This year I was lucky enough to take part in the Tribal Remix Show in Brighton alongside awesome headliners which included Mardi Love (US), Tjarda (netherlands) Mirjama Sutter (Sweden) all hosted by Hilde Cannodt. Having agreed to dance twice I Set myself quite a task deciding I would create 2 new and contrasting routines for the show including new costumes to boot. For my fist routine I chose a very sexy track I love by Depeche Mode and my second was a powerful and heavy hitting remix by Laberinth. Having sent my music I had committed myself to performing these routines, now I just had costumes to decide upon and 2 new dances to create.
Often a track tells you how it wants to be danced (especially when it has lyrics) and you simply have to go with it, trusting in a fearless freedom if you are to do the musician / artist justice and represent their work in its truest form. Easier said than done hey. Thing is, when a musician creates his music, a lyricist writes his lyrics, that artist pours his heart and soul into his creation and therefore we as the dancer must do the same. We have to make it appear as though the artiste created his track personally for us the dancer and persuade the audience that we are emotionally as well as physically connected to the piece in which we create the visual to the audio.
In many cases you have to truly liberate yourself from the concerns of what people may expect from you and the comfort which lies in the knowledge that you will enter the stage and deliver what your audience has come to like or expect of you.
Determined to dance new routines and having sent my music the pressure was on to get creative and when it came to bashing out moves in my studio I soon realised that the Depeche mode track was indeed a very sexy tune with some heavey lyrics on the darker side of love and infatuation.
Every time I practised in my studio I could not help but dance a darker more sensual side than I normally would. My first thought was “oh my, is it ok for me to express a relaxed sexier side on stage and will everyone be comfortable with that?” in the end you can’t worry too much about what you “think” your audience will be ok with, that would not be true to your art and often your audience will surprise you with what they are open to seeing are and accepting of.
In the end I simply had to accept that this was how the musician encouraged me to dance and have a belief that the audience would hear this, so there was absolutely no point me getting on stage and dancing the Harlem Shake. well, not to this track 😉 Instead this would be a dark, sexier, slowed down version with costume to boot! Taking influence from Zigfield Follies It would be slinky skirt, black lace and Swarovski pill pox hat for me, hash tag lush!
My second routine would be an even greater challenge for a whole different set of reasons. In case you are not aware I have been training in popping, a funk dance style that comes under the umbrella of street dance. I love popping and I have been practising a technique called tutting which I have been adding into my belly dance for some time now but I wanted to challenge myself and create a full on popping routine with an extended tutting section including finger tutts.
In contrast to my first routine I would be dressed down in black hoodie, phat pants and trainers. I would need to have clean tutts and hit every beat perfectly if I was to pull this one off!
All in all Tribal Remix would be a risk for me but it was one i would have to take or i would not feel that I would be doing the musician or myself justice. I will not dance what my audience expects of me, at least not any more and while I will always have my own personal style and i enjoy exploring a darker aesthetic within my performances, ultimately I will dance in whichever way the musician tells me to.. for the answers are always in the music!
Please feel free to leave a comment or post, I would love to hear about your dance experience too!