Friday, December 11, 2009

Finally Dancing on the Web!

I have finally completed the unexpectedly epic struggle to get a video of one of my improvised performances up on the net. *whew* First I had to covert the iDVD movie my student graciously gave me into mp4 format with new software just for that purpose. Then I needed to split it in two so I could separate my performance from my student Vashti's drum solo. That meant going through 3 more pieces of software until finally using iMovie (with much struggle). If you should ever find yourself about to embark on this journey, learn from my efforts. YouTube has a handbook with all sorts of useful information about file size, format, camera angles, lighting, uploading, etc. IMovie works with iPhoto. Import your newly converted mp4 file into iPhoto and then you have easy access to it in iMovie. You can copy/paste the selected section of the clip that you want into a new project and then in the Share menu you can select a number of options including YouTube.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Reflection and Goal Setting

I have been thinking quite a lot about my dance lately and about how I want to grow as a dancer. I haven't seen a lot of workshops come through my area lately and while I love teaching my students, I miss having a teacher of my own. When time and resources allow, I travel an hour to Denver to study with Eva Cernik. Her 7 week class on zils was a major challenge for me. I have a few goals that I can work on in the immediate future but that will likely be areas for growth for many years.
I stink at zils. Or at least, I think I do. I must find a practice routine that works for me and USE IT! I owe it to myself, to my audience, to the art and most of all to my students! So far they aren't good enough with them to have exceeded my ability to teach but that day will come and I feel it's my job to grow as a dancer so that they have more to continue learning from me. Part of my reluctance is that I don't like the sound... it hurts my ears *whine* If I ever find a pair of zils that have a low sound perhaps I will fall in love :)
I want to deepen the emotive quality of my dance. I'm already a fairly emotive dancer as far as it goes but I'm so used to dancing to live instrumental music that I haven't pushed myself to research song lyrics so that I could bring that new layer of understanding to my dance. I have begun looking up lyrics for my restaurant sets. We will see where it takes me...
My ability to choreograph and not just improvise... Well, I've made some strides there too but I must push myself further. I have found Garage Band to be remarkably helpful in noting the phrases within the music. I can also record additional tracks for counting and calling cues which makes for an excellent learning tool. Recently I have also rediscovered how much easier it is for me to build a choreography when I have a partner to help me visualize and bounce ideas. My near goal is to finish the veil poi choreography I started. Then perhaps at least one other new piece for our proposed student show in June 2010.
It's not all weakness and faltering. I am grateful for the strengths that I have already developed. My students have access to pretty extensive costuming and construction and I'm pretty good at organizing. We've got a Yoga for Belly Dancers workshop lined up for mid-January and a whole list of interesting workshop topics like bead embroidery, silk veil dyeing and others for skirts, harem pants and arm ornamentation.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Let the Steampunk Influences Creep In!

The brown velvet Eman style costume is really starting to take on a life of its own! My students have decided that they want to try to put together little top hats for the Cirque du TribalTique show and I wanted to add something around the neck that filled the space better than a choker...