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“Playing the Body as an Instrument”

Author: Jennifer Russo

I know where there is healing there is more life, and where there is life there is beauty. I work in this realm as a yoga teacher. The beauty and calm of the bodies when they take form in my own yoga classes (especially the restorative class) is simply “ahhhh” to be around.

When in alignment, the body is beautiful and its systems flow effortlessly. Good posture even speaks this way. I recall my attraction to the man who became my husband years later – upright, centered, a proud participant in life. His body said: “I am here, I take my place in this world.”

In the many Iyengar yoga studios I have practiced in, it is tradition to display photos of seasoned practitioners as well as the master, Mr. Iyengar himself, in hard to achieve yoga poses. Demonstrations of grace and ease while being challenged. How would we know what is possible if we did not see examples? Iyengar, the author of many yoga books, has described his practice as “playing the body as an instrument” and this is what Finnish artist Pia Lindman will do. Along with musical accompaniment by the versatile musicians of Buffalo based Wooden Cities, we will witness Lindman therapeutically kleinhansbuffalorestore someone to better health. This performance by Lindman, an internationally recognized performance artist, Professor of environmental art at Aalto University, and a certified practitioner of Kalevala bone-setting, is part of the upcoming FinnFest 2015.

In our culture that embraces yoga, acupuncture, sweat lodges, Chinese medicine, tai chi and other thousand years old philosophies, enter the lesser known: Kalevala. Kalevala bone-setting is a traditional form of medicine based on Finnish oral tradition, dating back 2000 years. Customarily Finnish folk singing during the treatment also calls on animal energies to assist in the removing of pain for the recipient. Wooden Cities will extend this ancient practice of exchanging energies and has written new music to harmonize with Lindman during the treatment on stage.

Invited by Claire Schneider of CS1 Projects to produce a new work, Lindman is excited to expand her investigation of this largely forgotten aspect of Finland’s epic national poem – the Kalevala. This is the first time Lindman will publicly perform this treatment with musicians and singers. In addition, this festival provides the opportunity to occupy a stage designed by two of the most famous modern Finnish architects, the father and son team of Eliel and Eero Saarinen, great artists also deeply inspired by this primeval oral tradition. In this way, Lindman hopes to expand the understanding of what we see as important cultural knowledge.

Something anciently human will be happening at Kleinhans on October 11th at 6pm that will engage all our senses, permeate our porous bodies, stir in us desire, a longing and hopefully reset within us, something elemental.

A Kalevala Duo, Playing Bones takes place Sunday, October 11 from 6-7pm. The audience will sit on the Kleinhans (3 Symphony Circle) main stage with the musicians. Tickets are $15 and can be brought through CS1 Projects here.

Jennifer Russo, holds four professional yoga teaching certificates, designs therapeutic yoga practices for individuals and corporate yoga programs and has two donation based yoga classes at SolRise farm and Cultural Arts Center on Buffalo’s East Side.

 

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Buffalo Rising

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