Posts Tagged 'dance'

Birthday Time (and the best gift from you)

My feet (and the rest of me) in Dieppe on my first birthday in France

My feet in Dieppe on my first birthday in France (the rest of me is there, too)

Happy midterm elections, USA!

Ahem. Yeah. Doesn’t the world feel in such a sorry state these days?

You’ll forgive me if I’m focused more on the personal than the political today. Because…it’s BIRTHDAY TIME! Woot!

If I look a little dazed here, it's because I am. I'd only been in France for a month and a half at this point. Ah, so many years ahead of you, sweetcake! A lot is going to happen.

If I look a little dazed here, it’s because I am. I’d only been in France for a month and a half at this point. Ah, so many years ahead of you, sweetcake! A lot is going to happen.

I received a package from my mom last week with 3 wrapped presents and tried waiting to open them until today. (I’m like an impatient kid in this respect and could only last until the weekend before succumbing to my curiosity and peeking early).

Besides the thrill of gifts (thank you, mom!), this marks a triumph, too. It was the first package that has arrived safely from my mom IN YEARS.

Dipping way back in the archives, I once declared La Poste my number one nemesis. So many packages had gone missing (and I heard from a chorus of readers who experienced the same thing), that it seemed someone was sneaking away with the goods. And so I sacrificed the comfort of care packages from home forever (sniff!)

A 2014 portrait of me by Richard Beban. Looking a little more clear-eyed here :)

A 2014 portrait by Richard Beban.

My mom would heroically try again from time to time to no avail, but this time, holy miracle! It arrived. Let’s take this as a great sign for the year ahead.

I thought to do a little pampering for my birthday (France has taught me the value of self-care), but part of what I wanted was not to get bogged down planning anything.

So oops! Couldn’t get an appointment today for my little treats. That’s ok: I now have a salon appointment on Friday for a hair cut and a massage on Saturday. I’m more than happy to stretch the birthday out all week.

I’ll be seeing my beau soon, then have a little fete with my writing workshop tomorrow.

With any luck, I might even run into some colorful festivity such as this forró flashmob in Paris.

A simple celebration and I couldn’t be happier.

(Oh, actually I could! I love receiving your comments. Thank you for reading – it’s the best gift ever).

Update: wow, package from my dad just now arrived, too. 3 delivered packages from the post in a week? Amazing!

Faux Pas Friday: Hazards of the Happy Dance

Under certain conditions, I’m a dangerous woman.

Start with a little sun after a drawn-out deluge, dress in cute summer attire, add a little dancing and me without my glasses – these were this week’s ingredients.

It’s like this: It rained for days, for weeks without end. It was as if we would drown, as if the city might swim away. So when the sky suddenly opened into sunshine, I cannot tell you how miraculous it felt.

LAAAAA! The sun! Revelers enjoying some rays.

We skipped over spring fever and headed straight to summer. Life is beautiful again.

I went to dance class on Tuesday as I do; it’s my favorite time of the week. With the majority of my life spent sitting and struggling over words, the chance to move and express myself in a totally different way feels like freedom. Dancing is a saving grace.

After class it was still light outside – after 9 PM!

I don’t know if it’s all that rolling around and sweating and shaking it to good music, but I’m always much looser after class. Maybe too loose. I still have the songs in my head and sometimes I unwittingly break into a dance shuffle on the street. I try to keep it under wraps (conform to societal norms, Sion!), but I guess I’m not that much of a conformist.

So I’m walking up my block and I kind of throw my head back and arc my arms behind me; one of my involuntary improv moves.

Up ahead a man in a sky blue shirt does a double and then a triple take as he crosses the street. I smile because I realize – oh yeah, that probably looked kind of weird, huh?

But so now I’m smiling at him and he’s really like, what? (quadruple take!)

Continue reading ‘Faux Pas Friday: Hazards of the Happy Dance’

Que Veux-Tu? (Most Random Video Ever?)

Granted, I don’t watch a lot of music videos anymore, but this has to be one of the most random I’ve ever seen.

Happy Monday, folks. Have a great week.

Throw off the coils of self-consciousness and dance everywhere!

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!

Continue reading ‘Breaking It Down to Jacques Brel’

Carnaval at the Cabaret Sauvage

Carnaval at the Cabaret Sauvage

Saturday, 10 PM and I’m ready for bed. Only I’m at my friend’s house and we’re heading out to an all-night Brazilian dance party in honor of Carnaval.

Raphaele is my only bona fide French female friend. I mean, the only one I’ve made entirely on my own without there being any other connection – not a friend of a friend, not a colleague. Just two strangers who discovered an interesting enough spark to want to keep the conversation going.

I met her in a dance class and she invited me over for tea right afterward. My jaw practically dropped open when she did; it was the first time in four years a French woman who I didn’t know spontaneously extended an immediate invitation.

Continue reading ‘Carnaval at the Cabaret Sauvage’

Tunisian Tunes

Have I gushed about my Tuesday night contemporary dance class yet?

No? Well, that is a real oversight.

I’ve been calling it the source of all good things recently. It has truly been one of the highlights of this fall.

I’ll share more about it soon, but here’s just one reason I love it: the amazing women in the class.

Emel and I are the diehards; sometimes it’s only the two of us in class. I knew she was a singer, but not until she invited me to her concert did I realize she was actually something of a star.

(Video from a concert at Place de la Bastille. Beginning words in French, song in Arabic. You don’t have to understand to hear it’s beautiful. If you don’t have the full 5 minutes, you can skip to 2:30 for the high notes 🙂 )

I had no idea such a powerful voice came out of that tiny little body (she’s pretty small).

Tonight’s concert took place at the intimate Theatre de Petit Saint Martin, just a short walk from Republique. Besides her amazing voice, she plays guitar and was accompanied by the bass and violin (LOVED the violin).

The evening was organized by La Compagnie des Arts, which my dance teacher Laetitia founded. (See, another amazing woman). The company’s events and shows support humanitarian and social causes; tonight’s proceeds, for example, will go to an association fighting against domestic violence.

I attended the concert with my friend Rafaele – who I *also* met in (another) dance class (Notice a theme?)

Emel sings mainly in Arabic; her voice is so transcendent, however, that I felt like I understood everything she was expressing without knowing a word. Almost unclassifiable, her music has echoes of classical, electro, rock, and oriental rhythms.

Leading up to Thanksgiving – and every day – I’ve been counting my blessings. Meeting more and more amazing, creative folks in Paris is certainly one of them.

Hear more of Emel’s music on her myspace page.

Click for more information on La Compagnie des Arts.


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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