Pilates Inspiration – Yang Liping

While I was in London in May for the Pilates Foundation teacher training weekend, I went to see the Peacock Contemporary Dance Company and Chinese choreographer, Yang Liping’s reinterpretation of Stravinsky’s masterpiece, Rite of Spring at Sadler’s Wells.

Spot the eight principles of Pilates on show in the following trailers, the first for the performance at Sadler’s Wells and the second for the upcoming one in August at the Edinburgh International Festival…

Pilates Inspiration – Phillip PacMan Chbeeb and Renee Kester

Renee Kester  and Phillip Chbeeb perform Slip

Contradiction is at the heart of Pilates and arguably the source its power and effectiveness. The Pilates breathing method, exhaling whilst at the same time sucking in the tummy, is a perfect example of this opposition, and it is the navel-to-spine outbreath which provides the engine and support for most of the large movements in each exercise.

In dance too, the best pas de deux involve contradiction, the meeting of opposites. This is beautifully demonstrated in a new duet, SLIP between I.aM.mE hip hop dance crew member, Phillip “PacMan” Chbeeb and ballerina, Renee Kester. Choreographed by Chbeeb, SLIP uses the languages of hip hop and contemporary dance to create a piece which explores contradiction. See how Kester’s lush extensions perfectly offset the hard angles of Chbeeb’s movements . SLIP also shows all eight principles of Pilates in action



Music by Elliot Moss.


Pilates Inspiration – Milena Sidorova


Ukrainian soloist with the Dutch National Ballet, Milena Sidorova performing The Spider, which she choreographed and debuted in 2000.  This short piece is a beautiful demonstration of all eight principles of Pilates.  The way Sidorova moves her legs at the start of the dance is a particularly impressive example of physical co-ordination.

Milena Sidorova by Wijnand van der Horst