Inspiration: Derwood Green, and ATS World Wide Flash Mob

It’s Friday, so there should be an inspiration post. It’s also a good time to remind people about the upcoming ATS World Wide Flash Mob happening in October. The song has been chosen, it will be Phil Thornton’s and Hossam Ramzy’s Derwood Green. The track has created a teensy bit of a controversy, as some people felt it was too long for the common public, and others that the constant changes from slow to fast tempo, with the extra bits that can go either way would be unnecessarily complex for beginners who might want to participate. Granted, it is a very complex song, but based in my (limited) performance experience, the differences in the tempo will make the general public maintain their attention, so the concern for the song’s length is unfounded. The concerns about the complexity aren’t, but the surest way to deal with it is with everybody being very familiar with the song, so the changes are not abrupt.

As part of our “homework” over the small break we’re having, our ATS teacher sent us to look for performances of the song. I’ve found a few, some ATS, some vaguely ATS (I said vaguely because I could almost recognise the moves but they were executed like someone that had picked them up from videos without direct ATS instruction), some non-improvisational Tribal, some Fusion, and even a few done cabaret style, including a raqs assaya one using canes… I guess it’s all that mizmar. It’s been rather interesting for me, because normally I would look at videos from known groups or from Festivals, so mostly I’d seen FCBD, Black Sheep and the like. Suddenly I was exposed to a lot of smaller troupes and groups, each with their take.

As a result of this Derwood Green overload, interestingly enough, I do seem to be developing a stronger sense of what I’d expect in terms of musicality, although things like seeing the Tribal Fusion duo picking up a slow flute phrasing instead of the frantic drumming to follow has also been a nice reminder that music has many layers and we don’t necessarily need to focus on the most obvious.

Anyway, these are my picks, from the ones I’ve seen so far, and (surprise!) all three of them include at least one member of FCBD. Enjoy! And if you want to find out more about the World Wide ATS Flash Mob, head over to the Facebook Community

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