Archives for posts with tag: video

The postcard for "Speechless"Tonight I chassed over to Dance Place to see alight dance theater‘s “Speechless,” a look at how parents communicate with their children when words are not an option.

I was excited to see a dance performance, but I was particularly pleased to go back to Dance Place for the first real time as an audience member! I realized after the fact that I happened to wear the same pair of leggings that I performed in at Dance Place last time – ha!

I first heard about “Speechless” last fall, when the lovely Jessica from Sustaining Movement was going to see it at the Kennedy Center, but I unfortunately missed that run, so I was particularly excited to get the chance to see it again. And what a treat for the dancers to perform this piece for the third time!

I was, well, um, speechless at the end of the performance. I found myself expressing my emotions through tears – which, I’ll admit, isn’t that uncommon for me. I was grateful to the performers for having a Q&A session as well as a reception afterwards to let us interact.

So after turning down a salsa dancing invitation and using the rest of this evening to internalize the ultimate message of love – I find myself looking at the dance through the eyes of a choreographer. What, concretely, gave me such an emotional reaction?

Overall, the storytelling was very poignant. It wasn’t “just” a dance, it introduced a tough subject to the audience and taught us a lesson. This was made more clear by having the families – the “subjects” – a clear part of the piece. They were featured prominently in video and audio. They were literally given a voice by being seen and heard by the audience.

The video wasn’t haphazardly slapped up on the back wall as it is so often in dances; instead, the video was attractively framed off-center and was a part of the set.

Angella Foster, alight’s founder and the main “Speechless” choreographer, also helped the storytelling along by sprinkling the piece with monologues. She didn’t try to create a character for herself though. She literally contributed to the story from her perspective. Since she isn’t a parent of a speechless child, but a cousin, she served as a bridge of understanding between me and the families.

The movement, of course, featured contact, partnering and themes of lifting oneself or others up off the floor. To see the dancers connect in repetitive ways let me in on the families’ daily rhythm. To see the dancers purposefully play with the “scribbles” onstage reminded me of the simple and focused joys of childhood. To see arabesques – as always – is breathtaking and a reminder of the athleticism of dancers.

I’ll be keeping alight dance theater in my mind as inspiration. Inspiration to work on my craft – perhaps I can join them for a class even!

But more importantly, I have inspiration to go through life learning, being open and accepting to all different types of people, and most importantly, to love.

(via Rosie’s Tumblr.)

Is this dance? Is this choregoraphy? Is this entertainment? Is this art?

I think the questions to all of the above are YES!

Now were these good ideas being created by dancers and/or choreographers? I think maybe not.

We need to get in on this quirkiness dancers – claim our art and collaborate with musicians! Let’s do this.

I really fell into puppy love with dance when I saw the high school dance team perform while I was in middle school. I knew that that was my chance to perform, but I also was in such awe with their precision. How did they get so many girls to look all the same?

That lead me to an obvious love and admiration for the Rockettes, the number one masters of precision. That lead me to writing a paper on them and the history of precision dance in college Dance History class, even while I was slowly falling into a more mature and secure with love with dance in all its forms – especially modern, contact improv and more abstract movement.

Today, my boyfriend sent me this link:

I was floored. These were the most easy to grasp, pedestrian movements. But they were done in a) an incredibly musical way, b) out of context and contrasted with the “real world” and c) in polished group precision.

We’ve been playing with walking and pedestrian movement a lot at Glade Dance Collective, but I do feel like precision is overlooked in the modern world. It’s too easy of a way to impress a Top 40 audience, or something like that.

I wonder how I can incorporate extreme precision into more of my choreography and performance. Even seasoned art critics can be blown away by precision!


Glade Dance Collective performs at the Phillips Collection.

Glade Dance Collective performs at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Photo by Pink Line Project.

On Thursday, Aug. 26, I was luckily enough to perform with some members of Glade Dance Collective and drummer Names Thompson at the Pink Line Project-organized White Party at the Phillips Collection.

The White Party was one of many Phillips After 5 Thursday-night events, where drinks are served, various bands play and well-dressed guests mingle among art, artists and other good-looking people.

It was especially fun to perform at the White Party because we were integrated in the party both as guests and performers. The transitions between mingle time and dance-watching time were filled with us, in costume, simply asking for the guests to back up a little bit to watch us dance!

Sylvana Christopher Sandoz choreographed the Afro-Cuban inspired dance I was in, and it was glorious to be able to interact with the audience literally right in their faces with such a flirtatious and skirt-flipping dance. Names Thompson, our drummer (who also plays a kit for D.C. band Soul Brazil), added spice with his original music. It was such a treat to have a live musician!

The audience – artsy and chic – in a way didn’t know exactly what to do with us. The weird side of being able to dance in the audience’s faces was that I saw their reactions in exact real time.

During our first run inside the gallery, most of the reactions were somewhere between half-smiling confusion, is-it-okay-to-enjoy-this? and 75% joy.

Our second show was outside on the patio, where more drinks and mingling were happening than inside, so the reactions were more boisterous and even up to full 100% joy.

It was a fantastic evening. I plan on following all these up with related events:

  • Visiting a Phillips After 5 to see what other great artists will perform
  • Learning to samba¬†Thursday nights at Eighteenth Street Lounge with Soul Brazil and their audience
  • Attending Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Caribbean classes at Joy of Motion

See a video of our performance at the Phillips Collection – and then check out the other view and outside location!

I went to the All Good music festival this weekend and between all the free-spirited hippie dancing I got to appreciate some new musical acts that especially struck my fancy.

One of them was Macpodz. Their bios for the festival proclaimed their genre as “disco-bebop,” but the jammy daytime set I heard included salsa, reggae, a beat-boxing flute and b-boy beats.

Today as I strolled around YouTube to get some background music to my workday with this new potential favorite, I found this video of Macpodz with actual b-boys onstage performing with the band.

This is the kind of awesome music-dance collaboration I’m talking about here! I knew I loved the Macpodz right away for a reason.