Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Improvisation and movement

I was surprised to see Chester Whitmore in this clip and not as a performer! I don't really see this as an improvisation, but I found it really amusing. I mean they obviously had learned lines and stuff. Still, being able to deal with an audience that isn't prepared is certainly improvisational.

This week I'll make sure to include the drills that I didn't get to show last week. In fact, I may shorten the improvisation content of class to focus more on movement. I will probably start the class with Passing the Itch, though because it is both movement and improvisation-related. I'd rather get you guys practicing stuff at home. So this week I'll focus on drills, I think; footwork and torso isolation, I'll guess in advance.

Re-reading this entry on Lindy Hop and improvisation, I was left non-plussed. It was fairly thin as an entry, and didn't seem to really have anything important to say. I think I will do my first Wikipedia edit soon.

So here are the things I would consider when it comes to improvisation and Lindy Hop:
Call and Response - This is one of the most important structures in Jazz and Blues. There will be more to say about this when we get to it. It's in the music and it's in the dance.
Shining - I think a huge element of making yourself stand out is a kind of fearlessness. Becoming comfortable with improvisation is a step in the right direction.
Saying "YES!" - All improvisation breaks down when one partner says no. It doesn't work if both partners aren't engaged and ready to go toe-to-toe. In the long run, I'd hope this means expanding your comfort zone. However this also means that each dancer must gauge and acknowledge their partner and the circumstances of the room around them.

There's plenty more to consider when it comes to improvisation and movement. We'll get to that when we get to it. In the long run, just have fun.

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