02 October 2010

Case in Point

Here's an example of what I mean by Old School New Style; I taught L3 Drills class at the FCBD Studio on Thursday night. Haven't taught a weekday evening class in a long time, it was really good.
As per usual, after we did our puja and warm-up dance, I asked what people would like to work on. Three hands shot up: Sahra Turn passing in duet; Double Back passing duet and Slow/Fast transitions.
Previously, regarding the passing turns, I would have said, "No I can't show you that because only the troupe can do that." But that just seemed like an odd thing to say. If we could do it, why can't everyone else do it? Because not everyone is as skilled as the troupe, that goes without saying. Aha, I know! "Because it's not on a DVD and you might take the info out of the studio and show it to someone else before you actually know how to do it...and yet another style of Tribal will be born!"
But this time I just said, "OK, if you know the filter of ATS steps you can figure anything out." And we did.

For the Sahra, we looked at the original step and where the most graceful and logical place would be for the set up (partners face for the "Jane Russel" part of the turn); the passing (partners take one (R) or two (L,R) steps back to back in the "Ava Gardner" section; and trade places (partners twirl around each other two times to the right ending in "Audrey Hepburn.) Hint: the two twirls at the end are really hard.

The Double Back was easier to figure out; you step-turn on ONE, just the way you would in a solo half turn, but this time you step-turn around your partner. If you want to turn face to face, maintain eye contact. If you want to turn back to back, look away just before you turn (this is a classic trick for lots of things.) Land facing your partner and finish the other side of the step.

Finally I reminded the class that not everyone knows these New Style variations, so be sure to discuss it before you perform it.

For the last part of class we used Old School logic and used common sense to drill through Nubian by Raquy and the Cavemen. It a great piece blending slow-fast feeling, although the tempo doesn't change during the 4/4 section and there is percussion in the background the whole time. Plus, there is a sexy 6/8 ending where you have to use dramatic slow and really know the ending or your cover is blown when you miss the final bah, bah, BAH.

So, see? It's not such a big deal. It's what you do when you're in a creative mood. Some New Style ideas, some Old School ideas and no one gets hurt :)

7 comments:

Miranda said...

Love it!

I was trying out a passing Sahra turn on my students last night!

Oniongirl said...

This is great! And yes, those two twirls at the end of the passing Sahra are REALLY hard!

Oniongirl said...

This is a great post! And yes, the two twirls in the passing Sahra are REALLY hard! I love the concept of the ATS filter.

mrstrishch said...

Thank you for sharing this personal creative moment with us! These types of moments are right up there with the total flow experience in what I love about this dance that you've given us!!

Our troupe practices together twice a week, and spending this much time dancing together we've definitely observed a huge spectrum of experiences. At one end are those times when we just feel "off" both individually and as a group. But at the other end are those absolutely magical times when everything just flows, when we're dancing in the moment and connecting to each other and the music. And those moments when inspiration and creativity take over and the joy of it all infuses each of us. It's the memory and promise of the magical flow and of the joy of creativity that buoys me during those "off" times.

You have given us all a beautiful gift and I thank you from my heart!

Luci said...

Thanks Carolena, but we will always need your videos. It gives us common ground and a solid reference point.

Shay Moore said...

I love it when a choice for change makes things open up. As a teacher, I can remember many times when, after a lot of consideration, I made an "executive decision" about the fundamental way I would change the way I organize/conduct my classes. And how freeing and exhilarating it feels when it works out as I hoped! Sounds like one of those magic moments for you this week. Thanks for sharing that moment with us.

Unknown said...

This post means a lot to me as it was the song 'Nubian' that gave me hope in a new direction of belly dance and turned me on to ATS (which was extremely difficult to find here in small town British Columbia). I love percussion and I love American Tribal Style. One day I will dance to 'Nubian' and my heart will explode with joy :)--much love!