Don Wai floating market in Nakornpathom. Many things to do in the area include boat tours, visit fruit orchards, The Rose Garden(an oasis!), ancient style homes, and bike riding to wax museum and a zoo.

Getting there (from N6)
Take bus 28 from front of Police Station Bang Sue going south. Get off at Central Pinklao (map - look carefully. The reference point is Kaosan Road at the bottom of map.) Then look for a commuter van. Scribble this down on a piece of paper “ตลาดน้ำดอนหวาย”. Someone should help you to get to the right van. It’s a 50THB fare.

“I’m sick. whine. Where’s a good hospital with English speaking doctors? whine”

Jekky : Rama Clinic (Rama-Tib-bo-dee) is great. Cheap and staffed with excellent doctors. It is also not far, located near the Victory Monument.
Phone 0-2354-7308
Buses 8, 44, 67, 92, 96, 97, 157
A/C Buses 8, 44, 157, 509 , 538, 171

Other than that, recommended fancier places with fancier prices are
Bumrungrad International Hostpital
Samitivej - Heathcare Tourism

 

 

TH : Favorites by Ryan Haskett of NY, NY, US

Jun 7, 2010 by     No Comments    Posted under: Recommendations, Thailand

My favorite part of Thailand was Phanom Rong. This collection of Ruins and active temples is pretty spectacular. Most of the tourists I saw were Thai school children. Great place to rent a motorbike and just explore the country side.

The snorkeling in Ko Tao was wonderful as well.

TH : Hello Bangkok

Feb 13, 2010 by     No Comments    Posted under: Thailand
Bangkok Morning

Good Morning

Back from 20 years of absence. This place has CHANGED. Packed full of western experience, I came back to Thailand for many reasons. The main ones being around :

1. Photography
2. Art Bridge
3. Music Bridge
4. MMA/Muay Thai
5. Cultural re-emergence
6. Social observations
7. Political research
8. Language tune-up

How will I do this? My grand ideas are  hugely ambitious. But I figured I have one shot at it, so why not? I’m fortunate to have an access for a 5 story row house place that belongs to my family. Since I no one has been using for at least 15 years for more than a storage, I sort of low key bullied my way into taking over this place. And for continuity, I will then bully my way back into the Thai society before heading back out again.

To keep my mind focus in the ideas of interests, I started to heavily host couchsurfers. Because for me, by having international guests of specific common interests come through, the certain ideas can be explored, shared, and to hopefully flourish. For the highest of ideals, this place could be a hub for brilliant minds to meet each other. But for the very least, it will just be a chill place where people can relax, and focus/refocus on the journey and itinerary.

A few months into it,  60 couchsurfers later, I realized even more how important it is to push further this mission. As each individual that came through – came with their own unique story, path, and passion each reminds me we all are looking for something more meaningful than just trekking along some unfamiliar roads, snapping landmark pictures, or bringing home t-shirts as souvenirs. So, with whatever it takes, I should push forward all possibility of what this house, myself, and everyone else here can best be, even at the rate of one droplet of an effort at a time.

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