New oceans

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sights of the shore.”

- Andre Gide

Historical Dance Workshop in Florence

An Interview with Marco Bendoni about the Commedia dell’Arte workshop in Florence

Go Inspired was introduced to Marco Bendoni a few years ago by chance and we are thrilled to continue to be working with Marco since then. He brings so much to the course that we consider ourselves extremely lucky to be able to share his talents with our participants. During the time spent with Marco, students find themselves challenged and inspired at the same time. For most of the participants, it is their first experience going deeper into their acting and also themselves as well as taking themselves out of their comfort zones.

We talked to Marco about Commedia dell’Arte so our future participants can have a better idea of what to expect from the workshop.

Marco Bendoni

1. First, tell us a bit about you.

I am a professional dancer. I was a contemporary dancer who worked with Philippe Decouflé in Paris, Vicecte Saez in Valencia, Simona Bucci in Florence and Luciano Padovani in Vicenza. Then I worked as a dancer and a mime in “Teatro Comunale” of Florence. I studied Commedia dell’Arte as part of the training.

I have my own company of Renaissance and Baroque dance “Il Ballarino” and I collaborate with different orchestras in Europe in order to bring these nobles dances all over the world.

I am also a Holistic operator who is specialized in movements, yoga, chi gong, energetic protocols, acro yoga, and aikido.

2. How did you begin your career?

I began as a contemporary dancer after working as an accountant for 5 years.

3. What can participants expect from this course?

They can expect a better knowledge of the period of Commedia dell’Arte, learning about the history, the way these characters were moving, dancing…

 

Marco Bendoni and Commedia dell'Arte workshops

4. What will participants learn from you in this course?

They learn about awareness of the body, mind, emotions and know more about the meaning of energy. They learn the basis of acrobatics, acro yoga, and training for dancing. They learn a few dances as from the books of choreography of the ancient times from the renaissance to baroque.

5. What are some things participants find challenging?

They will find out how important and challenging it is to be present, to grow and develop as a human, to learn about him/herself and the study of their own personalities. They will also have the chance to learn to be neutral in order to be the right tool to become a Commedia dell’Arte character.

6. Why is your part of the course important (as you divide the course with Roberto)?

Commedia dell’Arte is very physical work. The masks used to dance a lot and of my knowledge on the treatises of the time is a philological precious apport to the actor’s work of improvisation. To learn a noble or popular dance as it was and done with the body of the mask it allows the actor to have a solid structure that help him/her to give his/her best. To show one of his/her artistic talent…prestige.

Marco Bendoni and Commedia dell'Arte workshops

7. What do you like about Commedia dell’Arte?

Commedia is our history; the characters are like lenses pointed on our “negativities”, such as fears, greed, abuse of sex, to manipulate others, wanting to dominate, being a victim,etc…but in a comical way. So that allows myself to recognize which of these negative emotions are still in me and how ridiculous they are.

8. Why is it important for actors to study Commedia dell’Arte?

Commedia dell’Arte  teaches you to be a character completely with all of your body, emotions and thoughts. The use of the mask allows you to disinhibit from the heaviness of your own personality.

9. You do acrobatics and teach dance moves to the participants. Why?

How can you tease a noble if you don’t know what nobles knew about philosophy, their longing to be better humans through experiencing the different arts, playing music, dancing, painting. Some of the characters are masters and noble. The servants are normally acrobats in order to earn their living they have to jump from one place to another.

Also, acrobatics is a skill of most of the Commedia dell’Arte characters.

10. Who is your favorite Commedia character and why?

My favorite character is the Capitano, a bit like a Don Quijote; a crazy, dreamy character but full of hope and energy.

11. What is special about this course in Florence?

The course in Florence is held by 2 passionate teachers who love to transmit the preciousness of this art, giving an amount of details on the characters, the different arts and much much more.

 

Thank you Marco for your time!! We look forward to working with you in our next workshop!

An expatriate

“She was already thinking of herself as a kind of expatriate…not smothered by what she believed to be America’s puritanical and materialistic culture, which she had little patience for. She saw herself more a European soul, in tune with the thinkers and artists she felt expressed her tragic, romantic, freethinking view of life.”

- Vicky Christina Barcelona

 

The first condition

“The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.”

-Rudyard Kipling

Yoga for Peace and the Bishnois

Destination: Bishnoi Village

Go Inspired’s Yoga for Peace program will be held in a Bishnoi Village near Jodhpur, India. It is a fantastic opportunity for our participants to experience life in the village living alongside the Bishnoi.

Who are the Bishnois?

The Bishnois are an eco-friendly sect of Hindu religion. They are known for their rich cultural Rajasthani Life and their true love for nature and animals. The Bishnoi’s believe in conservation and respect for other animals and plants and are known as the first environment conservationists in the world. They do not support the idea of destroying (killing) life for satisfying human needs. Bishnoi was the first sect/religion emphasizing love, peace and harmony among not only human beings but also with Mother Nature, wild animals and trees.

They normally wear a white shirt, dhoti and turban. This dress pattern is ideal for the hot dry desert climate. They pay special attention to cleanliness in their houses. Only one crop of pearl millet  (bajra) is grown during the monsoon season. The bushes, which grow in the fields, protect the loose sand from wind erosion and provide the much-needed fodder for animals during a famine. Bisnois often live in little hamlets called Dhani and villages, with just a few round huts with intricate thatched roofs. The mud floors are plastered with cow dung to keep vermin away. The interiors are airy and clean. Bishnois in Haryana and Punjab are much wealthier than other castes.

The word Bishnoi is derived from bis (twenty) and nai (nine) i.e. followers of 29 principles given by Guru Jambheshwar. Guru Jambheshwar gave the message to protect trees and wildlife around 540 years ago. The principles were not only tailored to conserve bio-diversity of the area but also ensured a healthy eco-friendly social life for the community.

What are the 29 principles they follow?

  1. Observe 30 days state of untouchability after child’s birth
  2. Observe 5 days segregation while a woman is in her menses
  3. Bathe early morning
  4. Obey the ideal rules of life: Modesty
  5. Obey the ideal rules of life: Patience or satisfactions
  6. Obey the ideal rules of life: Purifications
  7. Perform Sandhya two times a day
  8. Eulogise God, The Lord Vishnu in evening hours (Aarti)
  9. Perform Yajna (Havan) every morning
  10. Filter the water, milk and firewood
  11. Speak pure words in all sincerity
  12. Adopt the rule of forgiveness and pity
  13. Do not steal
  14. Do not condemn or criticize
  15. Do not lie
  16. Do not waste the time on argument
  17. Fasting on Amavashya and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu
  18. Have pity on all living beings and love them
  19. Do not cut the green trees, save environment
  20. Crush lust, anger, greed and attachment
  21. Accept food and water from our purified people only
  22. To provide a common shelter for male goat/sheep to avoid them being slaughtered in abattoirs
  23. Don’t sterilise the ox
  24. Don’t use opium
  25. Don’t smoke and use tobacco
  26. Don’t take bhang or hemp
  27. Don’t take wine or any type of liquor
  28. Don’t eat meat, remain always pure vegetarian
  29. Never use blue clothes (Wearing blue cloths is prohibited because the dye for coloring them is obtained by cutting a large quantity of shrubs.)

Where are they located?

The Bishnois are presently spread over the western parts of Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh.

Yoga for Peace is an incredible opportunity for you to learn more about yourself, incorporating peace into your yoga and about the specific world of the Bishnois. The workshop grants you time for practice as well as time for exploration.

 

Information for this article was taken from:

http://bakwaasandbakwaas.blogspot.it/2011/03/trip-to-village-near-jodhpur.html

http://www.bishnoivillagesafari.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bishnois