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Expert Author Tiffany Godfrey
How important are the relationships in your life?
Relationships are challenging and often require a lot of work on all parties involved.
What is a relationship?
A relationship is a connection between two or more people with a common bond, interest, or cause.
It can often go in many different directions.
For instance, if your relationship is good, then you have a sense of peace, happiness, and joy. However, when things are bad, you want relief, a solution, and possibly a desire to end it, regardless of the cost involved.
Maybe you need someone to talk to or another person with whom you can share your point of view regarding your relationship.
Or you may not even know how to communicate or express yourself within the relationship. As a result, you feel stuck, helpless, and unable to make changes.
And when people feel stuck in their relationships, whether it be a personal or business one, they often turn to a life coach for help.
But what if you don't feel comfortable talking to someone yet?
I suggest you start by asking yourself a series of relationship coaching questions.
• Are there some things I can improve on to strengthen this relationship?
• Can I effectively communicate with this person?
• Is my relationship toxic?
• Does the other person want to make it work?
• Do I really want to make it work?
• Is this relationship costing me time, money, or peace?
• Do I need some quiet time to think about this?
• Is there someone I can talk to who can help me to sort this all out?
If you have already answered these questions and you still feel stuck, I suggest you consider talking with a life coach.
They can help you to answer the above questions by guiding you to a sensible solution to your own problem.
You don't need to remain STUCK in your relationship. Figure out how you can solve your own problems!
Tiffany Godfrey is a relationship life coach for women.
She specializes in marriage coaching.
Expert Author Alex Sharma
It may appear simpler to set up a platform for presenters and speakers than that of an extravagant performance stage. But the success of the event and the people delivering the speeches depend on a number of meticulous details like that of lighting, accessibility and the size together with the right choices of lecterns and microphones.
This goes without saying that it calls for ample efforts on the part of the event managers to arrange everything that is needed to achieve perfection with the event. Here are some tips that will help you create the maximum impact on the audience.
  • Ensure the Audio Is Loud and Clear - Quality sound is of utmost significance in case of any event. It helps to convey the right messages to the audience. This helps to enhance the overall optimistic audience experience. Ensure that there is an effective sound distribution across the venue. It is essential to place at least one speaker in every corner of the room. 4 speakers are required for a 200 capacity event.

  • Use Appropriate Lighting - Lighting must be properly placed for every individual who will be standing on the stage at various heights. Though it may seem surprising but stage lighting is often the most underestimated and forgotten thing. But it plays a pivotal role not only during the event but also for the videography and the photos. You should use the console to control the lighting of the entire room. You also should not go for just one profile light for the speaker. Many people move around the stage while delivering the speech. Under such circumstances, beside the general house lights, minimum 2 lights are required.

  • Choose the Correct Height - Take into account the comfort and the line of sight of the audience when choosing the right elevation of the stage. For any presentation for about 200 seated audiences, 1 and a half feet off the ground is considered perfect. The total clear view that you have available at the venue is to be considered. The height of the stage can rise up to 5 feet depending on the total size of the audience.

  • Always Brand the Lectern - A lectern is always thought to be the most basic staging needs for the presentations. But you should see to it that the lectern is branded as all venues and hotels have variant lecterns that can turn out to be an eye-sore in the centre-stage if it is not branded. The branding must not have much informationIt should just have the central colour theme with the logo and the stage is set.

  • Select Microphones Based on Speakers - You should check with the speakers about how they are comfortable while giving the speech. There are speakers who like to move around for effective communication on stage and those who remain static on the lectern. The best thing is to be prepared for all situations. Be prepared with lapel mics, lectern mics as well as cordless mics for the audiences to start the question answer session. You should also make sure that your event crew is ready after each presentation for passing on the mics to whoever requires it.
The above are some of the things that you must keep in mind while organising the event stage. These are recommended by the best event agency which practices and follows these key tips. This way neither the speakers, nor the audience will face any problem.
Expert Author Tricia Deed
Do you remember playing with hand puppets when you were a child? Did your parents purchase a puppet or did your mother show you how to make one?
A puppet can be created on a stick, or one finger of your hand. A sock pocket can be created with a lonely sock which has been left behind by a runaway partner. Or fingers can be folded into a slightly closed fist, draw a set of lips and eyes and it is puppet ready. Add a voice to your character supported by a script to tell a story and the show is now live.
These three simple methods of making puppets have existed and entertained children and adults for many decades. Puppets are fun as they challenge our creativity, imagination, and arts and crafts skills.
What is a puppet?
It is an object made from wood, paper, cloth, saw dust, straw, cotton, and other materials which can be shaped to represent a person, an animal, or an object. The puppeteer brings a puppet to life by moving its flexible parts his or her hand, strings, rods, or mechanical and electronic methods.
Nine Types of Puppets:
  1. Finger - Simple painting on one finger which very young children enjoy.
  2. Sock Barr Tillstrom introduced puppets Kukla, Fran, and Ollie... Then Shari Lewis with Lamb Chop.
  3. Marionette (operated with strings) Ronnie Burkett and his marionettes, and Howdy Doody created by Buffalo Bob Smith.
  4. Ventriloquist: Edgar Bergen and character Charlie McCarthy. World famous today is Jeff Dunham with his latest dummy called Achmed the Terrorist.
  5. Body Puppet: The famous and popular play, The Lion King by Julie Taymor, is a great example of people being in the characters and operating the mechanisms to activate the puppets into action.
  6. Mechanical puppets: The use of small or miniature machines to operate individual parts of the puppet or doll.
  7. Pull string puppet: Dolls and puppets which work by pulling a string. The most popular version of a pull string is baby dolls which speak when the string is pulled. Words like "I love you" are spoken or it could be an animal making sounds or speaking. Pulling strings Moves the mouth, arms, and head.
  8. Rod puppet: A singular rod holds the head or body of the puppet upright or rods may be attached to hands or arms to create movement. The Muppet Show introduced Kermit the frog and Miss Piggy. Sesame Street introduced Cookie Monster.
  9. Shadow puppet: These are shadows of puppets which are created by shining a light onto a clear screen. Children have all experienced shadow puppets. Place your hands in front of a light source and see the shadow images cast against the wall. I bet you never knew these are puppet images.
Most puppet operators are shy individuals, but behind a mask, they are very confident and make excellent entertainers. The mask in this instance is the puppet which is the target for attention and exposure from the audience.
Expert Author Tricia Deed
We are exposed to puppets as children in schools, library programs, museums, toys, dolls, movies, and television. We have all been exposed to puppets from early childhood and continue to be entertained by them as adults.
Early television viewing presented children to:
  1. The Punch and Judy Show by Rod Burnett
  2. Kukla, Fran, and Ollie
  3. Shari Lewis with Lamb Chop
  4. Howdy Doody created by Buffalo Bob Smith
What is a puppet? It is an object made from wood, paper, cloth, saw dust, straw, cotton, and other materials which can be shaped to represent a person, an animal, or an object.
The puppeteer brings it to life using his fingers, hands, strings, or rods. A puppet is often times referred to as a doll especially when movements are operated by mechanical or electronic gadgets.
Full Body or Full-Costume Puppet:
Sesame Street characters introduced the full body puppet. One of the most popular characters is Big Bird.
A full body puppet is operated by a human being who is covered completely by a character costume. After the actor is in full costume the character may range in height from six feet or taller. These puppets are always bigger and taller than human beings.
The costume is operated by the actor with his own body which allows more movement freedoms for the character. The actor may also work hand and rod devices and wear a wireless microphone for his voice. This same actor or another operator away from the character may work some controls with a remote device.
Puppeteers:
Do you enjoy performing? Do you have a desire to be an actor? Puppetry is theater and is an art form present in every media outlet.
Most puppeteers are shy. They prefer to be hidden behind the scenes operating with confidence telling a story, while the puppets are exposed and receive attention from the public. Puppeteers have excellent eye and hand coordination abilities as well as timing.
This craft may be learned with on-the-job-training as an apprentice, online courses, local workshops, and more formal training at universities.
What do you need to learn?
  1. Acting
  2. Arts and crafts skills for making props, and other support items
  3. Writing skills for scripts, story telling, advertising, and marketing
  4. Business knowledge
  5. Flexibility to work in television, movies, festivals and events, theater, parties
  6. Mastering the art of ventriloquism and handling different types of puppets
  7. Hours of practice to maintain eye and hand coordination and timing
  8. Puppet construction, operation, storage, and repair maintenance
The craft of puppetry can satisfy creativity and imagination for designing, constructing, and managing man-made replicas of people, animals, or objects to perform amusing feats for entertainment.
Expert Author Clive La Pensee
Tannhäuser and Venus - Still Showstoppers
The recently finished Tannhäuser revival at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, broke all daftness records, but is the production we shall remember. Was it the 40 hospital beds on stage for the exhausted returning pilgrims, or the 20 suits of armour that were raised and lowered randomly, throughout the 3 hours - sometimes replaced with a set of devils? Silly theatre can be so powerful!
During the overture, Tannhäuser, (played by a stunt man) is lowered the 50 feet or so from the top of the stage, waving arms and legs. He takes several minutes to descend into a sea of female flesh, albeit with artificial breasts. I assume, there cannot be a female chorus, so well endowed, with not a wobble in sight. I wondered what the women would do with Tannhäuser's full suit of armour once he was beneath the sea of limbs. I wasn't disappointed. During the crescendo of brass, bits of armour were thrown up from the depths and then appeared the real, exhausted Tannhäuser, ready for his domestic with Venus.
Why is Venus important to us in 2017, or why was she important in 12th century Christian Germany, or 19th century Paris? Why is she a key figure in Wagner's opera, Tannhäuser? I believe it is because she is a good vehicle for the artist to express creativity and challenge popular ideas. That is the role of the artist.
Pagans helped us to Chrstianity
We can understand why Wagner uses Venus as a dramatic vehicle, but why does St. Chad's Church in Harpswell have William Harrington, (rector, died 1350), resting on a superb Green Man? The Cathedral in Würzburg has a Green Man overlooking God. Nicosia churches have multiple Green Men. The 13th century minstrels were fascinated by Venus.
Is there a connection? Is there an explanation?
Waldemar Januszczak has an offering I'd like to test. In his fascinating BBC4 program on the Dark Ages, he pointed out that early portrayals of Christ gave him a feminine, or at least very boyish face. Only later, with the Mary cult well established in Christianity, do Jesus depictions move toward the heroic Jupiter-face. Waldemar explains thus. Early Christianity had an image problem - how to appeal to the 50% of the population, who were women. To get around this, artists often went for an androgynous Jesus. The later, post Mary-Cult version of Jesus with Jupiter's face, was designed to bring the pagans on board, without detaching them from their old religion.
Once one starts looking, Waldemar's argument stands up in many scenarios.
St. George's female side is beautifully portrayed in any number of early 15th century sculptures by Bernd Notke. The Katherine Church in Lübeck has plaster copies. One of them cannot be a mistake. George is more feminine than the princess waiting to be saved from the dragon. Is the female George another example of the boyish Jesus?
It didn't happen in a day.
During early Christianity, there were still pockets of pagan sympathy, and belief in gods such as Venus was a staging post between pagan and full Christian. Venus helped keep new Christians in their old comfort zone. Minstrels and poets used her to express sides of their characters, that were no longer acceptable as medieval Christian dinner talk. Was an androgynous St. George a useful comforter for both genders? Why did Venus reappear so many years after her demise as a Roman goddess?
The theory is, that the middle ages were not as Christian as our history lessons have us believe. For example, the Slav King Jaczo, reigned over the area we now call Berlin Brandenburg. He crossed to Christianity in 1154. That was when, with his horse sinking exhausted into the Havel, he did a few try-out prayers to various deities. Things improved after summoning Christ and his horse was helped to the bank of the river. He decided to become a follower, but did he give up his three-headed pagan god Triglav, immediately? Probably not. We all need islands of safety within our vision, before we can take the leap.
Wagner and Venus
Time to apply Waldemar's theory to Wagner's Tannäuser. Wagner merged two medieval sagas for his opera. That apart, he remained (nearly) faithful to the original yarns.
Venus lived in the Venusberg, somewhere in what is now Thuringia. Tannhäuser told Venus that he wanted to leave her, because he missed the sky and birdsong. The Venusberg was subterranean, in a mountain, rather than on it, and hidden from mortals. Hold that thought. The protruding bone, which supports female pubic hair is called the mons veneris in anatomy - Latin for Mount of Venus. In the saga, men who entered the Venusberg, accepted perdition.
Let's assume Venus and Tannhäuser were in a vast cavern, waited on by as much voluptuous flesh as a man could want to gaze upon and sample. You can have too much of a good thing - apparently. Tannhäuser, after an hour of operatic wailing, shouting and accusations, leaves Venus, and returns to the Wartburg. This medieval castle is on a mountain in Thuringia, and is where the rest of the operatic action takes place. The hall can still be visited. In the Wartburg, he rediscovers his love for Elizabeth, the symbol of Christian female purity. She is waiting to be taken and dominated by an honourable knight. Tannhäuser, a knight and minstrel, had been her dream man, before he went sampling without portfolio in the Venusberg.
Tannhäuser gets embroiled in a singing contest on the theme of true love. Elizabeth's hand is the prize for the winner. Tannhäuser's friend Wolfram, dutifully sings of pure love - no lust. Tannhäuser blows a gasket and tells them that a bit of lusting after flesh hurt no one. Elizabeth is enthusiastic about the idea. Tannhäuser gets carried away and admits to a sojourn in the Venusberg. He is turned out the castle and told to join pilgrims underway to Rome to see if such a sin can ever be forgiven.
Elizabeth's Libido, in his Dreams
Nowadays the same soprano sings Venus and Elizabeth, in the same costume and make-up. We have to ask - was the Venusberg a figment of Tannhäuser's erotic fantasy? Did he fantasise about Elizabeth's female libido? Is Elizabeth ready to show the lustful part of her femininity? Was this a match made in the Venusberg, rather than in heaven? We never find out. Tannhäuser leaves the distraught Elizabeth to wonder what might have been. She agrees that her husband must be presentable and accepts he must go to Rome. She prays for the Pope's forgiveness.
Stunning Redemption
Tannhäuser returns from Rome and relates Pope Urban IV's words. He is as likely to be forgiven such a heinous sin, as Urban's staff is, to sprout leaves. Elizabeth sinks exhausted to the floor. Wolfram covers her with a shroud. Tannhäuser wants to return to the Venusberg, Elizabeth rises from under the shroud. Now she is Venus and tries to seduce him. Wolfram holds Tannhäuser back, and prevents him approaching Venus. Tannhäuser dies, as pilgrims enter to declare the staff has sprouted leaves - Tannhäuser is forgiven and can join Elizabeth in heaven.
Accepting Sex Drive
In 19th century Europe, many men believed, if women possessed sex drive, they were whores. No one asked the question, was Tannhäuser without guilt, when Venus and he engaged in so-called, sins of the flesh. Did the staff sprout, because there was no sin to be forgiven? In the medieval version of the saga, Tannhäuser does return to the Venusberg, and the staff still sprouts. Were those poets and minstrels trying to tell us, lustful sex is not a sin? Is this why we still love those ancient stories?
We know what Wagner thought. He celebrated female sex-drive on stage, most notably in Tristan and Isolde, although he did let the love potion take the blame for Isolde's wanton behaviour. No one is fooled, nowadays. We know Tristan and Isolde have the hots for each other, long before the love potion is administered.
Why did Wagner go for the soft ending in his version of Tannhäuser? These operas divided society. The Paris premier of Tannhäuser, (1861) was a disaster and wrecked by the audience's protests, because the dance was in the wrong place and disturbed dining habits. Perhaps, with such an audience, the medieval ending was unthinkable. The lovers had to go to heaven, not the Venusberg!
Jean Shinoda Bolen, in her Jungian analysis of the role of Goddeses in our lives, defines Venus as the woman with serious sex-drive. I left my copy of Bolen's 'Goddesses in Everywoman,' in a prominent place in my house. No visitor has managed to pass the book without stopping and having a peek. We all need a bit of pagan!
Venus goes other Places
The Tannhäuser story has inspired many works of art, literature and the occasional film (Blade Runner). Aubrey Beardsley added to the genre in the 1890s, with his thin volume, The Story Of Venus And Tannhäuser. It wasn't printed in full until the 1960s, because no one had the courage. Beardsley died before completion. He describes Tannhäuser's entry into the Venusberg and the high jinks thereafter. It is pure smut and great fun. Another reason we need Venus - to remind us that life is to be enjoyed and you never know what you might like until you have tried it.
I couldn't resist Venus and Tannhäuser either. The lovers, in my novel Goddesses, role play Beardsley's ideas. The complete novel should be a published this year, providing my courage doesn't desert me.
Goddesses set us Free
Gods and Goddesses, are there to let us let our hair down. They allow us to act out a bit of our character, which otherwise, wouldn't find an outlet. They appeal to the non-Christian part of us today, as they did for the early Christians 1000 years ago. Waldemar is right. They let us off the hook, but in so doing, keep us on the hook. Let off steam sometimes, is the message. A little bit of what you like, does you good.
Bolen defines women as character types, by using goddesses. If that sounds trite, read her book.
What about the Green Man?
We all love a mystery and the Green Man remains one. We have no idea of his symbolic meaning in pre-Christian society. Why was he so popular with gothic-church builders? Most mysterious, is his enduring popularity as a garden ornament. What position in our character does he personify? We don't know, but we all like to be a bit mysterious. That is a character trait, too.
Clive La Pensee has used Beardsley's take on the Venus/Tannhaeuser story, as a major part of his third novel, called Goddesses. He lets his two main protagonists role-play Beardsley's action, with hilarious and ultimately, disastrous consequences. His heroine Connie, uses a variety of goddesses to achieve sexual liberation, in a way, which would have pleased Venus and Elizabeth.
His second novel - out soon, celebrates women risking disaster, to organise a hostile world to meet their needs. 'Someone Tell Me What Is Going On!'
Clive has just released his first humorous/sad/wistful collection of poems, dealing with love in old age, Brexit, Fake News and the wisdom of youth. You can ask for your money back, if he doesn't get a chuckle or a tear out of you.
India is a land of rich culture and heritage. And what better feature of the country could depict this than the Indian dance forms. The traditional dances of India have different styles. This is so because the dance forms belong to varied parts of the country - they originated there and then developed with all the cultural elements.

There are a great many folk dances that belong to separate regions of the country and are mainly performed by the local people of that particular region only. The Indian film dances also hold a significant spot in the culture of the country.

Origin of Indian Dance Forms

The dance forms of India have their origin since the ancient Vedic period wherein people used to indulge into singing and dancing for entertainment and recreational purposes. The Vedas hold an elaborate mention of performing arts. The Hindu text Natya Shastra includes all the earliest compilations of the ancient dance forms.

From these ancient dance forms have been derived the classical dances of India. Let's get an insight into the popular dances of the country.

Bharatanatyam
Originated in 1000 BC, the Bharatanatyam dance belongs to Tamil Nadu in South India. This is mostly performed on Carnatic music. Earlier, the dance was performed only in Hindu temples and at other religious places. Bharatanatyam used to be a solo dance form performed only by women and depicted religious ideas and spiritual themes. During the British era, this dance form was suppressed and ridiculed. However, it went on to become one of the most famous traditional dances of India.

Kathakali
This is the most stylized dance form (basically a dance drama) that belongs to Kerala. Kathakali is a 17th-century dance form which is performed like a story-play and has very colourful and elaborate costumes, makeup, as well as face masks. Unlike other Indian dance forms, Kathakali is performed mainly by men. It was also traditionally performed in temples and religious chambers. The dance movements are incorporated from the ancient athletic traditions and martial arts of South India.

Kathak
This dance form belongs to North India, and the name 'Kathak' has been taken from the Sanskrit work 'katha' which means 'story'. Hence, Kathak is 'the one who tells the story'. It majorly consists of passionate and childhood stories of Lord Krishna. Kathak has three different forms which belong to, and are also named after three North Indian cities - Lucknow, Banaras and Jaipur. Ghungroo (small bells) is the main element and involves rhythmic body movements with facial expressions.

Kuchipudi
Kuchipudi is a dance form of Andhra Pradesh. Like other major classical Indian dances, Kuchipudi also has its roots and developed as a religious performing art. According to history, this dance was originally performed by Brahmin males, but now both men and women perform this dance. This is a pure dance form that includes expressions and sign languages.

Odissi
This dance belongs to Odisha, the coastal state of Eastern India. Odissi is a dance-drama style performing art, practiced traditionally by women to express spiritual themes and religious ideas. The dance is accompanied by musicians, wherein they narrate mythical stories, and the dancers perform wearing symbolic costumes with rhythmic movements, facial expressions and gestures.

Manipuri
As the name suggests, this dance form is from the North-Eastern Indian state of Manipur. This dance form takes its inspiration from the Raslila of Radha-Krishna and depicts such love-inspired dances. Manipuri is performed in a group and has a very unique and special costume called Kumil, which is a beautifully decorated skirt in the shape of a barrel. This is a very graceful dance which majorly involves movements of the upper body.

Mohiniyattam
This dance form of Kerala takes its name from the seductress avatar of the Hindu God Vishnu, Mohini, who lured the evil demons to help good prevail over the bad. Mohiniyattam is a Lasya style dance which is feminine in nature and comprises delicate body movements. This is a slow dance solo performance by women.

So, these were the famous traditional dances of India and a little history about their origins. Other than these, there are other tribal and folk dances too that mark the significance of Indian culture.




Expert Author Tricia Deed
Belly dancing for many women is fun, fun, and more fun. The American female thoroughly enjoys the dance movements and the exotic music of the Middle East. But when she mentions that she will be taking classes, often times it is not well received by family and friends.
Why?
Malicious stories, false stereotypes, and misinformation about this dance discourages potential students. Being a belly dancer is America does not automatically mean being a stripper or a prostitute. (Unfortunately, these viewpoints do exist in Middle Eastern countries.) American women enjoy dancing and this art form offers enjoyable freestyle physical movements to music.
The challenge of accomplishing muscle control and certain athletic maneuvers is an attractive feature. Belly dancing is not for everyone as it is considered a difficult and complex dance. For this reason, the faint of heart do not pursue it or take part in it.
Dance enthusiasts who do love the challenges of this art form and have the commitment, discipline, and patience to accomplish and succeed in learning this ancient dance become addicted to its rewards. Thousands of women worldwide practice this dance for either personal satisfaction or for a professional career.
Why does a man climb a mountain? Why do women want to belly dance? Because they are attracted to it, are compelled to pursue it, and enjoy doing it.
The interests by American women awakened the dance history of the Middle East. In the earlier years these women copied the dances of the Middle East and as they learned the reasons for this dance they started to develop their own techniques in both cabaret and tribal styles.
During the last fifteen years women who have had a tribal interest have designed their idea of folkloric dancing, now known as ATS or American Tribal Style. Folkloric refers to how a culture expresses itself. Cabaret and oriental refer to self-expression originating from the individual.
Through the years there is more influence in the Middle East from the American style than the reverse. Much of the costuming in the Middle East has also originated from the western world. The same is happening as this dance moves through other countries.
It is important to note that this dance is designed by women, for women, and by women. This art form will change its many styles as women advance their creativity and imagination. There is no comparison between the ancient originals and today's styles.
Most students learn cabaret first, then tribal. Attending performances help students to identify the different styles and as they advance they are welcome to learn how to do others.

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