Category Archives: Books and ebooks in English

YOGA Through Dance in Primary Schools

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Ivana Brigliadori

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In July 2007, thanks to a protocol of understanding between the Ministry of Public Instruction and the National Yoga Federation, the ancient meditative and ascetic art of Yoga based on the sequential combination of positions that are generally known by the Hindu word ASANA and the spiritual reflections that come from listening to one’s own breathing and a greater awareness of one’s own existence in the “here and now” as body and soul made its official debut into the public schools of Italy, thus determining the development of a new pedagogical and educational project capable of helping children, boys and girls, and adults as well to find themselves anew through Yoga.

The space in which our children (and not just them) act and live impels us toward the virtual world rather than the real world as we become a society ever more inclined to follow the images that flow before us, the uncontrolled accretion of the instants that we don’t even realize we are living, a society that pays little attention to children as children but appears to value them only as individuals destined to be consumers of the products that advertising incessantly promotes to their mothers.

The ever more widespread use of information technologies and the most modern technological instruments with all their applications make it necessary for us to find new keys to the interpretation of what the moment of learning is all about.

The author draws the actual narration of her project of inserting Yoga in the schools directly out of the sample exercises and practices that bring together music, movements, words, and teachings in an attempt to discover an alternative language that emerges from the numerous literary citations relating to the child and his development as well as from his relationships to teachers and parents.

Oriental Sciences Books in English

Tango Zen: Walking Dance Meditation

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Chan Park

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Would you like to meditate while dancing Tango? Yes, Buddha can teach you to dance Tango through Zen. You might ask, “How does Tango have anything to do with Zen?”

TangoZen is an innovative yet natural way of meditating while dancing Tango. Referring to striking similarities between the two, this book will introduce methods through which Tango dancers and non-dancers can practice TangoZen to experience and enjoy the wonderful benefits, which both Tango and Zen have to offer.

Everybody knows meditation is a good thing. For example, Zen meditation, if practiced properly, can create balance, calmness, groundedness, centering, and harmony in mind and body. However, it is difficult to meditate for many reasons. Meditation is mainly practiced while sitting with legs crossed to support and ground one’s body. Unfortunately this sitting posture can create uncomfortable feelings and even pains before you benefit from the meditation practice. In addition, despite the importance of practicing meditation regularly, it can be difficult to stick to it with regularity due to the hectic life style we live every day.

Can one meditate while moving around instead of sitting down? Although it appears to be sedate and passive, Zen meditation can also be practiced in more active ways than the sitting posture. For example, walking meditation has been practiced among Buddhists since the Buddha himself practiced it. Other forms of Zen meditation in motion can also be found in sports and performing arts.

Tango is a walking dance—a special gift from Argentina to the world. Unlike the Tango images of sexy and provocative movements commonly featured in the media, Tango is a social dance that should be danced while walking. Of course, one embraces a partner and listens to music while walking. Tango dancing has the potential to positively affect various social, physical and emotional aspects of our existence. What is more, the effects and benefits of meditation are experienced and shared among avid Tango dancers.

The main goal of meditation is to discover and reconcile one’s own nature. To reach that goal, Zen teaches us to devote 100% of our attention to what we are doing Here Now. Tango is a dance of connection, uniting one and one’s partner while walking and listening to music—together. Tango can be fully enjoyed only if one completely surrenders to and connects with one’s partner, both physically and emotionally, while dancing. Therefore, once recognizing similarities and benefits of the two, one can truly unite and practice Tango and Zen. One can meditate while dancing Tango, experiencing deeper appreciation of physical, emotional, and even spiritual aspects of inner-self. That is, one can practice TangoZen: Walking Dance Meditation.

Tango, Tango, Tango. . .

Chan Park

Books and ebooks in English.

I wanted to dance. Carlos Gavito: Life, passion and tango

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Ricardo Plazaola

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CARLOS EDUARDO GAVITO (4/27/1943 – 7/1/2005) was born in La Plata, Argentina. He spent his youth in the barrio of Avellaneda (to the south of Greater Buenos Aires) and the rest of his life circling the globe.

He traveled for more than forty years and visited more than ninety countries. He spoke English, Italian, French and Portuguese fluently and could make himself understood in German, Russian and Japanese. He was a universal man who took the tango from the barrio to the world.

He began dancing not too long after he started to walk, and then there was no stopping him: tango, rock, folklore, Latin rhythms, swing. On stage and off, there was no dance he didn’t try. Over the years, he searched for his own place in the dance world, and then his own tango: the absolutely unique style that brought him to fame.

In the mid 90s, after being out of Argentina for many years, he gained international renown with the company of Forever Tango and word got back to Buenos Aires. From then on, he was an important and imposing figure in the porteño milongas. Julio Fernández Baraibar, who wrote the prologue of the first Spanish edition of this book, said that any milonga that Gavito went to became “the milonga to attend,” and that when Gavito got up to dance, “the dance floor became transformed.”

Gavito8The life of this absolutely unique dancer (“the motionless dancer”) is a never-ending list of fascinating –if not astonishing– stories and surprising statistics. Some test the imagination: the number of times he traveled around the world, the number of women he embraced on the dance floor, the number of people that were deeply moved by the grace of his steps. And perhaps another statistic: the number of those people who, when they witnessed him dance, decided there and then that they too wanted to dance the tango.

Life cheated Gavito of the few more years he would have needed to achieve the vast recognition he fully deserved. But there are videos and books like this one that will ensure his place in tango paradise. Five years after Gavito’s death, this English translation of Ricardo Plazaola’s new Spanish edition coincides with the year that Argentina is entering into its tricentennial.

RICARDO PLAZAOLA (2/4/1951) had a successful career as a journalist. He began in the mid-70’s, working for the newspaper La Calle and then wrote for magazines such as Goles and Siete Días. He then worked for the newspapers Tiempo Argentino and Página 12 and wrote the news for Radio Mitre (that he directed for 12 years) and Canal 9. He teaches in the school of journalism TEA. On the radio, he directed the program Bailo Tango [I Dance Tango] dealing specifically with the world of the milongas. When he met Gavito, his admiration was immediate. Soon after came his affection for the dancer. One day, Gavito knew that he didn’t have much time left to relate his ideas and his adventures, and thought that Plazaola was the ideal person to listen to him and to understand him. This book is the result of long conversations (“insufficient, rushed”) that Plazaola had with him in the small apartment on Lima Street where Gavito took refuge at the end of his life.

KAREN SIMON is a Canadian-trained translator, with a Ph.D in French literature. She has taught translation at McGill and Concordia universities in Montreal, Quebec and has also been teaching Argentine tango since 1992. She met Carlos Gavito in 1996 and took classes with him for several years.

Books and ebooks in English.