21 October 2013

Tribal Combinations, pre {fireside chATS}

 I'm working up a {fireside chATS} dealing with the inevitability of adding mini-choreographies and combos into the ATS® lexicon. It should only be a few days before I publish the post here on the Director's Cut Blog, bu in the meantime I shaved off this description of our Level Two class, Tribal Combinations:

For the Tribal Combinations class, we select 4 or 5 steps from the repertoire and put them into a combo decided by popular opinion; say we have Shimmy, Arabic Hip Twist, Egyptian+1/2 Turn, Reach and Sit. We look at the attributes of each step-do they present in place, turn to face in, or can you travel with them. The chart would look like this:

Shimmy-presents in place, turns around and travels forward, back and in a circle
Arabic Hip Twist-presents in place, 1/2 turns and travels forward, back and in a circle
Egyptian+1/2 Turn-presents in place and 1/2 turns and the Basic E travels forward, back and in a circle
Reach and Sit-presents in place and turns around

Then we decide how to combine them, based on whether they are vertical or horizontal in nature.

Arabic Hip Twist-horizontal
Reach and Sit-horizontal

Based on this collection of attributes we decide on a combo that looks like this:

Shimmy around in a circle, pull into the lead with Egyptian and add the 1/2 Turn, end the 1/2 Turn with Arabic Hip Twist (w/o turning it) and switch into Reach and Sit. Pivot with Reach and Sit to meet your partners in the circle and travel in a Shimmy. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The number of times you do each step depends on the phrasing of the music, so that's a "wild card" but the combo just gets repeated until the song is over. It's lots of fun and teaches you how to choose complimentary steps on the fly. The logic gets into your muscle memory and soon you can Improv successfully without having to think...Flow has begun.

Stay tuned for ATS® Mini-choreographies!


Samantha Hough said...

That sounds like fun and love how strongly ATS is connected to mood, flavour and musicality. I have been preparing for my GS and TT next summer and have been watching the dvds 5 & 6 and now I have the movement knowledge, the musicality is starting to flow. Thanks for keeping it evolving x

Susan Warner said...

If I understand what you're saying, I employ this concept already as a drill technique for my students. We choose several steps, discuss their variations (turns, traveling, facing the center etc) and then make up combos on the fly employing only the steps discussed. It's great fun and ingrains go-to combos into their heads, but also causes followers to pay attention to what has already been led. I love this game.

Susan Warner said...

If I get what you're saying, then I already employ this kind of drill with my students. We choose a selection of steps, discuss their variations (turns, traveling steps, facing the center etc) and then drill the possibilities several times. We discuss what works, what felt natural, etc. I think it ingrains natural transitions into their heads so their brains don't have to think so hard in the face of an audience. I love this game.

Kathrina said...

It is a wonderful concept for Level 2 students to start thinking about logic transitions between the moves.
It seems also to be a fun and effective way to get that into musce memory.
Just the word "choreography" makes me a bit nervous...
For me, it would be a "unit" or something like this...? Just my 5 Cents...