Rehearsal + Choreography

This weekend OhMaya had to finish work on a new piece that we've been on since just after Christmas. We'd had to put it down for a rehearsal or two now and then to finish up more pressing things (e.g. refining some stuff for the Women Who Rock event we did last week) so it's been on all of our minds that this past weekend was crunch time.

Over two days we put in five hours of rehearsal (which isn't really so crazy since we do four on a normal weekend, it's just that we only manage to spend about two hours of that on actual dancing most times because there is always so much TALKING to do!) This time we really danced most of it, and only stopped the constant choreographic repetition to hammer out a specific timing or movement issue. It was awesome! We worked really hard. Fine tuning, then video recording, then picking apart the video recording, then more fine tuning, rinse, repeat.

Also we had a 30 Rock inspired one minute dance party to What is Love? by Haddaway. I seriously think this silliness improved the quality of our rehearsal drastically. I tend to get weirder as I get more tired, and letting it all out in a burst was wicked helpful.

The end result is that we have a hot new piece to debut for the Monique Ryan show at the Rockhouse on Thursday.

I also just finished work on another new group piece, my first in seven months. Just like the last one, it's kind of a reaction to the insanity that was our pre-Halloween fall performance schedule last year, when we got kind of burned out on all the pieces we were doing. The truth is stuff like Nataraja and Kill the Target as we were doing them isn't really at our skill level anymore so I think we experienced general discomfort with the idea of performing them again as they were. It's weird to have had and finished with so many choreographed pieces-- seven fully choreographed numbers and two planned improvs. Wow. Not bad for a year and a half!

The way OhMaya works for choreography is that we are all free to create new pieces whenever the inspiration strikes us. Someone takes a piece of music that inspires them and works out a rough choreography. Then when the group has time, we learn it together, working through transitions and other stuff that you really need a group to be sure about. Inevitably there are things that don't work in a group/formation/time like they do on paper, so we all brainstorm to fix it. This frequently gets a bit hairy but we almost always get the best parts of our choreography this way so it's worth it. Everyone has different influences and preferences so I think we'd all quit if we had to follow someone else's vision all the time. We don't have a director for a similar reason.

I also choreograph best in a crunch. I created Fleecing Punters the day I taught it to the girls, and it's better than any of the other group stuff I've spent days or weeks putting together. But that's not news, I have an arts degree, of course I am only able to work under intense pressure.

So I guess the moral of the post is look out for some crazy new OhMaya business at the Rockhouse on Thursday, and general new awesomeness all spring and summer long!


  1. I am so excited for this show.

    Can't wait to see you gals perform!


  2. :) You ladies certainly take bellydance in a way I never would have thoughts of! It was such a wave of fresh air. Great job!

    oh, HSL, might I remind you that you're a total rockstar?


Post a Comment

Popular Posts