Last weekend I had the opportunity to participate in a dance event where the the assignment was to perform a dance outside the scope of our comfort zone by presenting a different character, style or attitude.
I’ve been studying American Tribal Style bellydance for five years, and one of the reasons I have stuck with it is that I love collaborating with other dancers. Performing is fun, but the reason it is fun for me is that I’m creating something in the moment with my dance sisters. It’s nice to share that, but I’m just as happy showing up to practice every week and enjoying everyone. I’m not interested in being a solo performer, and as the last of my circle of dance sisters to perform solo, they gently encouraged me to put myself out there.
So, for my solo debut (which was already out of character for me!), I added the extra excitement of dancing to an odd rhythm. ATS always uses music in 4/4 time so that the vocabulary of movement easily fits the music. However, the “slow” vocabulary for ATS is arhythmic, so odd rhythms are sometimes used as dramatic slow pieces. I danced to the song “Fernando’s Giampiari” by Hawk and a Hacksaw because I loved the texture of of it. It’s a 7/8 and while it keeps the same tempo throughout, it has lots of interesting changes in instrumentation and melody. My goal was to use the foundations of ATS and then bend it around and sometimes break out of it in response to the music.
Anyway, here is the final result!
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/29681872 w=400&h=225]
I’m satisfied with my performance but I see a lot of weak spots. I’m still sharing it because I'm proud that I attempted a challenging (for me!) piece. Just by dancing it out, I identified what comes easily to me and what is difficult, or even impossible-seeming in my dance right now. It was a fun challenge but I'm really happy to focus my attention back to dancing with my girls!
Let me know what you think!