Portland News Magazine

Melayna & Marc of Brooklyn Bay Have A New Show! Finally…

December 10th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

Things always take so much longer than I expect.

 Marc and I started working on a new show about relationships at least two years ago, maybe three. We started thinking we’d do a show based on an article called ‘Anatomy of a Bad Mood’ by Robert Sapolsky. It was a funny article, kind of a gender dynamics thing he wrote for a men’s magazine. But when we started working on it, it fell flat. It just wasn’t right. We had to let it go…

We tried again a few more times from different angles but it always felt forced. We were trying too hard. Again and again we had to let it go…
We wanted to create a performance that would offer something truly valuable. A piece that would not just satirize relationships but really offer understanding and a way to transform difficulties. 

And we were creating this piece about relationship together…and all our difficulties have come up.

And much has been transformed between us – and continues to in surprising and mysterious ways.

For the past three or more years, we’ve been studying experiencially the neurobiology of relationships using our own relationship as fertile ground for discovery. And now we’ve created a piece about it. 


But I have to say, I believe it is worth the wait. 

One thing I’ve come to appreciate about this project, is that you can’t rush a process like this. When a project really has integrity and something valuable is emerging, it takes the time it takes. And rushing it just creates frustration. When this piece was ready to come, it came in a big rush – seemingly out of nowhere.

I’m telling you all this not only to invite you to come experience this new performance piece yourself (See below for details). But I also wanted to share a bit about our process in case it’s helpful.

 Maybe you have a project, or an intention that seems to be taking too long. Maybe you are coming up against blocks and needing to let things go again and again. Don’t lose heart. And if you do lose heart, be kind to yourself. These things take time.

Warmly, Melanya


The Eternally Present Past

How Implicit Memory Shapes Us

Have you ever wondered why you feel the way you do? Or why you keep falling into the same patterns of relationships again and again?

You are invited on a journey to explore our inner landscape. Below our conscious awareness, bodily sensations, surges of feeling, behavioral impulses and perceptual biases continuously influence our relationships.

This transformative performance piece inquires into the neurobiology of relationship through story, poetry, movement and sound.

January 11 & 12


The Brooklyn Bay

$20 / ticket

Tickets Available Now


HOPELESS: Nov. 18 – Dec. 3, 2011

November 21st, 2011 by

Get tickets at: www.brownpapertickets.com

An uplifting collection of stories, music musings….This one woman performance is conceived, directed and performed by award winning performer and Shambhala Center member Melanya Helene, founder/teacher of Mindfulness Based Improvisation.

“Watching Melanya was a lesson in performing. With exquisite ease, grace, humor and the ability to be completely present, she helped us explore a very different world and understand it’s deep connection to our own lives.” – Drammy Committee 2010

Melanya Helene’s performance style is based in mindfulness and somatic (body) awareness. It results in an engaging combination of dynamic movement, soulful singing and moments of profound stillness. She teaches and performs through Mindfulness Based Improvisation in the tradition of Scott Kelman (1936 – 2007). A graduate of The Naropa University in Boulder CO, Melanya is the artistic director of The Brooklyn Bay and co-creator of Play after Play children’s theater.

Melanya Sings the Blues: Benefit Performance

September 12th, 2011 by

Anandi CD Release Party

August 5th, 2010 by

Greetings friends-

The CD is here and I’m having a CD RELEASE PARTY on Wednesday, August 18th
at Tony Starlight’s to warmly welcome it! I’ll sing with a full band which
will include pianist Vince Frates, acoustic bassist Glen Moore,
saxophonist David Evans and drummer Dave Muldoon. August is Tiki month at
Tony’s so be sure to put on your best Polynesian outfit. Come and
celebrate with me!

CD Release Party at Tony Starlight’s
3728 NE Sandy Blvd
Wednesday, August 18th
7:30 PM $7

Minors are permitted until 9:30pm. Make dinner reservations for the best
seats. Reservations: 503-517-8584

You can purchase “The Song is You” online at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/anandi4

“This Very Moment” Disciplines for Improvisation and Composition

July 18th, 2010 by

I am a recent Naropa MFA Contemporary Performance graduate, living in New York City. I wanted to let the Shambhala community know I will be offering a contemplative dance practice/deep play workshop in Portland Oregon this August.
Please feel free to share this information with interested parties in the Portland area.

Disciplines for Improvisation and Composition
“This very moment is always the occasion.”
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Saturday August 28, 1-4pm
FINDING FOUNDATION: Using the Four Postures of Mindfulness as a source for dance improvisation and TAMING THE DISCURSIVE BODY with Stillness,
Slow Motion and Repetition to make solos on-the-spot.

Sunday August 29, 1-4pm
THE RED SQUARE: Investigating composition practices beginning with seeing yourself in the space and engaging with props as ‘allies’.

With New York teaching artist Damaris Webb
Based in New York City, Damaris is a performer, director and teaching artist
whose work explores the intersection of contemplative dance, improvisational performance art, and contemporary theater.

$50 for both sessions.
Bodies in Balance
208 Southwest 1st Avenue #340
Portland, OR 97204

A $25 non refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot.
Please contact [email protected] with “This Very Moment”
in the subject heading to make a reservation or for further questions

Limited to 10 participants

Melanya Helene’s “Hopeless”

July 1st, 2010 by

Come check out

Melanya Helene’s one woman show


opening July 9th

An award winning solo performance inspired by the writings of Pema Chodron

Special ticket price for Shambhala Members and Friends $10

Runs July 9 – 25

at The Brooklyn Bay 1825 SE Franklin St PDx

For reservations or more info see


or call


Anandi performs at Tony Starlight’s

June 21st, 2010 by

Greetings friends-

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 30th at Tony Starlight’s! I’ll be
singing the full spectrum of jazz from Gershwin & Jobim to Thelonious Monk &
Dizzy Gillespie, singing and scatting, and I’ll be joined by pianist Vince
Frates. This is a wonderfully intimate show at a great venue. And guess
what? I will finally have my new cd available for purchase, believe or
not. I barely can!

Live at Tony Starlight’s
3728 NE Sandy Blvd
Wednesday, June 30th
7:30 PM $5

Minors are permitted until 9:30pm. Make dinner reservations for the best
seats. Reservations: 503-517-8584

Shambhala Singers

May 25th, 2010 by

Everyone who likes to sing is welcome!

The next meeting will be at Annie and David’s at 1953 SE 20th Ave on Thursday, June 3rd at 7 pm. We hope you can join us.

Shambhala Singers

April 7th, 2010 by

Everyone who likes to sing is welcome! The next meeting will be at Annie and David’s at 1953 SE 20th Ave on Thursday, April 29 at 7 pm. We hope you can join us.

Free Introductory Performance Workshop

February 13th, 2010 by

(based on ‘kelmanworks’) 

Do you want to develop presence, be more comfortable in front of an audience, fully embody what you are doing while remaining conscious of people and things around you, or get beyond your own cliches and habits? Then check out this Free Introductory Workshop.

This work introduces performers to a process that nurtures access to authentic creative impulses – from which one can create characters, images, states of being, and whole performances. It helps to quiet the mind, be informed by your body, develop empathy, notice what you notice, and play with what you discover. Along the way you will gain access to a wide palate of conscious, aesthetic choices.

Our work with movement, sound, and vocalization–using whole body, energy, and rhythm–goes beyond the player’s habitual patterns to find new, surprising, evocative modes of expression.

Skills developed include body awareness, empathy, imagination, spatial awareness, physical expression, spontaneity, improvisation, and relationship with the audience. We also practice experiencing the joy of performance, in life and art, no matter what is being expressed or experienced.
This is a life changing process, and a way to deepen and inform your art form.

It is also a lot of fun!

It is appropriate for any level of experience.

When: Monday, Feb. 8, 7-9
Where: Lent’s Commons, 9201 E. Foster on the West-going side
For  Reservation & more Info: 503-810-0446
or [email protected]
Ongoing classes available

For more information on ‘kelmansworks’, go to www.kelmangroup.com
 Taught by Anet Ris-Kelman who co-taught with Scott Kelman (developer of ‘kelmanworks’) for 8 years, was a professional modern dancer in NYC and LA (Daniel Nagrin’s Workgroup, Gus Solomons Company Dance, Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble), & is a member of the Tuesday Group.

 “As an actress and stand-up comic, Anet’s techniques have given me invaluable improvisational tools that enable me greater focus, a wider menu of performance choices, and multiple tools to find fresh approaches to characters, voices, and physical presence.” Juli Gun