Threat level: 0.75

6 11 2009

Well aren’t I just the triple double single uhhh… half a threat? 3/4 of a threat?

So, we had our first rehearsal with choreography last night. Now, I’m sure if you were a dancer, or had done dancing at all, that the choreography we were doing would not have fazed you at all. But me? Well, I have had to do dancing for shows before, but apparently all that has done is made me super aware of all the bits likely to go horribly wrong.

I’ve been trying to figure it out and I suspect the difference may be in the ‘flow’ of the dance. I learn each move singularly, which means I quite often finish one move then stand stock still as I wait for my brain to catch up and remind me what the next one is. I think that dancers may be learning the routine as a whole. Music is like that too, much more difficult to learn note by note, easier when you learn the tune. Or reading too – easier to read when you can pick up the sense of a paragraph or sentence rather than look at each word.

I also fear that my default setting might be ‘statue’ or possibly ‘muppet’. So when we haven’t been given a specific move, I either stand still, or flail in an unco-ordinated and quite-likely-to-take-out-an-eye way.

You’ve probably assumed by now that we are undertaking some kind of fantastic ballet for the show, but no. Just the occasional step-touch, shimmy and pointing. It really is that simple. The problem is that while I’m learning the dance moves the rest of my skills apparently clamber out of my skull then go sit on the side of the stage and bitch about how badly I’m moving, instead of kicking in and helping me. I like to think I’m an OK singer – but give me a step-touch to do at the same time, and I lose all harmony and start singing the tune. With the wrong words. Β Acting? I’m fine, particularly comedy/slapstick I like to think. But again, throw a sashay in the mix and I stare numbly at my limbs as they weave intriguing (nay, terrifying) patterns in the air and act like I’ve been thrown on stage as an 8 year old, with no clue what ‘character’ or ‘expression’ mean.

Ah well. It’s a learning curve. Or something. At some point I’ll no doubt figure out what all the parts of my body should be doing at the right time.

I will share with you now, my favourite video of the day which quite sums up my feelings about it all. Thanks Svend for pointing me to it!

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8 responses

6 11 2009
catnona

I totally understand…I can’t clap complicated rhythms whilst singing…especially if it’s unsincapated. I also have trouble with dancing and singing at the same time

6 11 2009
Jenni

Practice, baby! Just keep on step-touching while you practice singing and then your muscles will get in the habit and you won’t even have to think about it.

6 11 2009
sok

Cat: glad it’s not just me!
Jenni: So true!! It’s all about the muscle memory πŸ™‚

6 11 2009
Sam

Jenni beat me to it πŸ™‚ For me when I used to do ballet productions I found that I needed to go through the dance at least 3 times without mistakes before my muscles learnt what to do. The hard part is letting your muscles do the dance without your brain shouting ‘helpful’ advice πŸ™‚

6 11 2009
olwyn

i say if you forget your moves just crump. aint no one gonna mess with the girl that crumps. infact screw your dance just crump from the get go! it’ll give you that street edge

6 11 2009
Giffy

Sounds like you have the sweet advice. If you want to do more musicals, could be good to do some dance classes?

7 11 2009
Sass

I agree with Jenni, Sam, and Olwyn;p And importantly, remember that if you stuff up, just smile at the audience so it looks like you meant to do it and then they’ll think that everyone else was in the wrong;p

12 11 2009
sam

I actually did that in a production once. We changed the ending of a dance 10 mintes before a show due to time constraints over costume changes. Anyway I did the orginal ending and was asked later by audience members why the others had got it so wrong. I just smiled and and enlightened them πŸ˜›
So it does work. πŸ™‚

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