domingo, 30 de agosto de 2015

Memories of Joe Pilates from Bob Wernick & Chuck Rapoport

I was looking for one photo( that one were Joseph Pilates was laying down with a man stepping on him) and I found those intersting vídeo and article.
Actually the man was Robert Wernick photographed by Chuck Rapoport , who wrote   
on Setember - 2014:
"ROBERT WERNICK died end of August on the Island of Malta. Bob was the author of the famed Sports Illustrated article on Joe Pilates that ran in February of 1962. It was that article that I was called upon by S.I. to photograph Bob with Joe and Joe in his NY Studio. I met Bob Wernick that day in October 1961 when he was a client of several years working with Joe. I never saw Wernick again until last year in Paris, France - when I walked up to his 5th floor apartment - 84 steps - that he walked twice a day. Bob was 95 years old and still doing his Hundred in bed in the morning and a few of the Series of 5.- Bob was quite a man with an amazing life. You can read his short articles including the one on Mr. Pilates on Wernick's websirte/blog :"
The article and the photo

Joe Pilates

Learning to be an Animal

There is a happy band of people, of which I am an aspirant member, who are distinguishable anywhere by their springy step and "saved" look from the mass of their contemporaries who shuffle and shamble in untidy corpulence around us. We know that we are saved because we faithfully attend exhausting but exhilarating sessions at the Joseph H. Pilates Universal Gymnasium on Eighth Avenue in midtown Manhattan.

For it is here that Joe Pilates, a white-thatched red-cheeked octogenarian, his wife Clara and Hannah (who came in for a lesson 25 years ago and stayed on) bark their stern commands as we twist and stretch and complain through the exercises forming the core of what Joe, with his Germanic taste for scientific nomenclature, calls Contrology.

Don't ask me what Contrology is. Don't ask Joe either, for orderly exposition is not one of his talents. It has something to do with rational tension and relaxation of the muscles, and it comes from a profound knowledge of bodily kinetics begun three quarters of a century ago when Joe as a child in Germany began observing his fellow children at play and animals bounding through the forest. Later, when he was making a living as a boxer and a circus tumbler he began developing a series of exercises to relax him after an exhausting day.

The full principles of Contrology were revealed to him during World War I. His circus was caught traveling in England when the war broke out in 1914, and Joe and all the others were interned in an abandoned hospital on the Isle of Man. Here, as weeks lengthened into months and years, he watched his fellow-prisoners sink into apathy and despair, with nothing to do but stare at the bare crumbling walls of their prison, nothing to break the daily monotony but the inadequate meals (for the German submarine blockade was slowly starving England) and an occasional walk around the bare courtyard with nothing to look at but an occasional starveling cat streaking after a mouse or a bird.

It was the cats which did it. For though they were nothing but skin and bones - even the most animal-loving prisoners could hardly spare them anything from their own pitiful rations when their own children were begging to be fed - they were lithe and springy and terribly efficient as they aimed for their prey. Why were the cats in such good shape, so bright-eyed, while the humans were growing every day paler, weaker, apathetic creatures ready to give up if they caught a cold or fell down and sprained an ankle? The answer came to Joe when he began carefully observing the cats and analyzing their motions for hours at a time. He saw them, when they had nothing else to do, stretching their legs out, stretching, stretching, keeping their muscles limber, alive. He began working out an orderly series of exercises to stretch the human muscles, all the human muscles. He began demonstrating these exercises to the dejected figures around him, and since they had nothing else to do, they began to do the exercises too. Awkwardly and timorously at first, but under his firm supervision they became more and more confident, more and more bouncy, like cats. They ended the war in better shape than when it started, and when the great influenza epidemic came sweeping over all the countries that had fought in the war, not one of them came down with it.

Once free, he came to America because that is the place to be when you have a new idea. He designed and built machines for carefully graduated stretching exercises, he rented a loft, he opened his Universal Gymnasium, up the street from Stillman's Gym, an institution built to other specifications. Little by little the word got around, people began coming in, people from professions which demand complete and precise control of the whole body, ballet dancers, opera singers, Laurence Olivier, Yehudi Menuhin.

When I came to join this band, he greeted me as he did everybody else. He lay down on his eighty-ear-old back and commanded, "Step on me." I hesitated. "Don't be afraid," he said. "STEP!" Gingerly I put one foot on his belly, one on his chest. "You see," he said. "It's easy."

Later I stood before him in the mandatory black trunks and he poked a scornful finger into my poor bare flesh.

"Typical," he said in ringing Teutonic tones. "Just like all of them! Americans! They want to go 600 miles an hour, and they don't know how to walk! Look at them in the street. Bent over!. Coughing! Young men with gray faces! Why can't they look at the animals? Look at a cat. Look at any animal. The only animal that doesn't hold its stomach in is the pig. Look at them all out on the sidewalk now, like pigs.

"By exercising your stomach muscles you wring out the body, you don't catch colds, you don't get cancer, you don't get hernias. Do animals get hernias? Do animals go on diets? Eat what you want, drink what you want. I drink a quart of liquor a day, plus some beers, and smoke maybe fifteen cigars.

"And what do Americans do? They play golf, they play baseball, they use half of their muscles, a quarter of their muscles. They get fat, they go jogging, they go on crazy diets, they jump up and down in crazy exercises, they have bad backs, they have beer bellies, they slouch, they complain, they have hernias.

"So, you want to learn how to do better. It's all up here, in the head. Lie down on the mat. Don't flop down, go down smoothly, like this, cross the arms, cross the legs. Now, legs in the air! Grab your ankles! Of course you can't reach them, no American can. All right, grab your calves. Make it your knees. Straight the knees! Bend forward! Now reach! No, you have to think first! Think! Up!"

It may take months to learn exactly which straining set of muscles and tendons is the object of that Up!

In the meanwhile, the neophyte is ever under someone's scornful eyes or encouraging grunts, learning the Pilates ropes - the varieties of pulls, twists, bends, crouches which he says use 25 percent more muscles than circus acrobatics and fifty or seventyfive percent more than baseball (pfui!) or golf (double-pfui!), No jumping or running, which put unnecessary strain on the heart; in fact, almost everything is done flat on your back or your stomach. No weights ("Do animals lift weights?") No bulging biceps.- Joe is more interested in muscles that will hold you up up than those that will let you knock another fellow down.

The exercises are graduated and have whimsical names: the Teaser, the Forward Rocking, the Saw, the Hanging.

Looking down from the walls of the gym are paintings, photographs sculptures of Joe, naked or loinclothed: spearfishing at 56, representing the Spirit of Air on the floor of the Nebraska state capitol at 60, skiing at 78. There are also photographs with admiring testimonials ("To the greatest,""to the one and immortal Joe"from distinguished alumni, and photostats of articles from American newspapers documenting the horrors of American posture. Through sweat-filled eyes, as you are upside down on one machine, you might see a famous publisher or producer or anchorperson bent double on another. They are all receiving the full lash of Pilatean philosophy.

"Its' the stiffness. You must open up the chest more, two inches more. Up! NO! With this muscle" poking a protuberance about his midriff which will never rise on you or me - "straight the knees! Where are you going - like an elephant?"

"Oh Joe," wails a famous ballerina. "Now you're calling me an elephant."

"I wouldn't insult the elephant. An elephant could walk into this room, and you wouldn't hear it. An elephant walks delicately. But you - clump, clump, CLUMP! Americans! Baseball players! Joggers! Weight-lifters! No wonder they come to me with arthritis! Ulcers! Animals don't have ulcers! Animals don't go on diets! Straight the knees! Out the air!"

So the minutes pass -- flipping and wriggling through the Corkscrew, the Jackknife, the Seal. It's not cheap ($5 a session, which lasts about 45 minutes) but as you go your two or three times a week, the weeks become months, and the abuse becomes scattered with a few congratulatory murmurs. Kindly Clara will admire you new sleekness, gruff Hannah will say, "Well, about time." Perhaps your head is a little higher in the street, above all the young gray faces. Aches and twinges disappear. A day comes when you are able to swing your ankles neatly into two loops hanging down from a bar way up there, stretch your body, get a firm grip on two upright poles - and climb up. You reach the top with grunts of pleasure and suddenly whoop in terror, "How do I get down?" "The same way you got up." Down you come, hand under hand, with gasps and moans and a final yell of triumph. In the hush that follows, Joe bellows out his final accolade:

"Now you are an animal"

©1962 Robert Wernick

Sports Illustrated, February 12, 1962

The vídeo:

sábado, 29 de agosto de 2015

Perota Chingo - Tonada de luna llena

How Animals Eat Their Food | MisterEpicMann

   Jogar ao "sério"....
  Experimentar em casa.... Não. Não? Não!!!! (que pena....)

Tão actual

   No prólogo de "As Farpas" *,  que constitui uma análise social  de Portugal em 1871,  alude-se à Carta Constitucional de 1826 . O tema é introduzido assim:  

"Vamos rir, pois. O riso é uma filosofia. Muitas vezes o riso é uma salvação. E em política constitucional , pelo menos, o riso é  uma opinião."

*Folhetos satíricos escritos por Eça de Queirós e Ramalho Ortigão e, mais tarde, reeditados em livro pelo primeiro  com o título "Uma Campanha Alegre")

quinta-feira, 20 de agosto de 2015

What is "Heroes in Motion®"?

A história de Eve Gentry é conhecida por todos os que, de algum modo, estão envolvidos com o método Pilates.
Era uma bailarina e coreógrafa que trabalhou com Joseph Pilates, a quem os médicos anunciaram que nunca mais poderia realizar determinados movimentos , já que os peitorais lhe tinham sido retirados após uma mastectomia radical.
Joseph Pilates trabalhou em conjunto com a bailarina aplicando, nesse processo,  os seus conhecimentos e experiência. Após um ano Eve Gentry voltava a fazer os mais avançados exercícios , facto que foi demonstrado perante um grupo de médicos nova- iorquinos ( como eu gostaria de ver  esse  filme !) . O veredicto anterior tinha sido posto em causa, por assim dizer, anulado... Uma parte da comunidade clínica de Nova Iorque não gostou e desprezou o trabalho de Pilates , chamando-lhe mentiroso. Diz-se que, desiludido, nunca mais foi o mesmo homem...
O fabuloso projecto "Heroes in Motion" de Elizabeth Larkin ( brilhante professora e estudiosa deste método) que este vídeo apresenta, inspira-se nesse extraordinário episódio de reabilitação, e comprova mais do que nunca  a ideia de que Pilates é um método de exercício físico absolutamente funcional.

sexta-feira, 14 de agosto de 2015

" Os amigos "- Camilo Castelo Branco ( 1825-1890)

Eu já contei. Vaidades que eu sentia!
Supus que sobre a terra não havia
Mais ditoso mortal entre os mortais.

Amigos cento e dez, tão serviçais,
Tão zelosos das leis da cortesia,
Que eu, já farto de os ver, me escapulia
Às suas curvaturas vertebrais.

Um dia adoeci profundamente.
Ceguei. Dos cento e dez houve um somente
Que não desfez os laços quase rotos.

- Que vamos nós (diziam) lá fazer?
Se ele está cego, não nos pode ver…
Que cento e nove impávidos marotos!

*Nota biográfica*

Desde 1865 que Camilo começara a sofrer de graves problemas visuais (diplopia e cegueira nocturna). Era um dos sintomas da temida neurosífilis, o estado terciário da sífilis ("venéreo inveterado", como escreveu em 1866 a José Barbosa e Silva), que além de outros problemas neurológicos lhe provocava uma cegueira, aflitivamente progressiva e crescente, que lhe ia atrofiando o nervo óptico, impedindo-o de ler e de trabalhar capazmente, mergulhando-o cada vez mais nas trevas e num desespero suicidário. Ao longo dos anos, Camilo consultou os melhores especialistas em busca de uma cura, mas em vão. A 21 de Maio de 1890, dita esta carta ao então famoso oftalmologista aveirense, Dr. Edmundo de Magalhães Machado:

Illmo. e Exmo. Sr.,

Sou o cadáver representante de um nome que teve alguma reputação gloriosa n’este país durante 40 anos de trabalho. Chamo-me Camilo Castelo Branco e estou cego. Ainda há quinze dias podia ver cingir-se a um dedo das minhas mãos uma flâmula escarlate. Depois, sobreveio uma forte oftalmia que me alastrou as córneas de tarjas sanguíneas. Há poucas horas ouvi ler no Comércio do Porto o nome de V. Exa. Senti na alma uma extraordinária vibração de esperança. Poderá V. Exa. salvar-me? Se eu pudesse, se uma quase paralisia me não tivesse acorrentado a uma cadeira, iria procurá-lo. Não posso. Mas poderá V. Exa. dizer-me o que devo esperar d’esta irrupção sanguínea n’uns olhos em que não havia até há pouco uma gota de sangue? Digne-se V. Exa. perdoar à infelicidade estas perguntas feitas tão sem cerimónia por um homem que não conhece.

Camilo Castelo Branco

A 1 de Junho desse ano, o Dr. Magalhães Machado visita o escritor em Seide. Depois de lhe examinar os olhos condenados, o médico com alguma diplomacia, recomenda-lhe o descanso numas termas e depois, mais tarde, talvez se poderia falar num eventual tratamento. Quando Ana Plácido acompanhava o médico até à porta, eram três horas e um quarto da tarde, sentado na sua cadeira de balanço, desenganado e completamente desalentado, Camilo Castelo Branco disparou um tiro de revólver na têmpora direita. Mesmo assim, sobreviveu em coma agonizante até às cinco da tarde. A 3 de Junho, às seis da tarde, o seu cadáver chegava de comboio ao Porto e no dia seguinte, conforme o seu pedido, foi sepultado perpetuamente no jazigo de um amigo, João António de Freitas Fortuna, no cemitério da Venerável Irmandade de Nossa Senhora da Lapa.

quinta-feira, 13 de agosto de 2015

Fat Freddys Drop - Hope

To the river wide and strong
It won't take long
We can all go together
If we just hold on


I want my child to see the beauty of this place
To walk from the mountains, to the sea

domingo, 2 de agosto de 2015

Manuel Queiró (1995) - Pintura





(desenho ao vivo)

2015 ( Paint)  

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                                                                  2016 (Óleo sobre tela)

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Roberta Estrela D'Alva - SLAM BLUES

Paixão é Julieta.
Amor é Fermina Daza.