Staying the hell still

Another thing Winter Sparkle has inspired me to work on is creating negative space in dance. Staying still is a problem for me. I'm learning to be a little less frantic in the quality of my movements, but I have so much trouble posing, stopping, slowing or any other form of not moving frenetically.

All of my favourite dancers stay still a lot. I admire dancers who say so much with just a little. I like subtlety and understatement. On the other hand, I love the contrast of quick movement followed by a standstill. It's beautiful. It carries over to my what I like in visual art. I like work that's minimal, using a lot of negative space, sometimes bordering on austere. I can't seem to choreograph it in though, or improvise it.

I don't think I have enough confidence in the calibre of my posture or my presence. I feel like if I don't do something exciting every minute I'll be boring. But intellectually, I know that's not true. So it's time to do some work. I want to spend 32 counts posing in the piece I'm working on right now. Not in a row though, this is dancing, not standing. It may suck and I may never perform it, but it's a good exercise. Hopefully it will help me get into the right head space for including it in my future work.

And thinking about it, I think a lot of the things we talked about last weekend where purpose is concerned will be helpful in this endeavour. If I am dancing without a motive it's easy to get lost in the this move-then that move-then shimmy-then pop mentality. If I am trying to convey, maybe it will come more naturally. I'll let you know how it goes.

Comments

  1. One thing that might help you hold still is to talk to the audience in your head during the pause. You can think at them in words, like "wasn't that awesome!" (after something cool), "wait for it..." (before moving on), or "look at this gorgeous hip" (in a nice pose). Sometimes it happens without the words, as an internal laugh at what I just did. That moment of stillness is a great opportunity to connect with your audience, and it's a much more powerful moment if you can make eye contact with someone (or at least seem to).

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  2. One thing that might help you hold still is to talk to the audience in your head during the pause. You can think at them in words, like "wasn't that awesome!" (after something cool), "wait for it..." (before moving on), or "look at this gorgeous hip" (in a nice pose). Sometimes it happens without the words, as an internal laugh at what I just did. That moment of stillness is a great opportunity to connect with your audience, and it's a much more powerful moment if you can make eye contact with someone (or at least seem to).

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love this idea, and I'm definitely going to try it out. :) Maybe the mini-script will be edited to suit whatever emotion I'm going for, but this is awesome, thank you for commenting :)

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