Monday, 24 June 2013

Concepts and Context

Approaching dance through creativity, interpretation and communication.

In September I will be trialing a new format of bellydance class, and I am very excited about it!

I want to shift the focus of my teaching onto the "soul" and artistry of the dance. We will still be working on good technique, but approaching the dance very squarely from the perspective of an artist and performer. In fact this format very closely resembles my own process in putting together a performance.

This is my logical next step from my policy of introducing improvisation from lesson 1, so that improvisation becomes a natural and integral part of my students' dance - I'm taking that principle and applying that to expressiveness, stage presence and storytelling.

The lessons will be themed around a fairly abstract idea in dance. It might be a technical aspect, like "Fluidity", an expressive one, like "Joy" or a stylistic one like "Earthiness".  There will be variations in style, for instance a "Serpentine" themed session with a strong Tribal Fusion leaning.

Technique will be broken down and drilled, with a focus on expressing the theme through the movement. Some lessons will involve combinations or short choreographies, and some will involve improvisation.

Each lesson will stand alone, and be open level. Beginners will be able to learn the basic techniques with no pre-requisite, while more experienced dancers can focus on the style and expression, building extra layers and variations to challenge their technique too!

Dancers who aspire to perform will be tapping straight into the key skills that make a performance vital and interesting. Those who do not will experience a full and layered class that truly takes the dance beyond the physical movements.

This is not a brand new concept. It is fairly common for open level workshops to focus primarily on an artistic aspect, I am simply attempting to bring this into a regular class, in the hope that my students come away with a touch of that post-workshop inspiration and fulfillment, every week.

There is enormous scope for diversity in the classes, and I expect a dancer could revisit a theme multiple times, each time taking away new skills and inspiration. With over 30 strong themes already in the pipeline however, I don't expect a lot of repetition.

Working on these themes has been immensely inspiring for me, as a teacher and dancer, and I hope that my students will share in this.

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