Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Improv and Flamenco: Smoldering Coals and Fiery Flicks

Flamenco is a dance with the most rules.... understand the rules completely so that you can be free within the structure and like tap dancing and jazz.

The difficulty lies within listening and really hearing, controlling what you are doing, letting go but being able to get back and having the technical ability to say what you want to say. That is why I am finding so much freedom for myself in the connection of tap and flamenco.

With one of my young private students this year, we decided to take a different approach to her solo. Instead of my creating exact steps that she needed to learn, we started the year by just feeling the music. I let her have complete freedom and I watched her as she danced. I began by adding in specifics as to when she needed to build up her movements, soften her movements, come to a stop, etc. We chose a regular song with a 4/4 beat (rumba hybrid) which has a definite path to follow as both the music and voice lead the song.

I had her really listen to the song so she could during her moments of complete abandonment still find her way back to the structure of the song and create the correct starts and stops. Together we have created a dance of abandonment, of structure, of smoldering coals and fiery flicks.

Improvisation with boundaries. Fire in a pit.

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