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  1. #1
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    Default Tips on flourishes and decorations in dance

    Someone was recently telling me about a workshop she went to on "Flourishes and Decorations" that has helped her to look much more professional. I wish I had asked her to ellaborate, because I can't stop thinking about this. I need a lot of work with my stage presence and I think this information would benefit me greatly. Does anyone have any tips they could share on this topic? She said the workshop went over the use of hands, arms, face and small body parts to create a framing or delayed line in movement.
    Thanks!
    Angie

  2. #2
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Oh my how much time do you have?
    Well let's start with which style are you studying?
    Each style presents certain movements..the hand and arm positions of ATS are far different from Turkish, Raks Sharki etc.

    Once you've determined which style you are learning then it would be easier to focus on the arms and hands. In general, arms and hands will embellish, frame, balance or distract from any move that you do. Soft graceful movement usually embellish during taxim portions of the music and frame during faster portions.
    The arms should move from the larger muscles of the upper back and obliques so the shoulders do not hunch up toward the neck. Hands and elbows should be relaxed to allow passive movement to ripple through them. I like the imagery of my hands 'floating' up or 'fluttering' down like a feather on a soft breeze.

    It also helps to build up these muscles through cross training as out kinetic connection to our upper body tends to be rather poor. Most dancers take ballet classes to help with arm carriage.
    Even if you learn a specific way to carry your arms, keep in mind your arms are a dynamic and integral part of the dance. What if you want to dance with a sword, cane, veil or zills....each requires different postioning...but the mind/body connection should be the same.
    I'm sure we discussed this on the forum somewhere.
    Yasmine

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Dance etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angie View Post
    Someone was recently telling me about a workshop she went to on "Flourishes and Decorations" that has helped her to look much more professional. I wish I had asked her to ellaborate, because I can't stop thinking about this. I need a lot of work with my stage presence and I think this information would benefit me greatly. Does anyone have any tips they could share on this topic? She said the workshop went over the use of hands, arms, face and small body parts to create a framing or delayed line in movement.
    Thanks!
    Angie

    Dear Angie,
    Usually it is the small things that make a dancers look professional. How comfortable she/he is in her own skin on the stage, how she/his directs energy to specific parts of her/his body, how natural the dance is or is not to the dancer, how she/he uses space and time in correlation to the mood of the music. There are dancers with very little polish that still look very professional because they have something else to offer. there are dancers with a small vocabulary who are still very professional because they are so real with what they are doing. It is the small things, like moving with intention no natter how small the movement is, hearing and responding deeply to the music ebb and flow, knowing how to dance while standing still, etc. Usually these things take time and practice, but also good classes that address these elements all the time on an individual basis are really helpful.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  4. #4
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    Thank you for the replies. I've twice performed on stage in hafla's, and afterwards when I saw myself on dvd I was horrified by how stiff and dead I looked. My technique and coustuming was good, I remembered the choreography, but it was still aweful. I realized that I there were times that I really didn't know what to do with my hands and eyes. I didn't realize how important expressions were b4 that. I think I also I expected to be as good as Aziza or Hadia after just one year of classes...what a wake-up call.

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Dance etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angie View Post
    Thank you for the replies. I've twice performed on stage in hafla's, and afterwards when I saw myself on dvd I was horrified by how stiff and dead I looked. My technique and coustuming was good, I remembered the choreography, but it was still aweful. I realized that I there were times that I really didn't know what to do with my hands and eyes. I didn't realize how important expressions were b4 that. I think I also I expected to be as good as Aziza or Hadia after just one year of classes...what a wake-up call.


    Dear Angie,
    I would say that anyone with your capacity for looking yourself square in the eye and knowing, and ADMITTING that you need improvement stands a very good chance of growing as a dancer!! Yes, it is so easy to forget that those dancers for whom we have admiration took years to get where they are. Once upon a time, they looked less than fabulous, too!! You are a sensible and honest student of dance. Keep up the good, hard work and watch yourself get better and better! You have my respect as well as my best wishes.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  6. #6
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, wake-up call on DVD, tell me about it... My last effort was so lame I want to crawl under a rock at the thought of it, talk about a reality check.

    Onwards and upwards...

  7. #7
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    I am finally getting to a point where my arms are starting to move more fluidly as I dance. This is after several years of learning. I think many of us go through a progression of learning to dance where we concentrate on moves first so our arms are rather stationary while we move. Its only after we become more comfortable with our dancing that we can look at making our arms more fluid as we dance, or at least I've noticed this myself. I finally got my arms so they are not always stuck out looking kind of stiff.....LOL. I performed a couple weeks ago and am waiting to get the DVD so I can watch my performance. I know I did more with my arms than I have in the past but I don't know if it worked. I also know my focus was not focused only on the audience, i managed to look at my hands when I did certain things and I think I might even have gotten a look at my hips so hopefully it drew the audience's attention there. Did I succeed? I don't know but I know I've become more aware of certain things so my dance is getting better. I also know the hardest thing is to "watch" my own performance without being too critical so I can give myself and honest evaluation. I think as long as we can look at ourselves, we can keep improving.

  8. #8
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    PS I don't thnik it is true that MOST dancers do ballet to help with hands. If you feel that it would help - go ahead. Have you tried putting on music and just doing hands for example.

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