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Showing posts from 2018

Space and Sound: The effects of live and pre-recorded music on dance

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Many dancers, musicians and performing artists have tried their hand at digitally editing performance footage at some time, perhaps from live gigs or for promotional clips. I've been editing for many years, and have several sound engineers in the family who digitally master music. We've found these waveforms to be quite revealing, highlighting nuances that are sometimes difficult to pick up by listening alone. To observe audio as digital waveforms is always fascinating, as they show the 'structural form' of sound.

In recent years, whilst editing dance performance clips, some interesting patterns and differences between live music and pre-recorded waveforms have emerged, that have spiked my curiosity. The main difference is the syncopation of sound with visual performance footage that to live music, compared to choreographed work to pre-recorded cd tracks.
In 1998, when I filmed and edited "Bellydance Live" in Cairo, with an Egyptian band, where we demonstrated…

What is Somatics and how can it Benefit Bellydancers?

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'Soma' is derived from the Greek word  σμαmeaning 'the Living Body’

Somatics is a field of body-mind inquiry that allows the body's innate intelligence to guide movement for a deeper, more conscious awareness and experience of the moving body. At its core, Somatics is mindful movement. Sensory terms that are used in Somatics, to identify various areas of heightened awareness are:

Interoception- awareness of sensations within the body;
Exteroception- sensitivity to stimuli outside of the body;
Proprioception- awareness of the body’s positionand movement in space;
Graviception- how the body connects with, or senses, gravity.In Somatic practices, ‘embodiment’ is a term often used, and with it comes a sense of richness and fulfilment. Somatics is more about the ‘noticing’ than the judging of movement – as this is when patterns of resistance and flow can be identified. From this authentic space the truth of the body’s bio-circuitry, sensory knowledge, even blockages from old …

Teaching Dance with Support for Participants with Autism, ADHD or Depression

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“Adult praise, focused attention that communicates approval and positive regard … is an abundantly available natural resource that is (all too often) greatly underutilised.” 
Walker, Ramsey, & Gresham

Dance has the potential to support every learner in a variety of ways, including people dealing with several common mental challenges that affect many nowadays, including Autism, ADHD or depression. Unless asked, participants may be reluctant to share this information with the instructor, so it is often left unspoken. In any dance class, the teacher may have participants living with these circumstances, so it is important to be aware of, and understand more about these conditions.

Teachers can benefit from having some awareness of Autism and by teaching with compassion. Knowing that a participant has Autism is helpful for the teacher, so together, student and teacher can build their relationship with this insight. For teachers, it is respectful to maintain the confidentiality of the st…

Creating Dance Products and Resources

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Hi everyone,

I’d like to talk about ‘creating a product or resource’ as an integral part of your dance teaching or event production. Many dancers who teach, or have an interest in a specific topic, are quite capable of creating a resource that can be of benefit to others. Even starting with a small audience, your product can become a useful addition to your dance enterprise, whether you run a weekly class or if dance related work is something you do full time, as a career. The creation of products and resources can also generate extra income, whilst enhancing your own collection of resources.

It may be useful to re-frame how you see a product fitting into your artistic creations, and view it as:

1. An extension of your research and knowledge;
2. A way to clarify and propagate your vision;
3. A means of facilitating the educational process;
4. An educational resource or tool that provides opportunity for a more intensive learning experience.

A ‘product’ or ‘resource’ needn’t be commercia…