Contrasting Dances

I love being involved in many genres of dance. Maybe I have a little ADHD in me. Maybe I am easily distracted. Whatever the reason, it allows me to pull insight from various sources to create, to dance, and to grow. This is a blessing in my eyes. I never knew when I started on this adventure that everything I did – even those things that seem like grievous mistakes – have all come full circle. I am in a place where I can now reflect on this adventure and use all this information to advantage. Even the stuff I hate comes in handy, because the hatable parts are usually those that require the most attention.

One thing that I best learned from this adventure is that having moments of stillness punctuate more beautifully than physicality. I have been in pieces where I was on stage totally still or just slowly walking. Those were the parts that the audience always remembered best. The quiet seems to sink in, especially in the midst of the chaotic. There are a few genres where the stillness is avoided.  People involved in some genres just want to go at full speed and never give the audience or themselves a moment to breathe. This makes for a stressful performance for the audience. The brain is so stimulated that it absorbs nothing but maybe the colour of the costume. Allowing some breathing room into the dance doesn’t betray anything to the genre. It does allow for remembrance.

If you think of it this way . . . you throw a grand trick into your choreography. From the time the audience sees it, recognizes that it was grand, puts their hands together to acknowledge it was grand, this takes time. Allowing this time for the audience to digest grand moments is part of the art of performing. If you throw the grand trick in the middle of fast movement with no calmness after the movement to absorb it, the trick gets lost. This allows for no acknowledgement to the audience either that they acknowledged you.

Punctuation with silence can also be a way to add character to choreography. Think of hip hop dancers. They often will pause either on their feet or in a grand trick. During that pause, there will often be a cheeky look at the crowd to acknowledge, “Oh, yeah I did.” Those moments endear the performer to me and make me want to giggle. All the tricks and speed in the world never touch me like that. It’s those quiet moments of interaction that do.

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