The following clip is my choreography from an RCS choreography short course.
I was trying to combine Jazz and Hip Hop to encourage students to try out both styles. I have my hip hop crew doing Jazz and my Jazz ladies doing Hip hop.
The dancers did me proud. But…..looking at the video after SOOOOOMMMMMEE TIME made me cry.
- It was not the routine itself that had the effect (though I might have had a wee smile to myself).
- It was not the inspirational link between hip hop and jazz.
- Instead it was what the on looking dancers did in response to the performance in my video and to a short dance section (I had taught earlier inspiring movement by dipping hands in virtual fluorescent paint and dancing to make paint marks). I could not prepare for that!!!!
- Watch till just after the end of the dance routine!!!!
- The dancers were inspired to become part of the choreography and they enjoyed it.
So why did it work?
Some of the dancers are now teaching in RCS and completing the MEd, so perhaps this question should be directed to them too. I believe the reason is three fold.
- I was just back from London and loving life. The choreography course was my attempt to extend my dance time. I was full of ideas inspired by new movement musical patters and pathway. The dancers were carried along by my enthusiasm and ideas. One dancer asked how I was making up the choreography. I remember replying that i had a skeleton of where I wanted to go and the props to use but changed the rest to suit the dancers, what looked good, the limited time and the theme.
- A previous activity worked to my advantage. The dancers and myself were participating in a choreographic idea where we were pretending to be dead! The choreographer was trying to encapsulate the mood. However, ‘dead’ dancers lying on the floor do not move much so choreography was limited and with time can become quite depressed, especially if they are being filled with negative thoughts to chilling music. This is here my activity can into play. Unlike normal, I ignored my in depth planning and just taught what I felt would re-energise the dancers. They had to put their hands in luminous paint, pretend they were at a party and create hand movements which showed prints of their hands/feet. They started slowly (almost as though they were defrosting). The outcome was amaising high impact, inclusive and fun. The different movement patters, partnering and mirroring were exciting. When the dancers saw the performance they were hyper and encouraging their friends but they also remembered the explosive moment and attempted to recreate it themselves.
- The dancers enjoyed the choreography, either as they enjoyed performing or as they liked the movements or change in style from their usual.