Written two weeks ago....(sorry for the delay!!)
With each coming residency, the intensity of the experience has increased. And this final month in Angers was truly intense. In fact I just misspoke….it was only two weeks here. Less than that, in fact. But it felt like two months to me. We arrived last Tuesday, and we leave this coming Monday. I was gone last weekend to play baseball in Rouen, and I am once again gone this weekend to play. So in fact, I will have only been here for about 9 days!! It seems like so much more than that.
Our time in Angers was structured very differently than the other two residencies. We found ourselves at a point in the process of making the piece where we had a form, we have a performance, we have created a world in which the internal and external logic of the piece is at work, and we simply wanted to keep an openness and awareness to that without pushing or forcing anything. From a practical standpoint, this meant rehearsing much less, having less set and structured rehearsal times, and much more free time. We all responded to this in different
notice the bizarre grass-cutting designs......punk-ish.
ways but I think that overall this was and is a good thing.
I really like Angers. It is a small city with lots of green spaces, a HUGE park that is only a 15 minute walk from the city center (see photos), a nice city center and pedestrian area with lots of bars and cafes and restaurants (like most mid-sized cities in France), and generally a pleasant energy and atmosphere. It did not seem quite as young and ‘hip’ or bourgeois as Montpellier did, but it had both small-town charm and a bit of youthfulness and coolness. This was a big shift from Belfort, which was truly a small town. Belfort reminded me of some small towns in the mountains of North Carolina and Virginia (let me again emphasize that it was MUCH bigger than those rural mountain towns in the Appalachians, but somehow it had that back-country feel).
Our accommodations during the two weeks in Angers was in an old boarding school that had been turned into residence halls and dance studios as part of the Centre Choreographique. Recently there has been a new performing Arts center built in Angers, with several new performance spaces, but
the Angers School of Contemporary Dance has managed to hold on to the old boarding school and its studios. It is a stark contrast between the new Performing Arts Center (see photos, and see the resemblance to the AKROPOLIS shopping mall photos I took of the mall in Kaunas, Lithuania!) and the old boarding school.
During my first week in Angers I scheduled a visit with a doctor. In order to play for the Woodchucks I needed to pass a physical exam. To my luck, the doctor was just down the street!
For those of you who have never experienced visiting a doctor in France, I will tell you that it is very different from visiting most doctors in the US. It is a very personal experience. You call to schedule an appointment and it is the Doctor (Dr. Loubet) who answers the phone, talks with you, and schedules the appointment. Then when you arrive there is no secretary, there is just a waiting room. You ring the door to tell the doctor you have arrived….several moments later Dr. Loubet came out to greet me and welcome me into the office.
Dr. Loubet then asked me a
View from the banks of the Loire
this picture was taken standing just in front of the dance center where we rehearsed everyday.
few questions and took down some information. Then we walked over to the table, he checks my vitals, my heart, etc…he does not take my height or weight. After checking my heart beat, he then asks me to do 30 deep squats. That’s right—knee bends. Right there in his quaint little office. 30 of them in 40 seconds. This , in fact, is not very difficult, but at 9 AM on a Saturday morning I found it to be quite a shock to the system.
When I first was asked last summer by a French doctor to do squats in their office, I did not understand what they were asking me to do because in the US the doctor does not ask you to do this. Nothing ‘active’ is done during a physical examination for sport in the US. But in fact it makes quite a lot of sense (the purpose of this is to check to see how the heart responds to physical exertion—Dr. Loubet checked my resting heart rate, my heart rate just after the exertion, and then my heart rate 60 seconds later to see how fast I recover). I am surprised that this is not
yes, yet again the obligatory cathedral photo (that i seem to take in every city i visit)
done in the US for physicals.
And that was it. No eye exam, no other tests. A few questions about my health history. And then ‘that’ll be 22 Euros, please'. And get this—I just hand HIM 22 Euros and he hands me a written receipt. There is no secretary, no check out, no insurance to discuss or deal with……it is all between the patient and the doctor. It was great. Have you all seen the film ‘Sicko’ by Michael Moore? In a way I felt like Michael Moore did in that movie. I was thinking to myself: where’s the catch here? This is way too simple.
Tot: 2.446s; Tpl: 0.085s; cc: 14; qc: 29; dbt: 0.0342s; 2; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb