Forums > Social Discussion > technical vs dance vs performance in routine building

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mcp
mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.
Member Since: 20th May 2003
Total posts: 5276
Posted:(this in no way refers to busking. I mean routines in terms of stage routines / multiple person routines.)

Tech vs Dance vs Performance.

I don't see why a techy performance only appeals to a techy audience in some peoples minds. (this is not your minds, just some peoples. sometimes. perhaps my mind too. who knows. it's not directed is what I'm saying.)

Sure if you spin standing still, with no character and no facial expressions just doing techy move after techy move, linked up badly, yeah the only people that would stand to watch that would be a techy audience. (though I don't think you could really call it a performance, more like a demonstration.)

I definately think you can have an exceedingly technical routine, with and without standard 'crowd pleasing' moves that appeals to a lay audience and a techy audience that knows what you're doing.

And if you don't, you're not making your routines right.

Maybe a lay audience can't tell the difference between a 3 and 5 beat weave perhaps, but they're all human, and they have excellent pattern recognition skills built in, they can tell the difference between anti-spin isolated buzzsaw fountain and a butterfly buzzsaw. And if they can't tell the difference between a flower and an anti-spun flower, you just have to make you routine better so they do, like yuta does, when he speeds up as soon as he starts the anti-spun flower, so the audience gets the speed thrill and the pattern is more clear to them.

Yes I'm motivated to make technical routines because I want to use difficult skills in my routine. But I also want to make a beautiful routine also, and one that builds to a climax and all those other things that make a good routine. Character story etc... I also want to trick people into thinking I'm amazing at what i do.

I mean like yeah sure, people will watch for a little while if you're spinning fire around, and that's got their attention, and you might lose it again and never know, cos out of waiting for the next act / nothing better to do, they keep watching. But you can keep it in highly technical ways, like: did he just throw those poi from behind his back? or how come they just stalled upwards like that? I thought they were chains... Did they just get magically shorter? Did they just go through his arms? etc. (this is only a basic idea, I've seen some highly technical character work that uses a very different mindset.)

And will all of that you can add in body movement / dance / expressions and character to keep them entertained.

Like one of 'jam's' (British troupe) moves: Where one poi goes between the legs and then the leg comes over and the poi is free again. They do it as a balletic move, with a sly grin at the audience that is supposed to say (and I quote) "It's naughty but I kinda liked it" Other people do it with martial art kicks, or as jumps and so on. Most moves, techy or not, crowdpleasing or not, can be adapted to make them what you need them to be in your routine.

We've all learnt these hard skills, if would be a shame if we skimpted on the learning to use them in a routine part also.

Yeah that is kinda where I'm coming from, I don't particularly want to have to make a good routine without the tech bits, those skills I spent years working on. But there's also stuff I couldn't put into a routine if I hadn't spent the time on them. Maybe if I wore a skirt and just flounced around a bit I could be a good performer, but I'd rather try and make something that I could respect as well as entertain with.

Just combine them alllllllll!

This is just some unfinished thoughts. So if you disagree tell me, or tell me other examples / counter examples. I wanna know.

sorry it's a bit ranty.


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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mcp
mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.
Member Since: 20th May 2003
Total posts: 5276
Posted:yeah kael read the fricking post! And then give me all your rice.

to clarify: it was more of an argument against the view that "you CAN'T use technical / difficult moves in a routine for lay people because they don't get it / get bored." and that you should have a different routine for lay audiences and spinny audiences.

You shouldn't need two routines, just one good one. And you certainly can use technical tricks in your routine and if you do em right to GREATER effect than the simple / less technical ones.

(weather that effect be applause / beauty / interesting structure)

I certainly think you can make a good routine with simple moves, but you don't need to cut out the technical ones.


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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_Clare_
_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967
Posted:Yeah, I think I slightly derailed this thread earlier with a minor pointless rant.

Apologies...



And I think you can use technical stuff to great effect - RHD, for example.

Performance, techiness, and movement.


Getting to the other side smile

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Durbs
Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5688
Posted:Apology accepted kiss

Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

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_Clare_
_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967
Posted:spank



Not you. Muppet.



But I'm keeping the last point from the other thread...



Performance is better when it's done with feeling.



You can, and have, done that already Meg...



.............................



Edit:



Meh... sorry, having a very crazy day.



Can I just say though... maybe ask Lisa/Faberge about dancing with staves while doing technical stuff...?

EDITED_BY: _Clare_ (1164936800)


Getting to the other side smile

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BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:going way back to a comment by durbs- that breakdancing does not express an emotion or tell a story? ???



What? Of course it does. As a genre, it is very clear how the movement relates to the history of African dance, and has incorporated that into the story and experience of urban lifestyles... The movie Rize has a fabulous segment that makes this relationship very clear.



Showing physical skill, sexual prowess, telling the story of the hunt, the dangers one evades, safely expressing both aggression and commradery, the joy and the sorrow surrounding it... you can see all this referenced, often in an abstract way, in breakdancing. The whole isolation style of movement, the need for that degree of control-- and why and how that originated is fascinating.







In Rize, you see the kids expressing the anger, and the humour, generated by the extremes of their lifestyle. You see them imitating fighting moves, dodging bullets, ducking punches, striving to elevate themselves, supporting each other...The speed of the movement, the tension-- it is certainly an articulate movement language. It is really quite a moving expression when seen that way. winkBreakdancing also serves many of the traditional purposes that dance has within communities.



Does all break dance do this? No. But the capacity to do so exists .



It is interesting to contrast it with the dance of oh, say Isadora Duncan( some would call her the originator of modern dance) whose style is all soft and flowing,expressive, free and released-- but was actually very rebellious movement, risque, since it the culture at the time demanded very rigid and formal and artificial movement for women, if they were allowed to move at all. Very different, but both easily fit in the definition of dance and have fascinating cultural context that informs the movement choices.





As for the actual topic, I am with Meg. Technical skill can enhance a dance. It is not absolutely necessary- much of dance is unjudgemental community expression, but for a performance, skill is what brings it all together to that place that leaves you speechless, just saying " wow. "



Choreographing the movement so that the technical in full harmony with the expressive aspects of dance is a highly challenging task.



I think I would just consider what my intention is, and be clear on that, whenever I set out to choreograph a piece. Clarity is what the audience really responds to, not necessarily simplicity.



xoxo

a

EDITED_BY: BansheeCat (1164927595)


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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Pyrolific
Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Member Since: 10th Jan 2001
Total posts: 3288
Posted:I also recommend Rize - but I dont think Krumping is the same as breaking - it certainly doesnt look the same in the movie.

Clowning isnt krumping either - as explored in the movie. Krumping seems to be an expression of emotion, raw without the need for athletic gymnastic power moves...its almost emotional mime?

What about Capoeira vs break dancing? smile


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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Capoeira and break dancing are not related.

Just shuffle wink


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Pyrolific
Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Member Since: 10th Jan 2001
Total posts: 3288
Posted:mmmm the story black slaves from africa as told through dance?

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Pyrolific
Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Member Since: 10th Jan 2001
Total posts: 3288
Posted:can be difficult to tell the difference between a roda and a breaking 'circle' sometimes...cept for the music and the caps players sometimes aiming kicks at each others heads...but the athletic tricking that is a big part of some caps sutff is very similar to breaking.

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BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:The dance in Rize is, as you say, not a strict example of break dancing per se. It borrows liberally from that genre of dance movement and others, dipping into bits and pieces,interpreting and expanding it- ultimately refining it to suit their own needs and cultural context. Yet, even the clowning mixed in is actually pretty traditional , when you consider the tribal African dancers painting their faces, and miming out various behaviours, often incorporating humour.

But,generally speaking, the origins and intentions of krumping/breaking are very similar. My point remains the same and applies to both and their infinite modern variations. They can be very expressive !! and sometimes tell stories. The dance style , its practice, and performance has for some people, a powerfully relevant historical/ cultural / social context.

Many groups of people deliberately try to take a form of movement and make it their own. A process of identifying with a particular group, or rejecting another group...It seems some people need to feel that their own style of dance is distinct, personal and proprietary. Some people like to have a whole series of rules and boundaries of what makes one form of movement "this", or "that". You see this process described clearly within the movie Rize, and they sort of play with it too.

Other people like the fact that their dance is *not* individual, but rather through movement they become part of a whole communal experience, one where you are in a state of union-- one small part of a vital human organism, everything moving.

Dance contains and releases all these possibilities, and more.

Whatever,as long as your getting( or giving) something from the experience...


Yet I agree with Pele, often when I see people spin, or when I spin myself, it does not fall into what I personally consider dance( in its highest from). When it does, I get really really excited. But it is rare.

So far, I see too much poi where the expression is as Meg says: " oh, look at how hot I am" or techy stuff like" oh, look at how skilled I am".

Is that really all we have to express? That may be dance, but it is not necessarily a very engaging form of dance. Too much on the surface. When it goes deeper, it is very captivating.

Like Gayle, I find it hard to bring this element to Poi. I rarely if ever succeed. But that is also why I like it, the challenge!!!

And yes, Meg, I think you are tapping into the deeper waters with your movement, the spin I saw you do at Play was going that direction. Lovely!!

grouphug grouphug


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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bluecat
bluecat

geek, level 1
Location: everywhere
Member Since: 15th Dec 2002
Total posts: 5300
Posted: Written by: Stone


Capoeira and break dancing are not related.

Just shuffle wink



although wiki does not mention it, a lot of brazilians claim that many NY breakers in the 70s we're either brazilian kids or influenced by them, using capoeira skills in dance environments...

i suppose i could comment on the rest of the thread too, but i don't feel i have anything to say ubblol


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mcp
mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.
Member Since: 20th May 2003
Total posts: 5276
Posted:damn, which thread is this? "what is dance" or "routine building"? sooo hard to tell...

Clare: fair point, where is lisa when you need her?

Thanks for your comment, but I definitely have a very long way to go on that road I feel.

Bansheecat: wow great thoughts! So good I'm going to look at them again:

"Technical skill can enhance a dance. It is not absolutely necessary- much of dance is unjudgemental community expression, but for a performance, skill is what brings it all together to that place that leaves you speechless, just saying " wow. "

Choreographing the movement so that the technical in full harmony with the expressive aspects of dance is a highly challenging task.

I think I would just consider what my intention is, and be clear on that, whenever I set out to choreograph a piece. Clarity is what the audience really responds to, not necessarily simplicity. "

I love that bit about clarity... Damn, that really hit home.

Still haven't seem rize, I really gotta thou...

Does dance have any theory like peter brooke's the empty space? I can see there be different types of dance, dance used for rituals / spells / tribal stories that sort of thing, Dance for pure expression, dance for the joy of movement, and others types..., I'm sure somebody knows more types of dance than me. Like you have holy theatre, deadly theatre rough theatre etc. (damn, I know, I love that book too much.)

thanks also for saying that andrea... but still hard to swim in those waters...
Sooo tempting to do a routine that's a cross between fred astaire and the approving ninja in style... biggrin

I like where this thread is going, but if anybody wants to post on another tangent, feel free. biggrin


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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bluecat
bluecat

geek, level 1
Location: everywhere
Member Since: 15th Dec 2002
Total posts: 5300
Posted:yes, thats a wicked book, meg.

there's heaps of dance theory books, and schools, andandandand. i'll get my brother along if you need that kind of input...

i love the clarity statement too.

however, i'd add this:

Clarity and entertainment is what the audience really responds to, not necessarily simplicity. "

and the entertainment need not be something that makes you smile. it just has to be captivating.


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mcp
mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.
Member Since: 20th May 2003
Total posts: 5276
Posted:give us one good book to start with mr blue?

"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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bluecat
bluecat

geek, level 1
Location: everywhere
Member Since: 15th Dec 2002
Total posts: 5300
Posted:i've skimmedthis one (conveniently at the top of the google pile)

also this one i've had recommended.

biggrin


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mcp
mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.
Member Since: 20th May 2003
Total posts: 5276
Posted:sweet! christmas pressies for myself!

"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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Irinus
enthusiast
Location: London
Member Since: 19th Apr 2006
Total posts: 222
Posted:Great thread MCP, this is something I've been worrying about A LOT recently as I'm trying to figure out where I'm going with my spinning confused



I wonder if anyone agrees with something I sometimes say to people I'm teaching:



"You haven't 'got' a trick until it looks good" by which I mean that you've got sufficient control over a trick to give it some character which'll make it look good. It doesn't matter what twist you choose to put on a trick, it just matters that you CHOOSE the aesthetic and it doesn't completely choose you.



I also agree that a trick doesn't have to be hard to look good. I was once at a party where Bams was having a spin (for clarity, I was completely sober). It was absolutely jaw-dropping stuff, but I was watching for a good 2 minutes before I realised that she wasn't even doing any tricks! I'm still trying to work on that kind of flow which brings me to my final point.



It comes down to that question that people ask about walls, houses etc.:



"What's more important, the bricks or the mortar?"



With specific reference to this topic I'd ask what's more important - the tricks or the 'mortar' between them. Some of the stuff that makes Yuta wow is the grace with which he moves between moves. (I don't recall seeing this point specifically referred to in the above posts, but forgive me if I missed it!)



I guess this comes back to what MCP was saying about the difference between a demonstration and a performance. What do you guys think? hug



(btw I think that the bricks and mortar are fairly equally important in all situations)


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bluecat
bluecat

geek, level 1
Location: everywhere
Member Since: 15th Dec 2002
Total posts: 5300
Posted:y'all should come to our 'routine building' workshop.

ubblol


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mcp
mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.
Member Since: 20th May 2003
Total posts: 5276
Posted:rambling:

What I'm mostly concerned about when routine building, is keeping the audiences attention by what I do. Sometimes a performer might turn around and pick up another prop, change props, or have a drink of water or a thousand other things, but I think you get what I mean. During that time, they're basically assuming (hoping) that the audiences attention remains on them, possibly that they're thinking something along the lines of: "wow! what's he gonna do next?" "he'll never top that!" "he's gonna do TWO at the same time?" "ah he's only human after all, he needs a rest too..." or "it must be hard work, now that he's stopped I can see he's actually sweating." (sorry about the generic he.)

or maybe they're just giving their attention a rest during the performance. It's a brain basher to concentrate for that length of time... even if it is only passive. I'd never thought of it that way before.

I like to never give the audience (if I can help it, and if I can remember it and if I can make a routine that well, not saying I have or anything.) that time to divert their attention onto something else. I generally won't do a move one way and then the other, or do a move on one side then the other, because at some point the audience knows I'm just going to repeat what I did symmetrically. And I don't want them to be able to know what's going to happen next and be able to take their attention off me. (like trailers for hollywood blockbusters... you just told me the whole plot? why do I need to see it?)

This probably has it's downsides, in that the audience never has that happy place where they know what's going to happen next and are happy when you do it and do it correctly. Nor do you have the beauty of symmetry, and some of the ease of dance aspects are lost too. (X beats on one side and Y beats on the other, that's never gonna fit nicely...)

I have wanted to put moves in twice to show the audience what they looked like from many angles, like "hey you thought that looked good from the front! check it out from behind!" (not "check out my behind" <slap>)

I'm totally not concerned if an audience gets that a move is difficult or not. Most audiences will think a jesus is more 'amazing' than a matrix at first glance. fair enough I say to that. Vertical moves are mostly always going to be more visual for an audience. (time for that good old 45 degree plane...) but I still want the difficult moves in there... and not just the contact ones... Feeling the need to justify why you're on stage and all that.

and feel free to post excellent video for routine inspiration. Always appreciated.


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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bluecat
bluecat

geek, level 1
Location: everywhere
Member Since: 15th Dec 2002
Total posts: 5300
Posted:why do i write routines? what do i look for in them?

hmmm....

i write them cause i like performing, and people seem to like seeing me do them.

i know that
a) i'm not the most skilled
b) i'm not the most graceful
c) i don't practise my routines enough to be 100%

why do i bother?

argh. have to think now.

part 2...

when writing them i like to get in a mix of technique, grace, style, innovation and fun. i like people to know i'm having fun(like i most definitely WASN'T in the indoor show at PLAY ubbcrying ) so i ensure my routine will allow me to enjoy myself. if i'm in character maybe this one goes away, but is replaced by the character attributes.

i have a reputation for geekery. i like to uphold it.

I'm aware that pure geekery is dull, so i try to enliven it with grace and style, and occasionally with good timing to enhance it. but i'm not going to do a 'just style and grace' routine because it will be disappointing for me and audience.

technique: i do 99% clean shows now. this helps a lot. i try to make it so that the 1% is something hard, or new. this way i get to hype t up when i can't do it.

i'm not sure this approaches the thread relevance, but i like it ubbangel

biggrin
R


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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Irinus...personally, I think the mortar is more important. You can have the strongest brings in the world but if you have weak mortar, they are just bricks...not a wall. And I have seen walls made of nothing but mortar...so, even that way it is possible.

Rob, going with what you're saying...I view choreography/routines as being more professional. Improv has it's place, don't get me wrong but it's not always clean for an audience.

When I choreograph I think of audience perspective, which I don't when I spin for the hell of it.
I like knowing what, where, how and why when I have an audience that "paid" for it. I like having my safety know it as well.

I also know that when I choreograph, I actually dance more and that adds alot to it for me personally rather. I don't view wiggling and allowing the poi to lead my body as dance. It looks awkward to me when I see people do that..almost as if the poi have them off balance. I've also seen where people spin and move thinking they are dancing but the poi don't fit into it. It doesn't all flow together and that is awkward too.
I'm not the best at anything. I'm mediocre at best but I know I like watching things that flow when it comes to poi. As if the poi are an extension of the body and not a tool being used.
*shrug*


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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bxx
bxx

newbie
Location: New Zealand
Member Since: 15th Nov 2005
Total posts: 9
Posted:From my limited fire dancing experience I have formed the opinion that you can have the flashest moves of anyone, and still lack something. More often than not, it is patience and humility. Also, you need to be able to do the flash moves and become confident with them so they flow and become effortless. I find that more patience is needed with poi than the staff, or maybe it is more obvious when you arent patient with poi... It just ends up looking like someone who does not understand them.

Poi and fire, just over a year now. And I love it.

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bxx
bxx

newbie
Location: New Zealand
Member Since: 15th Nov 2005
Total posts: 9
Posted:Also, the thing I like the most about fire is that it shows peoples character - something deep about them, for all to see... It's beautifull. And the more you see of that, the more beautiful it is...

Poi and fire, just over a year now. And I love it.

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BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:Considering the audience certainly can be an important part of creating a good choreography, and yes, Blue cat, some people feel entertaining is essential to a routine.



I think it depends on the intention, and the context. For most of what poi spinners are hired to do, definitely that would be a consideration, and likely the most important one.



But, I think when I look back at the choreographers and performances that really impacted my life by changing my way of moving, thinking, and feeling;I realize they were not pieces created for entertainment value. Though they did engage and entertain. Rather, the choreographer and the dancers were tapping into something deeper, more complex, often challenging the audiences preconceptions of what dance is; twisting ,inverting , exploring and playing with what is expected from a performance. Like much art, sometimes what was created was not appreciated until much later, or only by certain individuals or segments of society...



I was in many performances that were of a very questionable nature-- experiments that did not quite work as expected but were still in their own way valuable and revealing. Some times hilarious too! The very definition of whether a performance was"successful" is often a tricky consideration.



Or you can judge it simply by applause, and if that is your measure and your intention, fine.



Yes, dance theory is very elaborate, and has all kinds of performance criteria. A lot of it does overlap with theatre. I will try to put together a little reading list for you Meg.



One I just recently reread is a book called" Woman, dance and the body--Gestures of Genius" by Rachel Vigier. It is very interesting and shows how different female dancers have approached the development of movement as a language. A collection of essays and interviews that touch on the history of a few dance forms, and the issues around the life and politics of a dancer...



The whole "pedestrian" dance movement was one of the forms of modern dance that was more about exploration than entertainment.( Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer, Merce Cunningham and others were involved in this. Basically bringing day to day movement patterns into a dance performance context. They had many different reasons for doing this.)



Some people found it interesting, but personally I really dislike this style. I once said to a friend that if one more dancer started jogging in a circle I would throw up or scream. Unfortunately, they did jog, and I did scream, and er, uhm, left the theatre involuntarily soon thereafter wink



The intent of such pieces was often exploration,provocation, and sometimes education...rarely pure entertainment. Performance was intended to open the experiment out for discussion and public involvement, to include the response/contribution of the audience as part of the process of discovery. In fact many dances around this time involved the audience directly in different ways.



Some modern dancers I have worked with would see the simple intention of creating something for pure entertainment value much akin to prostitution.Demeaning. Or, sort of like choosing a work of art just cause it matches your sofa nicely. wink For example, in University I got in a lot of trouble for enjoying dancing to music, and occasionally even desiring to wiggle my hips ( joyfully sensual belly dance) instead of contracting and writhing with angst a la Martha Graham style... Such movement was not considered the Art side of Dance, it was lowering the form.



Sometimes when I critise the lack of "dance' in poi spinning I wonder if I am pulling the same kind of limiting arrogant bullshit they did- judging instead of appreciating. I don't know. But I think Poi has the potential to express more than I have seen so far, and it is tantalizing to try...



But I currently have no intention of ever performing, so it is easy to just sit back and watch others struggling to find their language and clarify their form. lol I performed in modern dance for years, and over time lost interest in doing anything for anyone elses interest or evaluation .It started to feel superficial.



I was also a stripper for a while, which is superficial "dancing" purely for some one else. For their entertainment and gratification. Worse yet, for money.It was awful and unsatisfying. I will never dance soley for someone elses pleasure again-- if I don't have more intention than that behind the presentation of my movement, then I will remain completely still. Now, dancing with people, rather than for them ,seems much more engaging and relevant to me.







I enjoy it most when watching a dancer that is not actually performing for me, but is dancing for themselves. It seems to be less manipulative and more direct? Maybe sometimes, the best performances don't actually consider the audience at all. They are true to themselves and the movement with no other considerations. It can be exhilarating to witness this kind of simultaneous commitment and abandon.



For me, now, the best kind of choreography works on variety of levels. Yes, I appreciate all the production values,including aspects of technical skill, thematic content/intention, dynamics -- and if it has all that , it is likely to also be entertaining. Or maybe educational, or emotionally moving, or politically challenging, or spiritually uplifting, or intellectually stimulating- or just good fun! There can be so much more than just the one facet to the experience.



Damn, why is everything I try to say so bloody long. Sorry!

xoxo

a



oh, about clarity of intention in choreography- we were often lectured on paying attention to the subtle distinction between making a dance about the subject of boredom, as opposed to making one that is simply a boring dance... I still find that level of awareness useful.



Along with clarity another aspect of choreography that I still think is crucial is full commitment to the movement. Be there one hundred percent, don't do anything half -assed. Whatever you do, give it full engagement down to the very core of your being, all the way to your little baby toe or the spot no one sees on the back of your neck... Yes, it does show.



That is another part of what I liked about Sams vid preformance( the one I posted in Drews blog)



Also, for Meg-I asked a modern dancer I used to dance with if she has any vids of her performances and choreography I could show you( She continued to perform proffesionaly long after I decided to become a jeweler.... ) Will let ya know if she has any! She and I have similar perspectives on dance, just she is waaaaayyyyyy better at it than I ever was!



Sorry if I bored you all! hug redface ubbrollsmile ubbrollsmile


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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BansheeCat
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Posted:have you read Zen and the art of movement?

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BansheeCat
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Posted:hey, this sounds interesting:


DANCE FORMS 1.0, SOFTWARE FOR VISUALIZING CHOREOGRAPHY:
A Practical Guide
by Rhonda Ryman with Lawrence Adams

Renowned notator, Rhonda Ryman, has created a user guide to accompany the DanceForms 1.0 animation software. Ryman provides exercises that teach one how to use DanceForms character motion software to visualize and record dance sequences on a personal computer. Building the user's skills in a clear and logical fashion, this manual helps to explore basic animation concepts and techniques needed to analyze, model and simulate human movement. No prior knowledge of traditional dance notation systems is required. Users will see animated sequences of movement, similar to viewing dance on film or video. The viewer can zoom in on body parts or change perspective to view the animation from above, below or from all sides. Ryman's DanceForms manual is ideal for classroom use in dance training programmes, as well as for dance professionals such as teachers, movement analysts and choreographers. (more)


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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BansheeCat
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Posted:and this--( from Amazon) :



"So you'd like to... become a modern choreographer

A guide by "etopaz" (California)

Products sampled from this guide:



The Art of Making Dances Ballet & Modern Dance: A Concise History Dancing Through History

See all 16 products mentioned in this guide below





Dance is an art form, and as with painting, the best choreography comes out of a comprehensive knowledge of dance history, criticism, and structure. Painting schools require that students master the techniques of hundreds of years of art history before breaking those boundaries and allowing their creativity to run wild, and so it should be with dance.



To get started, first you should read The Art of Making Dances. Doris Humphry was one of the founders of modern dance. In this book, you'll find all the tools you need to build a cohesive dance piece. I recommend trying each one of these in a short piece to get the feel of what they look like.



Next, you may want to delve a little into dance history. Of course humans have been dancing for thousands of years, but the history of dance leading up to the modern definition of the art form that encompasses ballet, modern, and jazz is relatively short. I recommend Ballet & Modern Dance: A Concise History or, if you want to go a little more on the textbook side Dancing Through History. After you get a sense of the whole sweep of dance history, I would focus next on what was happening in dance in the 20th century. Start with The Vision of Modern Dance: In the Words of Its Creators which has writings by most of the influential choreographers of the modern movement. Next take a closer look at the 60's and 70's - a lot of innovative work was going on, including things that don't really seem like dance at first glance. Merce Cunningham was one of the forerunners of this further dance revolution Merce Cunningham. While you're learning about dance history, be sure to watch some of the actual choreography: Martha Graham - An American Original in Performance, Jose Limon - Three Modern Dance Classics(The Moor's Pavane/The Traitor/The Emperor Jones), and An Evening with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, to start with.



It's also a good idea to get an idea of how to criticize dance. This may help you take an objective look at your own pieces to make them as good as they can be. Try reading Dancers Talking Dance: Critical Evaluation in the Choreography Class or What Is Dance?: Readings in Theory and Criticism (Galaxy Books). These are a little dry, so you may want to take them in small doses.



Of course, there's the music to think about as well. When I was getting my MFA we started our music study with Rhythmic Training (Starer) which was great for helping us learn about reading music, and about rhythm. The type of music you pick will likely have a huge affect on the dance you create, so it's a good idea to vary the type of music you choreograph to. One of my favorite techniques is to create the dance first, and then either work with a composer to create exactly the music I want, or use a music editor on my computer like Sony Sound Forge 8 With Noise Reduction 2.0 to make the piece of music I have chosen match the choreography. This prevents too close an adherence to the music, which can be detrimental to the innovation of a new work. On the other hand, being inspired by a piece of music can be uplifting and result in a wonderful piece. Some composers I have choreographed to in the past: Weather Systems, Wave of Mutilation: The Best of Pixies, and http://www.taikoren.com/.
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One of my dance teachers told me that you should never just blithely put the first thing that comes into your head into your dance. The obvious movement will turn out to be just that - obvious - and your pieces will end up all looking alike as you continually put the two or three movements you are most comfortable with into them. Try to come up with new movements, things you have never done before, and have never seen. Your dancers can help with this: give them a verbal description of what you want and ask them to do it. Or ask them to improv and take the things you like from there. Choreography: A Basic Approach Using Improvisation



While you are in rehearsal, one of the most important things is to make sure that your piece is clean. Your choreography may be wonderful, but if the dancers are off the timing or not doing the movement well, no one will ever see it. I recommend not dancing in your own piece, so you can watch it and critique it from outside. If you can't do that, using a video camera like Sony HDR-HC1 2.8MP High Definition MiniDV Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom can really help. This one is also good in low light, which covers mostdance performances. If you can't record it, ask someone to come to your rehearsal to help clean the piece.



As you get closer to performance, you'll also need to think about costumes. Not everyone agrees with me, but I feel that costumes are very important to the overall impression of the piece. They don't have to be complex, but they should reflect the mood and intention of your movement. You also want to be sure that they don't hide any of the important lines and intricacies of the dance. For example, if you have a lot of very small hip twitches, don't costume the piece in voluminous pants where this will be hidden.



There's a lot to learn when it comes to creating dances that will express your artistic vision and communicate it to the audience. As with most things, practice is the ultimate teacher, so get out there and create!

*****



I like one of the reveiws of the first book that said yeah, learn all this, then toss it and do what ya want"'



http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/syltguides/fullview/QX94TZM0E5PJ


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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animatEd
animatEd

1 + 1 = 3
Location: Bristol UK
Member Since: 31st Aug 2004
Total posts: 3540
Posted:Cracking thread topic. Very useful to me right now. smile

Another aspect I've found is making an act appeal to everyone.

For example, In SOLyCIRCO, in Sylt, Jeanine was told that her act needed to be 'More spectacular'.

How the f*ck do you do that with contact? it's a ball, it's on me, it's not going anywhere else, or it's even fixed in space. It's beautiful and mesmorising to watch, but it's not spectacular. Do they want Jazz hands added or something afetr a big trick? That's not really the sort of character I want to portray on a stage.

I love Rob's comment about what he wants to get into a routine. Technique, Style, Grace, Innovation and FUN. If you're not enjoying your routine, the audience will pick up on that. To quote a wicked Contact juggler: Give them your hearts, and they'll give you their hearts back.

I'm currently trying to make a routine for myself. It's tough work. I want to create a character. I want someone that the audience can relate to, and feel comfortable with. someone that will make them laugh, and entrance them with how easy they make things look.

I also want to look animated on Stage. i want the audience to look at me and think 'That's not a real person', but at the same time, i want them to see I'm enjoying this, I want them to see how much I enjoy contact and popping, all without breaking character.

I want an air of individuality. I want to do new stuff, that other people don't do, and I want it to look good. I want it all connected in seamless, flowing movements (or nice jerky movements, accompanied by a hit wink )

For examples of good routines, look on the MoM blog, where Ryan posted a Mr Steen and Josephine duet Routine, or check out Jeanine's Balldanse. Well choreographed routines there.


Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.

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_Clare_
_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967
Posted:Jeanine's act needed to be more spectacular!?!!!

What?!!!!


Getting to the other side smile

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animatEd
animatEd

1 + 1 = 3
Location: Bristol UK
Member Since: 31st Aug 2004
Total posts: 3540
Posted:I also want to pay homage to some other people in my routine. Certain moves that certain people can recognise and think: That was for me. Adds a bit of a personal touch to some performances.

Also, using dance to make my routine better... well... popping is a dance, No?

When my routine happens, I want it to be Kick Ass. I want to leave every member of my audience smiling, and/or laughing.


Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.

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