Inspiration: Kae Montgomery and Daruma Dance Collective

I am still trying to sort things out in my head from Tribal Remix, and feasting on Tribal Fest videos, so I thought I would post something completely different in the meantime… trust me, both places have offered enough videos for quite a couple of months!

I loved how this looks: transitions are great, the stage dynamics are brilliant, everything is energetic and plain lovely. As always, watch here or head over to YouTube for the HD version.
Enjoy!

Inspiration: Solstice Ensemble at The Massive Spectacular

Yes, I am a bit obsessed with everybody that I took workshops with at the moment. So you’ll have to bear with me while I post links either to performances from the Tribal Remix show or hafla, or to other performances from the same people. In the meantime, enjoy a wonderful set from the Solstice Ensemble at The Massive Spectacular. And if you can, and your bandwidth allows, do yourself a favour and watch it full size and in HD.

Tribal Remix Day 1 & 2 – review

tribal remix logoThe lack of posts doesn’t mean there wasn’t much dancing done. On the contrary, there’s been quite a bit of it, and therefore less time to do related things, like writing about dancing, or making more costumes.

Tribal Remix is a festival that takes place in Brighton, organised by Hilde Canoodt. It boasts of 4 days of workshops and at least a couple of shows; teachers are very carefully selected, and groups are rather small, so you are guaranteed to have a good experience.

Back in December I requested workshops for this as Christmas presents, and again for my birthday, so I got a nice list. I started the weekend with a 3-hour long workshop with Sera Solstice, learning a bit about her Solstice ITS format. The workshop was great, but very tiring, not just because she worked us hard, but because, as all ITS, we weren’t just dealing with a few isolated combos, but were learning a completely new language and cues. Her format is beautiful, very modern but still very recognisably belly dancing, and looks fluid and feminine. I really enjoyed the class with her, having been a fan for a few years now, and having missed her workshops at Gothla a couple of years ago as I was just starting then and I lacked the necessary experience to attend. I can’t see myself joining a Solstice ITS troupe, I don’t think there are any nearby, but a lot of the movements and combos are perfectly usable as inspiration for your own, or within choreographies, so it was energy well spent.

Saturday morning, I had a workshop with Anasma, on Serpentine movements. I was expecting work on undulations, but nope, we were treated to a full review and exploration of Serpent-style movements, including limbs, and quite a bit of work on attitude and theatricality of it all too. The workshop had a very extensive and thorough warm-up with plenty taken from yoga and surprisingly -or not- quite a bit familiar from Rosangela Silvestre’s method. The result, much as I may have complained at the time, was that my back was as relaxed and fluid as it’s ever been, and this has been the second time EVER anybody gets me attempting floorwork by my own volition. I’m not sure how much of the core of it I am going to be using, but there was plenty of little tidbits that were brilliant. Also, allowing myself to play and being silly with my little snakes was something I haven’t really experienced elsewhere, and left me with a very light feeling about dancing that I don’t think I had before.

I skipped Violet Scrap’s Saturday workshop, although I heard it was amazing, mostly because I didn’t think I could do all three workshops in a row, if I still had workshops to do on Sunday and a parade and performance on Monday. I was really looking forwards to Idhun’s Darkwave Combos workshop. I had only seen a couple of videos of her before going to the workshop, and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. We did a very thorough warm-up, with a few things thrown in for conditioning. From the beginning we worked with goth/industrial music, and it was quite a nice change, as I loved her choice of music. Idhun had a great way of teaching the combos, working on very small chunks, signalling a lot, and breaking everything down in pieces that made it possible, for me, to make layers of chest Vs with mayas for the first time ever without going nuts. Yes, they need work, they could be sharper, but hey, LAYERS!!!! She taught us a few combos that worked towards a small choreography to Diary of Dream’s Menschfeind, suggesting modifications for different levels of difficulty, and differences between sharper and fluid motion. It was my first time doing a proper darkwave fusion class, which is rather surprising considering that is the kind of music I listen to most often, and I was happy when I realised that I knew the song … which really didn’t help me that much with the combos, but hey, at least I wasn’t distracted by trying to familiarise myself with the music, and I know that every screw-up I made with those combos was 100% my own LOL I would love to take some further classes with her, in part because I really enjoyed her musical choices and sensibility, and I really, really like the idea of starting to work with music that I feel far closer to me, but mostly because her explanations clicked with me in a way that others working on layers didn’t.

I came out of day 2 absolutely exhausted but so very happy. What I liked the most was that teachers were always very attentive to our needs, which was a change, I’ve been in workshops with 50+ people where there are hardly any corrections or pointers and the teachers just go full speed ahead; the level was a bit challenging for me, but with about just 1 year of fusion under my belt and lingering lower limb issues, I wasn’t expecting to fly through it all, and I felt that all the workshops were geared at being useful for every level. All the teachers took some time to work individually with us even a TEENSY bit, which was also great.

And after the workshops were finished, it was time to get ready to attend the show. More on that later!

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