Breaking It Down to Jacques Brel

This week I finally returned to my dance class after … (ahem)… a 4-month hiatus.

Part of that long period was summer when there was no class anyway (some activities in Paris simply shut down), but since September it’s been a battle to get back.

I got caught up in rentree madness; every single Tuesday there was an expo or reading I wanted to go to at the same time.

Then my neck gave out.

So this week…finally! The triumphant return!

I was happy to hear a new Bat for Lashes song in the warm-up rotation, then dance some quirky moves to Bjork. I like not only shaking it, but also the cool music we shake it to. We’ve danced to Kate Nash, Florence and the Machine, Massive Attack, and Portishead.

So I was a little surprised when our culminating choreography last year was set to…Jacques Brel. (One of these things is not like the other ones).

I don’t know why I’m so open about sharing embarrassing material with y’all, but it’s the embarrassing material that seems to go over best. So here you go!

My class is a modern/contemporary dance class, but for this Brel piece my teacher invited a beginner hip-hop class to join us, too.

So, an amateur video of amateur dancers.

The most important thing is that I’m having fun, right?

Update! Oh, looks like the video might not be viewable in France anymore because the Brel song is copyrighted. I think you can still see it outside of France, though. Enjoy, those who can see it. Sorry for those who can’t!

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16 Responses to “Breaking It Down to Jacques Brel”


  1. 1 Tanya in Transition October 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Bummer… I just tried to watch and I got a poo-poo message saying I can’t watch it due to copyright restrictions.

    Anyway, the key is that you’re having fun. This is something we seem to forget as we get older. Who cares who’s watching; it’s about how you feel. Kudos to you! (No kudos to the copyright restriction.)

    • 2 paris (im)perfect October 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm

      Oh, that’s too bad. A reader in the States could see it. I think it might just be regional.

      Oh well, probably not *too* big a loss that you can’t see the dance. I think it is meant more for us and having fun as you say. Promise to share something else embarrassing soon to make up for it! :)

  2. 3 Amy Kortuem October 20, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    It’s beautiful, Sion! I love the blend of grace/innocence and harsh modernity.

    You’re a great dancer, lady!

    • 4 paris (im)perfect October 20, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      Oh my gosh. Really? Wow, thanks! Wasn’t expecting compliments on my dancing :)

      I do love how my dance teacher hears and see things. Each new piece I’m always like, ok, what’s she going to think of next? She combines elements that you wouldn’t normally think to put together. Original and fun to be a part of.

  3. 5 writenaked October 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Stunning! You’re pushing me to get back into rock climbing. I haven’t climbed in ::ahem:: 6 months!

  4. 7 wkdwtch October 20, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Yes! It can be seen in the USA. VERY artsy fartsy. :-)

  5. 9 Vanessa Blakeslee October 20, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    I could view it, and it’s great! Love the challenge of blending dance types. The bellydance/jazz fusion number I’m performing in a week in my fave from dance class this fall.

    Glad your neck is better…btw, mine starting acting up the other day, and I thought, “Noooo!”

    • 10 paris (im)perfect October 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      Thanks, Vanessa. Means a lot coming from a real dancer! I love blending different dance types, too. I wish I could see you perform!

      I’m SO sorry your neck is bothering you. Oh no! Take care of it! Once my neck started feeling better it was obvious that I *needed* to be doing exercise, so hopefully you can nip it in the bud.

  6. 11 Paris Karin (an alien parisienne) October 20, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Darnit! I was hoping to see the vid. Pooh. Bad property rights people. *thwthwthwthttt*

    I’m very glad you got back into the groove, though! :) I have not been to yoga in, ugh, over a year, and the yoga DVDs I got this summer languish on my shelf… Yeah, it is going to take some heavy-duty resolution to make a change in that area.

    I’m happy you are doing better with the neck. Thanks for at least attempting to share the video, too! :) Happy dancing!

    • 12 paris (im)perfect October 20, 2011 at 11:09 pm

      Thanks, Karin. It’s so weird. Why would they ban the video in France but nowhere else? That Brel, a national treasure, I guess :)

      Isn’t it crazy how easy it is to fall out of good-for-us routines? I’m trying to be more conscientious about taking care of myself again. And hey, there are free trial classes at some yoga centers in town. Not really a way to build up a regular practice, but it speaks to the cheapskate in me and better than nothing. I’m trying another trial class at a new (to me) center this weekend :)

    • 13 Paris Karin (an alien parisienne) October 20, 2011 at 11:21 pm

      Oh heeeeyyyyyy!! youtubeproxy.org

      Saw it — the quality was very low, but the music sounded great, and your dancing was even greater! Very, very cool! I was watching, and Paul from the other room said, “Is that Jacques Brel?” I said, “Indeed it is.” (Or maybe just “Yeah,” lol) I really liked it, Sion. Thanks for sharing!

  7. 15 writingfeemail October 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Glad you are feeling like kicking up your heels again. Have fun!


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paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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