Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Changes Are Something New?

By Reginald Chang, Kaimuki:

You think there are too many changes in our dance world? Most of us realize that it has always been that way.


"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

The term "ballroom dancing" originates from the dancing in a ballroom, which was a large room specially designed for such dances. And ballrooms continued their existence until well past WWII. Then something began to happen and most of us are well aware of this.


In times past, ballroom dancing was social dancing for the privileged, leaving folk dancing for the lower classes. And there have always been the "lower classes." These boundaries have since become blurred, But the higher levels have always regarded the others as the "hoi polloi." This has been normal social behavior. Even though it should be noted that in times long gone, many ballroom dances were really elevated folk dances.


"On A Wonderful Day Like Today" by Johnny Mathis

Toward the latter half of the 17th century, Louis XIV founded his 'Académie Royale de Musique et de Danse. "Correct" rules for the execution of every dance and the "five positions" of the feet were formulated for the first time by members of the Académie. I believe they are still taught as part of International style of dance. The Academie would continue to dominate ballroom from that time until the close of the 18th century.


Eventually, the first definite cleavage between ballet and ballroom came when professional dancers appeared in the ballets, and the ballets left the Court. They went to the stage and developed a large "spectator" division.. Ballet technique such as the turned out positions of the feet, however, lingered for over two centuries and past the end of the Victorian era. And they developed their own rules of the "correct" way to dance ballet which in turn inspired the spin off of the Modern Dance style.

There is more? Yes.

Pub's Side Note: Blogs are whatever we make them. Exact definitions of a  "blog" is a fool's errand.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Changing Commitment

Yes, I am still shuffling things around for the readers. Town Dancer is slowing down, and with reason. My expectations had been to let them concentrate on their imperial style of dance. They could have gotten independence, made their own rules and have a good platform for their Guest Authors. Together they could have run up the hits to untold heights. But my mistake was that imperialism does not accept dialog. The word can be easily looked up in the dictionary.

"The searching out and thorough investigation of truth
ought to be the primary study of man." ~ Cicero

I will allow Town Dancer to drop to about 100 average hits per day (3000 per month) and it will give the others a chance to get up in island recognition. The next leading blog is Oahu And Beyond with a more extensive coverage. At over 70 hits per day now, it may get to 100 by the end of the year. Could be the one to go independent.


Then I just have to worry about the bottom ones, Dance Guide and Oahu - West. They are struggling to get to the first goal of 34 hits per day. The information contributors and the guest authors will make the difference. The more people with their honest opinions the better for our Social Media.

"The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise." by Les Paul and Mary Ford.

Meanwhile, we must strive to contact more Club dancers, and the other peripherals, such as Country, Line, Salsa, Swing, Tango etc. This information is worth its weight in Palladium. We can round out the dance spectrum quite nicely and everyone can have a chance to get their two cents in.



Monday, February 20, 2012

The Social Dance Scene

Now that the West is coming into its own with their type of dance, the plans are shaping up again. International or Big Time competition requires big bucks. Most of the cultural dancers that  have always been there, would rather keep it their way and it very naturally falls into quarterly sessions.


"The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself. - Those that will not reflect are ruined."


At the end of the first quarter: The contest for a beginner’s six dance champion. At least 12 couples to enter and have the first comp on day one. Getting the top six for the semi finals on day 2 and from there the winner and there would be second and third place trophies too. Waltz, Foxtrot, Rumba, Cha Cha Cha and Swing and Tango. Limited to the residents of Moanalua Corridor and west. The center does quite well on its own. No former winners, to give new people a chance. All at the new Dance Pavilion in the Patsy Mink Recreation Park.

At the end of the second quarter: The Aloha Games or something similar to include a greater amount of good dancers to the forefront. Probably bring in Country Dancing too. Except to cut down the different entries to half the usual amount where everyone wins first prize and they were the only entry. No matter how you slice it, an exhibition dance is not a contest. All at the same Recreation Center.

"Deep In A Dream" by Frank Sinatra

Then we enter September: Which at one time was proclaimed Dance Month in Hawaii by the Governor every year. Then we also we have National Ballroom Dance Week (this year September 18 to 27) which has traditionally been ignored in Hawaii. But could be changed to Dance Week, the time has come for this period to be hyped a lot more in West Oahu.

During this week, thousands of volunteers from most all states share their dancing joy in public places like malls, parks, community centers, and in the streets. The largest shopping complex, the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota is host to an evening of dance in their beautiful rotunda surrounded by three tiers of balcony filled spectators.  It may be done in Kapolei featuring the best dance group there, Kapolei Chapter, HBDA.

"Til The End Of Time" By Perry Como

For us the culmination of it all will be at the Hawaii Star Ball according to their rules at the end of September. After that we will party, party party through the holidays and start all over again in January. The list of must coverages for my blogosphere is getting smaller. I was spreading myself too thin and haven't got much help. All those that have become irrelevant have been by their own choosing. Perhaps by the end of the year I will have some help.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Latin American Hip Motion

Excerpt from Dancing USA, 2002
by Jeff Allen

In this article I want to build several scenarios for the development of what we in the dance education business and profession call Latin Hip movement or Cuban motion (these terms will be used interchangeably.) You know what I am referring to - the seemingly unobtainable usage of hips that produces what the general public sees as an alluring seductive hip and body gyrations, pulsations, isolations and even wiggles or thrusts - the kind used by experienced Latin dancers.


"You can do very little with faith, but you can do nothing without it."

I hope that by describing what it is and also what it isn't, your interest in Latin American dancing will broaden. And quite possibly the expense and arduous time in "trying to get it" will be reduced dramatically. This has been lost somewhat in modern Latin dancing such as Salsa, Bachata etc.

Controlled and well timed Cuban motion is an acquired skill rather than the automatic product of ethnicity or culture. It has no barriers, no boundaries, no genetics and no gender. Latin hip and body movement does have great social acceptance in the areas of its origin and therefore is encouraged and developed with great enthusiasm and even social responsibility.

But above all, this type of movement must be learned by all who desire to participate, in the same way that learning to play baseball and the baking of a delicious apple pie are developed, by much trial and error. The degree to which you perfect any "learned skill" rests on your motivations, the quality of your learning experience and most importantly the level of your physical gifts or athleticism.

"Tangerine" by Jimmy Dorsey

What I tell my students and prospective students is that virtually all of you have the foundations to do the Latin American dances of Cuban origin well at a social level. What?  Yes, simply stated, if you have the ability to travel up or down a staircase without using the handrail, if you can ride a bicycle or if you can swim, then you have already demonstrated that you possess more than enough physical talent to dance the Latin dances very well at the social level.

To the extent that you may want to excel (i.e. competitive dancing, "International") as with any athlete, will require these ingredients, qualitative athleticism, good training, and tons of practice. Again, learning to dance and learning to dance the Latin characterics, is directly proportionate to your physical gifts and desire.

(More later? Yes)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dis N Dat

For those using Blogger and having trouble with the line spacing, tune in to anyone of your favorite search engines. Google alone has over 20 pages with complaints.What has been done so simply in word processing for decades cannot be fixed in Blogger. It beats me why. I do not have an answer. If anyone finds out please let me know.

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated - Live life to the fullest."

There are plenty of questions in the search engines but no answers. The programmers are so busy designing the new interface for Blogger that they cannot fix what is wrong now.

Of course, it is free and we should not complain but the expectations are there, for we had a very beautiful blogger before all these new people with their new ideas started screwing it up.

"Prisoner Of Love" by Perry Como

Rumors and more rumors. I run into them all the time. Now, about the new social dance club in Windward Oahu. Someone, please let me know. I tried to get a blog going there last year but the hits were just not there and I dumped it. Shortly after I received a flyer from Arthur Murray that they were taking over another studio that had been there for awhile. So they now have a branch studio in Kailua.

Kanoehe will get one soon and we will see some dance action in that territory. HBDA seems to be doing just fine there and there is dancing at BYUH. Hopefully the new social dance club will contact me and I will help wherever I can.. Perhaps we can even think about another blog again for that section.

"Papa Loves Mambo" by Perry Como

Calvin and Hobbss dancing the new Liliha Stomp
I was pleased at noted differences pointed out by Da Spin Doctor, - music for listening and music for dancing. This has been known for years. Unfortunately some of our DJs in the last 30 years have at times been confused as to what is "listening music" and what is "dancing music." How many times have you heard a DJ say "But you can dance a Rumba to it." And it does not enter his mind that it is much much dfferent than "You must dance a Rumba to it."

Most dancers are well aware of this, but then we must appreciate that our DJs do try to do a good job and they are basically good people. So who's perfect? Of course Da Spin Doctor has another advantage. He wants to play the music that the dancers want. It may not be so with others. They will play what they think the dancers should dance to. After all they are the experts in music, right? Wrong!



Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nick Nacks

New Type Clubs for the Young Crowd in Japan
By Tokunaga Kyoko, Tokyo

The DJ chooses the music, and mixes his or her own special blend of "house music." The young crowd drinks and dances. These days, the place is not called a disco but a "club," pronounced "kurabu," with equal stress on each of the three syllables.

I talked about this phenomenon with Yuyama Reiko, the editor of Floor, a magazine featuring the club scene and new music. She says that the club atmosphere varies, depending on the event and the DJ. Some things that vary are the music (techno, hip-hop or whatever), the average age of the dancers, the clothes, and the type of dancing. Dance steps are different too; some dancers are wildly energetic, while others sway gently back and forth.

One exception is the popular para-para dance seen in some clubs. Everyone on the floor follows the same choreography - most of the movements are slight, except for the arms, which seem to be doing all the dancing. The style, unique to Japan, draws on traditions of the Bon dance and the street phenomenon, the Takenoko-zoku.

And you think your way is the only way? Ha!

"Let It Be"by The Beatles


 
 
The Ninth Commandment:
Exodus 20.13: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

A very few of our fellow dancers are so honest, so good, so upright, they are so right and they couldn’t be more wrong. Because they lie, and they lie to destroy. That is their M.O. (modus operandi) As Ann Landers use to say, "that is the way they get their jollies."The Creative Researchers And Producers are definitely on the way out.

You say the liar is a duck? Well, shut the duck up. Happy Chinese New Year.

Pub's Side Note: Check out Frank's blog on the beautiful Narcissus Ball.