At the beginning of June, I took a long night bus ride towards Cuernavaca, Morelos, about a 9 hour bus ride there and 11 hours back. I was headed towards "Primer Encuentro Suspendidos - Aerealistas en Escena" - it could be described as Mexican Aerialists Convention.
What I love about riding through the Mexican highways is the fact that I can have a fairly safe view from my bus window towards the places where I would normally never have the chance to set my foot on. The sketchy highways, starry night and an uncomfortable bus seat offer a surprisingly enjoyable setting for the mind to wonder. When the bus was exiting the station, I also noticed something my eyes had never seen before: a finely crafted miniature altar for the workers to pray at. A mesmerizing image of Mexico's roughness and religion combined, an image that lasted 2 seconds as we drove by, yet bizarre enough for it to reappear in my memory every now and then.
Unfortunately my trip there wasn't as romantic as I would have liked it to be. While I was already asleep (which itself is quite difficult for me to achieve in a bus), I was woken up by some random man asking about my sandwich and snacks (everyone in the bus got a little "snack pack for the go"). Being still half-asleep, thinking that I was talking to an authority (for some crazy reason, for no reason) and answering his questions I soon was wake enough to actually question him, after which he left and sat back to his seat. Then it also occurred to me that the moment I woke up wasn't because of his voice or questions. I simply woke up and saw him going through my stuff, after which a quick conversation was made. That s** o* a b**** probably wanted to rob me, but let's focus on the dreamy side of Mexico and continue with the poetic image of that night ride. I continued "sleeping" with my eyes open and my paranoid level was raised from my regular level 9 to 10.
The event was hosted by "Submarino Morado - Circo y Artes", their fairly new venue was called "Ruina Tropical" (Tropical Ruin) - a name that captures precisely the essence and condition of the venue and in a way the whole week. Above is an image of the venue I took the first night of my arrival to Cuernavaca - a night before the week full of workshops started.
First day, the aerial structure has been set up and different master classes: cloud-swing, duo-trapeze, static trapeze and straps are in full action. My main goal for this trip to Cuernavaca was to try out cloud-swing, something that I had never tried before yet had a lot of curiosity for, as I rarely have the chance to experience the true flying, swinging sensation on my aerial apparatuses'. It was definitely a lot more challenging than I had formerly predicted: rough on the hands, the hot weather and humidity made my skin rip off faster than with a normal- / nordic-climate, balancing on the rope itself was a new sensation as it didn't offer the steady structure compared to swinging trapeze and focusing on timing of the different beats was something my body had, at first, hard time to understand. Conclusion: I loved it! Challenging, painful and when one day a little improvement was seen, I couldn't have been happier. I am also grateful that, every now and then, I have had the true luck to encounter some really great, professional and passionate instructors. It is a true fortune when most of the time one has to learn individually, by herself. In this particular case I was practicing under the supervision of Julia Sanchez, who was fully dedicated of sharing her knowledge with all of her students.
Below you can see her showing me the correct form of the body while flying.
30 degreed weather, burning sun, sweaty hands and open blisters.
Besides the technical master class, I also attended the exploration and improvisation workshop with Andrea Pelaez. Out of the many impro-movement courses that I have attended, this one was one of the most useful ones as each of the students had a specific and unique purpose in mind while going through the exercises. This, rather abstract workshop, was a nice contrast to the technical master classes that I was taking as it allowed me to work and process the ideas outside of the training space. It also was a great reminder of what it is that I like about circus, what it is that I like about circus that is about me, what it is that I like to offer to myself and others.
"Cuerpo Suspendido" (suspended body)
Photo: Roy Mtz
Last night I slept at some guy Carlos' apartment
Besides all of the physical workshops, we were also offered a 3 day course on Rigging. Below are some images of the notes from my diary which made a lot more sense during the time I wrote them down. While looking back to my rigging material, I noticed a thought I wrote down at the second day of the workshop: "I slept at some guy Carlos apartment". I kept sleeping at Carlos' apartment during my whole stay in Cuernavaca. Regardless of the personal, work-related goals and ambitions, it is refreshing to realize how the most thought provoking conversations can happen with someone you meet randomly, by pure luck without any planning. While one can become precise and skilled controlling the movements and coordination of the body, she can't coordinate the people coming in her life, especially the ones affecting the mind, the ones who inspire, show you something you hadn't seen before.