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  1. #11
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    I prefer knowing the song but not doing a choreographed dance. I have a difficult time remembering what I'm supposed to do. I'm not a professional dancer, but I have done a couple performances (when I was at school). I agree with everyone, improv generally is more fun and you're not worried about making a mistake.
    Hope your performance went well.

  2. #12
    Junior Member paola's Avatar
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    Default eye contact with audience

    Quote Originally Posted by Marisha25 View Post
    Speaking of relating to the audience, I have a question about eye contact. Whe I did some public speaking I would look at the audience but I would not focus on any specific faces, I felt like I was going into a separate world and I sometimes feel like that when dancing in front of someone. How do you maintain this relationship with the audience when dancing? Do you single out a few freindly faces or do you just let your eyes wonder all over the crowd (especially if you're working with a choreography)?
    My first teacher teached me: look at a "not exixting face" just behind te face of the persons in front of you.

    If you are looking at this imaginary person, people will experience contact, but not directly. I use this technique if I do not wish to look directly at the people right in front of me. Or just to give them a breake.

    bye
    paola

  3. #13
    Moderator Safran's Avatar
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    I am still rather stuck to my good old choreographies, as I have limited dance experience. The only problem though, is that you can get really tired of a choreography after doing it all over and over again. But at least it sort of gives you confidence when you go out in front of that audience. I have aqcuired enough confidence though, for the cases where at some point I realize I don't remember the choreography... Then, instead of freezing and panicking, my impros come out pretty well

    I prefer smaller venues and crowd for improvisation. Mainly because of the fact that I still need to learn a lot about using the space when I dance. And I need to know the music REALLY by heart. I did get the chance to improvise on a big stage in July, but it was easier as I had a troupe dancing a choreographed "background" for me.

    When it comes to eye contact, I usually do the same thing as Viv... I try to distribute my attention to the whole crowd, but pick up some "anchor" faces who seem to enjoy the performance. This way, I can interact with them which already contributes to a performance, and I get positive reinforcement at the same time

  4. #14
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    The only time I have ever gotten genuine stage fright was when faced with doing a choreographed dance with other dancers. This is not my thing at all, but I occasionally do it with my students who feel more confident when I am on stage with them. If they only knew how I dread these choreographed performances... I feel stiff, unnatural, and rather panicked when I am trying to count and follow a choregraphed sequence of events. Dancing from the heart never panics me.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  5. #15
    Member Suhad's Avatar
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    Shanazel, that's how my instructor feels also! What is funny is that she designs and teaches us these complicated and very fun choreographies and she's the one looking at us so she can remember what comes next! She always says she gets stressed out by the choreography parts of our student shows.

    She always says it's freer to improvise and feels very comfortable with that. I can see why after my experience but I think group choreographies are fun as well -- although I don't think I'll ever strictly choreograph a solo routine for myself again, after my experience improvising. MUCH more fun, much more audience interaction on my part.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by maariku View Post
    I am still rather stuck to my good old choreographies, as I have limited dance experience. The only problem though, is that you can get really tired of a choreography after doing it all over and over again. But at least it sort of gives you confidence when you go out in front of that audience. I have aqcuired enough confidence though, for the cases where at some point I realize I don't remember the choreography... Then, instead of freezing and panicking, my impros come out pretty well

    I prefer smaller venues and crowd for improvisation. Mainly because of the fact that I still need to learn a lot about using the space when I dance. And I need to know the music REALLY by heart. I did get the chance to improvise on a big stage in July, but it was easier as I had a troupe dancing a choreographed "background" for me.

    When it comes to eye contact, I usually do the same thing as Viv... I try to distribute my attention to the whole crowd, but pick up some "anchor" faces who seem to enjoy the performance. This way, I can interact with them which already contributes to a performance, and I get positive reinforcement at the same time

    Just a quik note on Maariku's: Sorry if this sounds too much, as a comment -- But what I think of in this situation is: what any actor, Shakespearian performer, opera singer, orchestra musician etc etc etc goes through, doing (ho hum) Beethoven's Ninth for the umpteenth time -- Even if choreographed (and why not have a few in your repertoire the dancer really likes, to call upon to "showcase yourself", in a performance) -- "old trusty pieces", that you can always mix w/ some improvised pieces too, in a performance. Even tho' choreographed, chances are, when you first improvised it, those movements were chosen as a response to the music, then and probably still are valid now......in some sense anyway.
    1. So making a choreo piece look "fresh" is a challenge for any artist or performer. I love all these comments, but personally I like seeing a piece that i know is choreographed (because I have seen the dancer perform it before a few times, for instance, but she brings the same fervor and expressiveness to it it had the first time (I, as an audience member), saw it. At the same time, I think in BD one should be able to do some of each way.
    2. Making a choreographed piece "LOOK" improvised, I feel is part of the art of our type of dance, belly dance. Improv is great but for performance, most people want to feel it will come off showing the dancer in as good a light as possible, and that does take some preparation (either practicing technique till it comes to you "automatically" in improv situations, or putting some either map, or more detailed choreo together -- )
    3. What I mean is, I don't feel at all that one is better than the other - either choreo or improv -- I do feel that a dancer should be able to do both tho' unless you are a soloist or close troupe that can exist on only improv all the time -- (since the style and some of the movements dictate the costume (I think it should anyway - maybe I am reading far far too much into this question, but I think it is such a great topic and may hinge on what venues one is dancing in, what a dancer wants to convey (I'm prepared and smooth.......or I am free and spontaneous) -- can't we be both, at different times? it's one of the great benefits and opportunities of this dance form!! Sorry so long!@!!! I think it is a great topic tho -- and there is no "right" answer - just what the dancer themselves think they want to express and what they are 'called on' to communicate, to the audience, how and what the dancer wants to present -- 'polished' in presentation, or the surprise (for the dancer herself, too) as to what gets presented -- Personally I think it takes much much more practice and experience and skill to do improvisation in a performance venue, than to have something choreographed ... ----------------------- Cheers, Ludy -

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