European Mobility Week is celebrated in the Principality every year from September 16 to 22. Across the week, numerous activities will encourage the public to...
On Saturday, November 18, Princess Charlene posted a photo of Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella having a traditional tea with Monsignor Barsi.
[caption id="attachment_25287" align="alignnone" width="734"] Photo: Facebook Prince's Palace of Monaco[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_25285" align="alignnone" width="864"] Photo: Facebook Prince's Palace of Monaco[/caption]
The day before, Princess Charlene and Prince Albert distributed traditional gifts to beneficiaries of the Monaco Red Cross on the occasion of the national holiday. Parcels were also offered to town halls of neighbouring municipalities.
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Also on Friday, Monaco Mayor Georges Marsen and the communal council visited retirement homes in the Principality for a moment of conviviality always appreciated by residents.
[caption id="attachment_25282" align="alignnone" width="640"] Mayor at residence Bellando de Castro. Photo: Mairie de Monaco[/caption]
Minister of State Serge Telle was also busy over the last two days. The Minister of State decorated members of the safety and police force at the Grimaldi Forum on Saturday afternoon.
On Thursday, November 16, the Minister of State also presented medals of honour to those in public service this morning, and then later that afternoon to Princess Grace Hospital workers.
The Monaco Tunisia Association will present ISSUE, Eugénie Andrin's new dance performance, on December 1 at Théâtre des Variétés. The performance will start at 6:30 pm.
The choreography was born from a meeting with the journalist Shiran Ben Abderrazak, author of the Diary of a Defeat, which is at the heart of the production and represents a voice of the Tunisian people who have risen up in revolt. It's a message that encourages us to fight, to not be afraid.
The movements were enriched during a Master Class for Tunisian professional dancers at Villa Dar Eyquem in Hammamet, a town in southeast Tunisia known for its beaches. The production, with visual artist Roxane Ducruet, follows the aftermath of the Arab Spring as a reflection in flesh and bone on the fragility of revolutionary ideals and the price of freedom.
A game between the dancers and a set of suspended doors questions these new thresholds, these tests, and shows a way in a labyrinth full of obstacles. In turn, these doors grow open to our fears, the abyss, the illusion, but also the dream, the hopes, the truth.
The eventual outcome of the Tunisian revolt is uncertain, but the determination of the Tunisian people does not weaken, the association says.
The evening includes an overview of the show's creation before the performance and a post-show Q&A with the choreographer. Tickets: €25.
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Trainer’s background: Iryna Pugachova is a professional dancer, a classically trained ballerina with working experience all over the world. She danced seven years in the Moulin Rouge in Paris
Type of workout: includes intense cardio, strength training, cross training, flexibility and Pilates
Target area: all parts of the body, even in overload
Who’s the workout for: a women-only training program that is adapted perfectly for the demands of a female body: long lean muscles, no bulk, strong core plus flexibility and great posture.
What equipment do you need: normal active wear, grippy socks and a bottle of water. Ballet barre provided
Few names of clients: Ms Fit has become synonymous with a high-end clientele that includes very successful female entrepreneurs and the ultra-wealthy
Hardcore level: depending on your background, very challenging (10) but if you've had classic ballet training, 6-7.
Cost: €20 for one 60-minute class, or €180 for 10
For a couple of years in my late twenties, I took bellydancing classes in a basement church at Bathurst and Bloor in downtown Toronto. I couldn’t tell you what prompted me to sign up, although I do recall – after years of yo-yo dieting (for which I can never apologise enough to my Mom for my ridiculously random eating habits) – wanting to “befriend my belly”.
I didn’t consider this exercise, never even took a bottle of water, and I would leave the evening class to rehydrate with alcohol at a club, checking out live music as I worked in the music industry at the time.
I was infatuated with my Lebanese teacher, whose Rubenesque figure teetered-tottered her hip scarf effortlessly. I wanted to teeter-totter.
The women-only bellydancing class – with many shapes and sizes, ages and nationalities, all shimmying our hearts out while watching every bit of our body jiggle in the mirrors – is very much a memory close to my heart to this day: the bizarre looks I got as I would practice the shimmy while waiting for a TTC bus remain vivid.
After many, many months, when I finally nailed the Vertical Figure 8 technique, I was cheered, even by those in the class who still had not the conquered the pelvic movement. There was no judgement.
We didn’t need to put a fist in the air while chanting “Girl Power”. Somehow empowerment and body confidence just tiptoed into our lives along the way.
Nearly twenty years on, I rediscovered this atmosphere in a little dance studio up the Montée de la Crémaillere in Beausoleil, next to the Pharmacie de la Crémaillère and, of all things, a sex shop.
[caption id="attachment_16772" align="alignnone" width="640"] Iryna Pugachova, in pink top, created Ms Fit - Fit for a Princess[/caption]
Iryna Pugachova started “Ms Fit – Fit for a Princess” because after relocating with her family to Monaco six years ago “people were asking me to set something up using the barre”.
“It’s been a nice work transition for me from professional dancing to running a business as I can still expend energy with great music and I can give to others."
Clearly she excels in motivating the class, both with her dazzling ballet-sculpted body as well as an outstanding selection of music that would have even the shyest of women pliéing with a smile.
Ms Fit replaces military-style workouts – there are no heavy weights or bodybuilding elements – with ballet and dance-inspired disciplines, “to build and shape long, beautiful muscles and bodies”.
Like Pilates, this barre class was a tad intimidating because I am not flexible. Ask me to run 100 miles and I’ll do it. I’ll finish dead last, but I’ll do it. Put a €100 note at my feet and ask me to touch my toes, and I’ll rapidly calculate how I can save a hundred euros instead, so I’ll still come out ahead without having to bend.
Supple or not supple, The Ms Fit class is a hard-hitting overall body conditioning, adjustable for all levels. While Iryna can scratch her head with her toes, my leg kick barely gets off the ground. However, the all-female environment creates a safe zone that you can only understand if you have ovaries. Women have a tendency to be over judgemental of others females, but put them in what Iryna calls “fitness for women, by women, with no sweaty guys in the back of the class, checking you out!” and the cat claws are clipped.
It’s brilliant and addictive. Our inner-ballerina came to life as we combined fitness with graceful movements – Rond de Jambe, Arabesque Attitude, Plié pulse and passé – and one of the toughest yet most pleasurable ab workouts I’ve put been through. “Do you feel 5 centimetres taller?” Iryna asks as we finish off with stretching, as we nodded in unison.
Janna, a Ms Fit regular, who was suffering vertebrae issues after years of sports and crossfit – as she described, “carrying a person on my back as I ran up a hill” – said she started these ballet-style classes based on her doctor’s advice and was immediately hooked. “I love it. I feel stronger yet discovered my femininity.”
There are five classes (instruction is in English), with up to 12 people, per week – Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 am, Thursday, exceptionally held at YCM, 9 am, Thursday 7:30 pm and Friday at 9:30 am – and you book your session online in advance.
The Espace Danse is equipped with a change room and toilet but no shower. But who cares? Leaving the studio sweaty, body hard, after an intense Ms Fit dance workout is the Flashdance moment we all dream of.
For more about Ms Fit – Fit for a Princess, see the website.
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