Candied bodies # 5: gyrokinesis with Stephen Thompson

You dream every night of crystal-clear concentric circles, infinite spirals and the triple axles of Philippe Candoloro at the 1994 Winter Olympics. No doubt, in recent days, have you lacked space for freedom or have you unscrewed an unreasonable amount of Tokay bottles. Perhaps you still came across the conference by Belgian choreographer Anne-Teresa De Keersmaeker explaining his obsession with these geometric figures made of micro-alterations: “The spiral, she explains to the Collège de France, it is a certain concept of life. You turn, you change, then you end up on the same site as at the start but no longer in the same place. “ Like her, Canadian dancer and skater Stephen Thompson, a bronze medalist at the Lake Placid World Figure Championships, masters all the secrets of perfect circles. Without being able to slide on ice hand in hand at his side, he offers us a “confined” version with this express course of gyrokinesis, an anti-scoliosis wave practice excellent for stretching the back, from which he will soon graduate and in which the spine is supposed to perform circular movements in 3D (the sign “infinite”, therefore) like ice skates. “Thought”.

• Let’s be precise about the terms. Developed by a New York dancer (Juliu Hovath) and inspired by Pilates, classical dance, yoga, chi-gong (and almost all of the world’s somatic practices since time immemorial), the “gyrotonic »Is practiced on machines with straps, weights, SM pulleys that tie the fat of your legs like a little roast. More DIY, gyrokinesis is perfectly adapted to containment: “You just sit on a stool, your shanks at the edge, your feet firmly on the floor”, introduces Stephen Thompson.

• The first stopover of our great kinetic journey takes us to the land of the“Arch and curl” (generally speaking, somatic practices have a more pronounced effect in English). “Pull the heels under you, elbows back and arch. Then push the air in front of you with your palms, feet forward and roll up the spine. “ The bizu reflex would be to break the cervical and lumbar back during the “arch” while it is always a question of installing imaginary small airbags between each of the vertebrae. Can’t you do it? We do, bunch of losers. Stephen congratulates us on the phone: “Yes, that’s it, little air cushions.” The day starts well.

“Then take four breaths to dive your head past your knees -” curl “- look up to go vertical by inverting the curve of the back – in” arch “. Then on two breaths. Then on one. Before doing the same thing slightly diagonally. “ You should look like a pretty, laughing wavelet.

• Motivated like never, weld all of your vertebrae so as to transform your back into a solid block, which it will be a question of rocking from its base (the pelvis) like a tumble – or an old drunk aunt. “Draw a semicircle with the torso in front, right, behind, then come back to the center. And the same thing on the left, by transferring your weight thanks to the force of your feet on the ground and keeping the pelvis solid and immobile. ”

• Take the time – since this is not what is lacking – and breathe deeply the air – since it will soon be what will be lacking. Keep pitching like a bottle in the sea “By gradually moving your focus from the top of your skull, to the sternum and then to the ischia”.

• As you do not know where the ischia lies, you are currently in the process of starting knee rotations but please stop your stupidity, look on the web where these small bones are (therefore the last point of the coccyx) and resume wisely the practice.

• You should soon see a figure eight appear in space with a more or less perfect outline – symbol of infinite love which you may find it hard to feel the heat today but which could reward you with a few timid aches in the oblique tomorrow if the world is not too badly done.

“Put your hands on your shoulders crossing your arms and paddle to the right and then to the left with your elbows like kayak paddles, to make a nice twisting movement in 3D … Always the eight of infinity. By changing the quality of material in which you plunge your oar. ” Butter ? Snow? Torrent of water? And suddenly the awkward image of sculptor Camille Claudel, hobbled in her strait-jacket at the Montfavet psychiatric hospital, suddenly springs forth. This image also pursues you, endlessly.

• Free your arms from the straitjacket and gently transform yourself into a frog – in a state of passivity that should speak to you. Swim breaststroke vertically as if this little creature was also trying to get out of this stud by the ceiling (another recurring dream of recent days) and spring up with your arms “Like sparkling water”. We don’t want to know what you look like right now. It’s an intimate experience that belongs to you. Just certify to Stephen that she has done you a lot of good and almost distressed.


Eve Beauvallet

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