In the Week Four Dance Major, I had the pleasure of dancing with the imaginative, vivacious, and talented trio; Stefano, Soraya,
and Jonah! They were such a special, tight-knit group who were motivated to create four dances in the brief time frame we had together.
We studied hip-hop technique and created a fun performance to a song
from Minions. In the song the minions sing about bananas and papayas, so our counselor, Emma, drew the most wonderful banana props for us, and the dancers loved doing their fast, sharp movements.
We also improvised and studied composition that each dancer used to create a solo to express themselves. Jonah really connected to the song Freedom. Stefano loves heavy metal and danced to the hard rock song Headcase. Soraya had amazing focus and presence in her dancing and singing solo to Girl on Fire.
Since Stefano is such a heavy metal fan, and most children love dogs, I brought in a metal song by Caninus, a band in which the lead singer is a DOG, and we had a great time choreographing to it with our blow up guitar props. To make the piece a parody, we called it Waltz Dog. The piece starts as a waltz, and then the metal music and movement unleashes as a surprise onto the audience and gets re-contained at the ending proper waltz. For this group with a lot of energy, it was a very fun dance to create.
We also studied modern dance. The students practiced and presented a challenging modern swing combination that involves balance, coordination, and momentum.
We also participated in a Merce Cunningham chance dance process and found inspiration from Merce’s work, Beachbirds on video. We created six movements that we put in a complex score, and the dancers did a wonderful job of remembering their sequence. What a puzzle,
and what a creative set list!
In the Week 4 Dance Minor there were nine wonderful dancers who focused on hip-hop.
On Monday we learned the choreography for Tuesday’s Flash Mob to Lose Control by Missy Elliot, and the students helped lead it with me on Tuesday morning.
We watched the Lose Control music video and were in love with the strong movement, use of fans/wind, the setting in the desert, and in the old West Saloon type location. We drew inspiration from this and made a music video with some of these elements of wind, and dancing on the wall.
For the live performance, the students made amazing solos and duets, as well as learned a complex, lengthy hip-hop sequence. They were rockstars!
The dancers in both groups were so enthusiastic and had so much love of movement and respect for and fun with each other. What a gift to be with them and lead them this week!