Friday, November 28, 2014

November Dance Blog

Monthly Goals:
classwork/choreography- We've begun to choreograph a dance to I See Fire by Ed Sheeran and I think it's been going really well. I would like to work on being more comfortable with improv and making mistakes and being open to experimenting with different things (it's something I really struggle with as a dancer). My goal is to try improv at home and not get so caught up in whether something is good or bad, or looks awkward.
technique and performance- I have been practicing pirouettes at home and getting a little better but my goal for this next coming week is to actually go in during consultation one day and work on pirouettes.

Dance article:
An article in the New York Times Dance section talks about Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev, a duo who performed as the lovers Kitri and Basilio from Don Quixote last Thursday. The writer of the article said that while there were sparks between the pair, Ms. Osipova is beginning to outshine Mr. Vasiliev. However, Mr. Vasiliev knows how to engage an audience very well. Because Don Quixote mixes humor and over the top movement and emotions with ballet, it requires a talented performer. Unfortunately the author thought Mr. Vasiliev's "lack of refinement" and exhaustion after a difficult piece outweighed his comedic talents. In contrast, Ms. Osipova is quick yet graceful, executing difficult dances with precision and enthusiasm, proving to be the highlight of the performance in the critic's opinion. The show interests me because I've never really seen a comedic ballet, so I think it would be really interesting and exciting to experience. However, the way the author describes Mr. Vasiliev's lack of endurance, discourages my interest in seeing this particular production.

Dance history: Bella Lewitzky
Important facts about Bella Lewitzky

  •  She is a modern dance choreographer from California
  • Founded Dance Theater of Los Angeles with Lester Horton
  • Found ballet too restrictive, which is why she pursued Modern
  • Has received over 6 awards for both her dancing and her human rights awareness/involvement
Youtube videos:

Special guest speaker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irh2NDOKnN8
Lewitzky teaching a dance she choreographed with Horton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sncN5sq0ONY

Summary:
Bella Lewitzky has changed modern dance because of her involvement with the development of the Horton Technique, which instructs dancers on how to strengthen their bodies broaden their ability to be expressive everywhere on their body. What's very impressive is the way she was able to take the events occurring in the world around her and express those events through her choreography. She focused heavily on pushing the limits of artistic freedom. Her motivation is also quite inspiring, she created at minimum one new production per year, conveying her passion and love for dance. For Lewitzky, gaining government support for the arts was especially important, so she devoted a lot of time towards gaining that essential support. I think its incredible the way Lewitzky showed not only a story but showed real events and conveyed opinions on these events through her complex choreography.

What's going on in class:
Currently we're choreographing a dance which has been going smoothly, there haven't been any conflicts yet. But I'm definitely feeling a little awkward when attempting to improvise, which is why it's my goal to start experimenting at home. In addition, Ms. Savage taught us a dance to some Latin music which is very fun because we haven't done anything like that yet. I believe I'm working up to my full potential, I just need to work on my endurance and flexibility more outside of class. I have worked on my pirouettes so I did meet my goal for this month somewhat, but I also need to go in to the dance room and practice because obviously the floors are very different from the ones at my house.