Friday, July 10, 2015

7 Quick Takes {Take 85} Summer festival dancing approaches, time to panic! edition...

When I miss a week of 7 Quick Takes, like I did last week, I really feel a void, because I do so enjoy writing these posts. They appeal to the spontaneous writer in me. :) So, what is on my mind this morning? A heck of a lot of dance routines, that's what. My troupe's big performance season starts next weekend, and let's just say that things are a little hectic right now in Dance World. Want to know more? Read on, gentle reader!

-1- Festivals rapidly approacheth

So, YEAH. We have a performance at an artisan's market on Saturday July 18th, and then a full weekend of festival performances the weekend of July 25th and 26th. Two sets on each of those days. Each set is 45 minutes to an hour long, so...that's a LOT of dancing. At least it is for those of us older than our early 20's. ;-) Especially when...

-2- ...the choreographies are multiplying like small, happy furry creatures...

Right. We now have quite a few choreographies in our repertoire. We learn new ones every year, but not all of them make it into The Repertoire. The Repertoire consists of routines that are engaging for a public audience (so, use of eye catching props and/or distinctly representative of a specific style within Middle Eastern dance) and contain formations easily adaptable to any number of troupe members to accommodate absences. Some routines we'll perform at a hafla and then they fade away. Others, we retain. At this point, we have an Arabic pop number, a drum, a Shaabi piece, a Saidi cane number, a tray balancing routine that also incorporates Isis wings, and a more traditional piece that we call the "Spectacular" because it has multiple segments demonstrating different styles, and in the introduction we use the gigantic veil wraps. So, that's six routines, and I think I'm forgetting at least one, which right there, is NOT a good sign towards me remembering the actual choreography if I can't even remember that it exists. Plus...

-3- ...we also learned an entire choreography in a single evening *insert scared face*

At our last rehearsal, we got a little ambitious. This is what happens when we are left alone in a bright and sparkly dance studio for two hours on a Friday evening. ;-) We put together an entire new veil piece in a single evening. It's not a long song, and we do repeat segments by incorporating in new arms and orientations to make it look completely different, but all the same. It's a new dance that we learned in one night. And it's routine #7 (maybe #8, if I'm in fact forgetting one), which is, you know. A little *intimidating*. :0 Back when I first started dancing, I used to fret over and practice incessantly the one class routine that I would perform at a hafla. So being responsible for nearly 10 numbers now I have had to come to terms with the fact that I have to just trust my muscle memory. For a Type A perfectionist like me, that is no small feat. ;-)

-4- Possible silver lining: this may actually save my brain cells as I age. Or so I am hoping.

I read somewhere (most likely a women's magazine of questionable validity while I awaited a hair appointment at the salon, I will grant) that a study reported in lower incidences of dementia amongst dancers as they age. I'm assuming that the reason for this is that the memorization involved in dance aids in healthy brain cells. I don't know if this is true or not, but we're stickin' with it, k?

-5- And we will be performing all of this dancey fun in a single week's time

Back to our quandary, we have rehearsal tonight and next Friday, and then we perform. We did not have rehearsal last Friday due to Independence Day weekend, so we're going to be a bit rusty tonight. Hence, we're wrangling together these 8ish choreographies in fairly close succession. It's true that we do already know (most of *gulps!*) them fairly well already, but we have to adapt the formations for who can make each specific performance and for the space that we'll be dancing in. There will be a bit of chaos tonight, to be sure...

-6- ...amidst a cacophony of props and potentially disastrous weather conditions

Oh right, and the performance on the 18th is down by a large body of water, did I mention that? So we're concerned about our wings and possible wind conditions.

See, that is a terrifying statement right there, but I have to admit that it is one of the reasons that I adore Middle Eastern dance so much. Always something new, always something fun, and we use delightful props that could be blown off our heads or otherwise cause us to possibly become airborne.

-7- Right. And I'm supposed to dance a solo with a sword balanced on my head. #BecauseIAmNuts

Adding to our routine quota I am slated to dance a solo when we need additional routines to fill the set, potentially on both weekends, but definitely on the 25th. And I decided to do a balancing piece with my sword, because apparently I like to live dangerously and cause myself to sweat a lot and my heart to skip beats. Practice is going well, and the reason I picked to do this is because my sword and I generally coexist pretty peacefully together, but it adds an additional element to fear to the next two weeks. Good blog fodder for certain, I'll keep you posted. :-\

All right, I'm off, but I hope that you all have a great weekend! What do you have planned? Going to any festivals in the next two weeks? Maybe you'll see me there. ;-) Talk to you next week!

Head to This Ain't the Lyceum for more 7 Quick Takes! (edited to add: looks like there is no link up this week due to the Edel Gathering, but my happy dance post will remain, even if all by it's lonesome. :))

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