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Variations on a Theme, Post #47 - Laura Wise

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August 8th, 2015


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10:11 am - Variations on a Theme, Post #47
Saturday thoughts, 2, variations on a theme:

1) I've been listening to an audiobook (new to me), From Shakespeare with Love, a selection of just over half the Sonnets. One thing that's really striking me is the variations within and between the voices of the readers. The first 8 sonnets, for instance, are divided between David Tennant (using his Scottish accent) and Bertie Carvel. Both readers are wonderful, varying their voices to great effect to emphasize meaning -- but the vocal qualities of the two are really different. D Tennant's voice is deeper at its starting point, and more open (if that's a thing); B Carvel's is lighter and sharper. Same thing goes for, say, Juliet Stevenson, whose voice is a husky, sort of confidential alto which then soars upward as needed, and Maxine Peake, whose Northern voice is husky too but much sharper.

I love voices. I love thinking about them and hearing the infinite variety of them.

2) So I've been working out to a Pilates streaming video (done by the improbably perky Denise Austin, actually) for the past two weeks -- my own cardio and the Pilates abs one day, a bit of cardio and then the Upper Body and Lower Body workouts the next -- and I am feeling it in very good ways. In search of variation, however, I decided that it would be wise to add a different workout into the mix, and because I realized that I enjoy the Pilates and dance and yoga spectrum of workouts more than Cardio Death Weights or similar, I decided I'd investigate ballet workouts.

(When I was 13 or so, in the grip of puberty hell, I became so unbelievably clumsy that I could trip over a line drawn on the floor. My wise mother said to me that I needed to learn to live in and control my body, and told me I could choose between swimming and dance. I chose swimming, and a part of me has regretted it for decades.)

I decided to try a Mary Ellen Bowers Ballet Beautiful workout. She's the ballerina who trained Natalie Portman for Black Swan, and I've read about her work for a while. Here -- her recommendations for stretching at work. Anyhoo, so I purchased a nice soothing video, which has two 30-minute workouts: the first is an "undemanding" one, according to the Amazon reviews, so I decided that would be good.

Well.

On the good side: it's soothing(ish) but more challenging than one thinks at first. On the bad side: I still have terrible balance. On the good side again: so this workout, if I do it a couple of times a week, is going to address a decades-long problem.

What voices do you like? What kind of movement makes you happy? May you have only the best variations this weekend. :)

(18 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:janus_74
Date:August 8th, 2015 02:53 pm (UTC)
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I love David Tennant's voice :)
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From:laurawise
Date:August 8th, 2015 03:54 pm (UTC)
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It's a VERY VERY good voice indeed. :)

Happy Saturday, T!
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From:cindergal
Date:August 8th, 2015 03:34 pm (UTC)
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Denise Austin is incredibly perky and fit and FIFTY EIGHT YEARS OLD OMG.

I enjoy weight training a lot. I like feeling stronger and seeing the progression as I am able to do more reps or lift heavier weights. And I like to play really loud rock music while I do it and pretend I'm Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 (ha ha ha). ;-)

I also like swinging a kettlebell. I don't like cardio much and that is a more fun for me way to get some cardio in. I don't do any of these things enough lately, though.

I really should start to do something pilates/yogaish because my flexibility and balance are not what they used to be. I often find these workouts too slow and mellow for me, though. I get antsy and can't wait for them to be over, which is so not the point of yoga, I know.
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From:laurawise
Date:August 8th, 2015 03:57 pm (UTC)
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58. Good actual Lord.

[resolutely does not think about that]

Two of my friends are exactly like you, Cindergal -- they find weights and High Intensity Cardio their cuppa and are bored by Yoga and Pilates. If you pick the right High Intensity workout -- I suspect Jillian Michaels would work for you -- you could do some balance work while still killing it with strength training. :)

Hugs hugs!
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From:paratti
Date:August 8th, 2015 05:36 pm (UTC)
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Have you tried TRX. It's really a good addition to kettleballing.
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From:cindergal
Date:August 10th, 2015 01:37 am (UTC)
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I suspect I would enjoy it except that it would involve leaving my house. ;-)
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From:anne_d
Date:August 8th, 2015 04:26 pm (UTC)
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The ballet stretches do look useful - I'm going to see if any of them help with my current and ongoing achy shoulders and stiff neck.

Voices. Hmmmm. Alan Rickman is one of my favorites.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:August 8th, 2015 06:38 pm (UTC)
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I do find ballet stretches good to open me up (I tend to hunch over, which I don't like). I hope some help for you!

And Alan Rickman's voice is an All-Time Classic. :)

[hugs hugs]
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From:mamculuna
Date:August 8th, 2015 04:48 pm (UTC)
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Ballet workout! Very interesting! I was a little ballet girl as a child--still have my last pair of toe shoes, and still remember the pain of dancing in them--but extreme lack of talent meant that I didn't keep it up. But ballet workouts sound like fun. There's a Pure Barre near my house, but I suspect they don't have a senior class. I think I'll investigate your video, or see if there's anything online.

I could definitely use anything that helps with balance!

And the sonnets sound fascinating.
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From:laurawise
Date:August 8th, 2015 06:39 pm (UTC)
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Bowers has a LOT of videos on Youtube (look up Ballet Beautiful). I've seen testimonials for Ballet Body, too, but it seems a little too much for me and the way I want to use the workouts. :)

And if you danced as a girl, you are ahead of the game! :)

Cheers to you today.
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From:paratti
Date:August 8th, 2015 05:34 pm (UTC)
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I love the effects of different accents. I loved Tim Spall's cameo with a Brummie accent, given the Warwickshire orginal - even if it was Arden rather than Brummagum.
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From:laurawise
Date:August 8th, 2015 06:40 pm (UTC)
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Hurrah for accents and voices! And hurrah hurrah for you! :)

[hugs]
From:gwynnega
Date:August 8th, 2015 09:29 pm (UTC)
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That ballet workout sounds good.
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From:laurawise
Date:August 8th, 2015 10:27 pm (UTC)
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There are a lot of Ballet Beautiful videos on Youtube. :)

Cheers and hugs!
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From:wildrider
Date:August 9th, 2015 08:02 pm (UTC)
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Voices are wonderful! It's one of the reasons I love animation so much, I love listening to a great voice actor work. I may have to check out the audio sonnets - they sound lovely!

Happy Sunday!
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From:laurawise
Date:August 9th, 2015 10:18 pm (UTC)
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That's a great reason to love animation! Cheers for you! :)

Hugs and a good evening, too.
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From:mobile_alh
Date:August 9th, 2015 08:52 pm (UTC)
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Lj ate my first comment but I'll try again...

The first voice I thought of was Clark Gables, all rich, dark and gritty as fresh coffee grounds.

As to favored movement, it's a toss-up between slow, smooth yoga (especially tree and child's poses) and a lovely brisk walk on a solid pavement. I do love sidewalks for walking on!

Happy rest of the weekend (in both sense of the word)!
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From:laurawise
Date:August 9th, 2015 10:20 pm (UTC)
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Voices as food = great idea. I'll keep thinking about that one. :)

(I tend to default to Champagne and chocolate with my favorite male voices, actually...)

Brisk walks on cool autumn days are GREAT pleasures!

Hugs and good renovation-rebuilding thoughts for you.

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