Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dance musings - dance geometry and fluidity in dance

At the beginning of the month, I was lucky enough to attend another fabulous pair of workshops taught by Hilde Cannoodt. Hilde is fast becoming one of my favourite teachers of tribal fusion and I'm grateful that she's willing to make the trek from Brighton to London to teach workshops regularly.

The first workshop "Dance Geometry" was a complete geekfest! It's a unique dance workshop where the teacher is talking about concepts like the golden section in the first 1o minutes, but then it's a unique teacher who has a degree in maths. Hilde's idea is to take the mathematical patterns found in nature and use them in our dance - so curves, parallel lines, interesting angles etc. We spent the rest of the workshop working on a fun choreography using these concepts. One strong message I got from the workshop was that every element of the body should be considered when trying to make a performance that is pleasing to the eye. Even something as subtle as where your gaze is can make a big difference.

The second workshop "Fluidity in Dance" began with an epic electro-swing warm-up. Once the sweat was dripping off us, it was time to get work on some concepts to get our movements more fluid. We started by practising walking in a fluid manner - an absolute fundamental of dance! It was quite amazing how slight changes in technique made layering much easier too. Next was slowing moves down - all the way to an epic 32 counts. I wasn't convinced I was still moving anything by that stage! I actually found this part of the workshop pretty difficult and I think I need to play with this a little at home. Next up was a choreography using all sorts of little tricks like using moves that overlap, layering fluid movements over sharp ones and the use of negative space. I definitely feel that even if I wasn't a more fluid dancer at the end of the workshop, then I now know what to work on to improve that aspect of my dance. Job done, really!

So, two excellent workshops on the whole. Lots of food for thought and inspiration to integrate into my practice. I really would urge anyone with an interest in tribal fusion to take a workshop with Hilde if they get the chance. For a start, she does the best warm-ups you will ever get at a dance class!

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