This Week & Dance Resources Index

Upcoming Events:
full calendar:  https://harleyquinadventure.com/2017/03/31/calendar/

Sundays –  5 pm slt
Winds of the Sahara Cabaret Show DJ

dancersdancersdancers

HARLEYQUIN WORKSHOPSclick here for descriptions

  • All workshops are drop-in.  No registration is required.
  • Held in voice.
  • EVERYONE is welcome – participate or listen.

** Early bird catches the worm!  Please arrive early to allow time to unpack and set up your workshop supplies. The sim will be closed when the workshop starts.  Thanks!

Saturday, July 21st

10 AM SLT
NEW 2018:  Choreography Designer – Introduction & the Basics

The Spot On Choreography Designer system is a tool to move, rotate, lift, or lower avatars or objects from one point to the next – referred to as waypoints.  Use your stage more effectively by moving your dancers, change the appearance of animations by turning your dancers in a different direction, use this system to move props or even an entire stage during your performance.

VIEW DETAILS

12 PM SLT
NEW 2018: 
Performance Director –  The Basics, What is the Performance Director?

An introduction to what the Performance Director can do and how it brings together the power of timed sequences, movers, and more.  This class will focus on exploring the HUD, the structure of the Performance Director Routine notecard, and different aspects of how this tool can be used as the conductor of your performance.

VIEW DETAILS

Monday, July 23rd

5 PM SLT
NEW 2018: Spot On Smooth Dancer – Introduction and Putting Your HUD to Work

Geared for anyone new to the Smooth Dancer Animation HUD or still familiarizing themselves.  We will be focused on loading the HUD, playing animations, inviting others to dance and how to remove dancers (including yourself).  We will also cover what to do when your dancers aren’t dancing.  This is the first step before moving on to recording your own sequences.

VIEW DETAILS

Saturday, July 28th

9 AM SLT – WARM UP:  Choreography Designer – Creating Routes: Turns, Travel, Sleep, and Rotation

10 AM SLT – Choreography Designer – Creating Routes: Turns, Travel, Sleep, and Rotation

Monday, July 30th

5 PM SLTCreating Small Stage Performances

Saturday, Aug 4th

9 AM SLT – WARM UP:  Performance Director – Creating Your First PD Routine

10 AM SLT – Performance Director – Creating Your First PD Routine

12 PM SLT – Intro to Dance and Choreography

Monday, Aug 6th

5 PM SLT – Spot On Smooth Dancer – Focus on Sequences


As a seasoned and passionate dancer in SL, I freely share and support others in their own dance journeys.  My beliefs:  question everything, learn from everything, take from it what you will and do it your own way.  Have many teachers, no one is a master, no one knows “THE WAY”.  I teach based on what I know – my own foundation, what I have learned, my own ways – but they are not the only ways.  Enjoy the ride, speak from the soul and create art with your dance.  We are all always learning, always growing.  Release the music from within…your way.  ~ Eva

Click here for an Easy Reference to Dance Resource Posts, Tips & Tricks

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A place for everything, and everything in its place

I’ve kind of given up on my inventory.  It desperately needs sorting, but my compulsive ways are refocused a bit – for now.  Sure, it may take me 30 minutes to dress in SL,  but I’m sure I’ll get back to wondering why I own 834 dresses…

I tend to do a lot of introspection, kind of odd when I keep reminding myself to get “outta my head”.  What can I say?  I’m an introvert – that’s my happy place sometimes, where I can dream, imagine, and line up everything in nice even rows.  I’m finding that I need a sense of structure and order to stave off the inner chaos – to keep moving along and feel at peace.  Of course, this week has been anything but structured but I feel a slow evolution taking place – and it feels ‘right’.

I wish there was more time, but I guess with a limited amount of time you always have to put value on what is most important to you.  Even after doing that, it’s a constant re-evaluation.  Every moment of every day we are in a different place in our lives – what is going on around us, our emotional state, events that are happening.  That is actually one of the reasons I’m here in this world.  In an odd way, SL (for me) provides a sense of stability.  There are other reasons, but those I reserve for another time.

lyrical plantsI learn a lot about myself in this world.  I’ve done things I never thought I could do.  I’ve built on skills that can apply to both worlds.  At times I’ve looked at myself in a mirror and at times that’s not always an easy thing to do.  “Growth opportunities.”  Makes me feel like a plant!

Wow – I just love this idea!  I’m going to start doing this for all my new plant purchases.  Let the insanity ensue!

So, speaking of growth.  Ever hear of the 100 word challenge?  I’m giving it a go, and will be posting it here too.  Now that I know I will never be an American Idol winner (have you heard me sing???), I’ll try an awesome bit of bite size creativity.

Putting in a bit of structure and organization, and working hard to prepare for the two workshops tomorrow.  Hmmm….this picture gives me a smile, and gives me more ideas.  Perhaps in need an insanometer on this blog, kind of like a tomatometer for movies.

Makes me wonder, does creativity seek a balance of structure at times?  A rebuilding period?

All I know, is if I don’t do laundry soon I’ll be naked….

~ Eva 😀

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Important: Workshop Reboot

I am always striving to adjust and improve the Harleyquin workshops and my presentation of them.  My goal is for everyone attending to enjoy the learning process and walk away feeling inspired.  There is such a balance in presenting information, the amount of information, allotting time for practice, the asking of questions, and keeping the length of the workshop within a reasonable length of time.  To serve you all better, the workshops are being reformatted.

Change 1:

Workshops are being broken into smaller topics and no longer listed as “Workshop 1, Workshop 2, Workshop 3”.  There is still a natural flow, but you may choose which to attend if you have the basic skills required.  This allows attendees additional time to really focus and practice the topics covered during the (generally) one hour workshops.  As always, everyone is welcome to come and participate or listen.

Example:

Choreography Designer – Introduction & the Basics
Choreography Designer – Creating Routes: Turns, Travel, Sleep, and Rotation
Choreography Designer – Creating Multiple Dancer Routes, Using Prefixes, Stats, and Particle Paths
Choreography Designer – Synchronizing with Dance Sequences – no slides!
Choreography Designer – New 2.0 Features and Climbing Stairs
Choreography Designer – Rebuild Routes, Mirroring, Making and Editing Multiple Routes at the Same Time

Change 2:

Because everyone learns at a different rate, for select activities there will be three options:

  1. Activity
  2. Activity Challenge – Heat it Up
  3. Activity Challenge – The Frying Pan

This allows additional flexibility and an opportunity for all attendees to stretch at their own pace.  These activity challenges will also be in the workshop notes so that all attendees can try them on their own later.

Change 3:

For select workshops, there will be a half hour “warm-up” session before the workshop for anyone wanting to review/refresh their skills on that particular tool.

Change 4:

All class attendees will be provided a web link to the tutor notes after the workshop.  This allows me to create the notes using colors, font sizes, links, and most importantly images.  It also allows me to add additional notes we may not have covered during the workshop but which I feel are useful.   It also improves my ability to update and maintain.

Workshop attendees are asked not to share these links with others unless they are marked “Distribute Freely”.

Change 5:

I am reviewing all of the workshops to simplify preparation time and adding additional demonstrations when appropriate.  Workshops will also be broken into presentation/demonstration time and activity time.  As always, questions and interaction are welcomed, and there will be time for discussion.

Change 6:

The current schedule is being reviewed and adjusted, both to pick up the new “rebooted” structure and to ensure class rescheduling is minimized on my part.

I do hope these refinements improve the attendee experience, inspire, and provide a framework of learning and support.  Thank you all so much.  If you have attended a previous workshop and did not leave satisfied, I hope that you may attend one of the new rebooted workshops.  I am always open to feedback.

Yours in dancing,
~ Eva

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Choreography Examples – Work Song

At times I find myself teaching the technical aspects during workshops, while my heart wants to share the art of it – as was taught to me over many years, many teachers, in both worlds.  I am not a professional dancer, never have been, not an expert, but a passionate student of the art on my own.  I am thankful now for the dance and music education I did receive as a child, and my dance experience in SL.  As with anything, our experiences help shape each of us as individuals.  I share this freely, my own opinion, my own beliefs, for you to take as you will.

This dance performance caught my eye, so many excellent examples of choreography which is my deepest love in create dance performances in SL.

Did you notice the very powerful entrance?  Immediately I was drawn in – the serious expression – the walk, not sexy, not overly powerful, soft yet still somehow strong.  The curtain parting briefly then closing again – a glimpse only.

Before the dancing starts, she moves into a pose and pauses there – anticipation.

Notice at times how she shifts into strong dramatic movements during the strong beats.  Slows the tempo…pauses.   Hits – a statement

I love the animation of her hands spreading in the beginning.  While we most times are limited by the animations in SL, there are ways to achieve this through the animations we have available – even if it is not the same.  It’s the expression, not imitation.

OK, I’m a sucker for dramatic animations, bold movement.  Notice how she mixes her animations – to flow with the music and the beat, others express the lyrics themselves – all smoothly woven together.

She uses the dance floor – covering a large area as she paints through her movement.  All the movements across the floor have a purpose, have a dramatic impact, chosen carefully.  She moves because she needs to, not because of some innate expectation to have x number of movements from point a to point b.

I also notice that at times it seems the animations carry through after the beat, the hands still moving – like follow through.  I love this.  It reminds me to dance from the heart, not the head.  The head might say – change animations on every phrase, etc, but my heart says – just create, no rules.

Notice the mix of movements – I see contemporary, ballet, and more.  An example of not limiting a dance to a specific style of movements (animations).  To me, it is not the individual animations that define the style of dance – but the choreography as a whole.

These are some of the aspects that I believe really help make dance choreography in SL so emotional, evocative, enrapturing – whether it’s hip hop, contemporary, latin, burlesque, or super sexy power rock.

One thing I don’t feel it does have?  A strong ending.  I would have perhaps finished in a strong pose before the music ended – perhaps even before people expected me to stop dance.  A pause in a dramatic pose, turn and walk away if that’s what I wanted to express.  Walk away = I’m done, I’m out of here.  A slow fade of a fade screen = softer drifting from view.  A dramatic pose – especially with a group of people can create a lasting memory – or flying off into the sky.  What other ways can you finish?  What do you want to express as that last final impression?

Paint your picture.
~ Eva

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See Me, Feel Me: Inspiration and Echoes

See Me, Feel Me.  A dance performance, generally RL, that touched me in some way, but I won’t go into detail how.  That’s for you to feel, to see, to listen for yourself.  I watch dance performances in SL, and in RL through videos.  I sink deep into them, how do I feel, how do I react to it, can I feel the movement, does it inspire me, or do I dislike it.  In turn, I believe it expands my own mind and creativity.

I find that while contemporary dance is the style that moves me the most, what appeals to me depends on the moment and my own mindset.  I believe this is true for each one of us – and my hope is that I, and for all of you, keep stepping outside of my comfort zone and create from the heart and not from the mind.

I will soon be teaching a workshop on “small stage performances”, which I consider this to be.  A small area of focus, our eyes drawn to the dancer’s expressive moments, the flow of her costume and costume transitions.  Minimal set, visual image changes – subtle but compelling.

I see so much more, inspiration and echoes.  What do you see?

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Harleyquin Workshop Notes – An Introduction to Troff

Harleyquin Workshop Notes
An Introduction to Troff

Due to the nature of this workshop and that the tutor notes for this program would be much more useful with screenshots, I’m making them available freely.  Please enjoy!


HQ Workshop Tutor Notes – An Introduction to Troff
Tutor/Class Notes

Troff is installed as a Chrome extension.  For PCs, it opens/can have quick links like an individual program.  For MAC’s it’s opened through Chrome.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/troff-training-with-music/mebbbmcjdgoipnkpmfjndbolgdnakppl?hl=en-US

Click on: Launch App

OVERVIEW

Troff is a music player specifically designed for learning music and creating choreography.  Easily loop all or part of a song, create markers to return to specific sections, and includes a count in before playing – excellent for recording sequences or practicing!  With just a little review it is quite easy to learn and use.

During this workshop we will explore:

  • the different sections of the software (the interface)
  • how to “add” songs to the list
  • creating markers (labels/notations)
  • how to loop the entire song or sections
  • why and how to use the countdown feature and wait between
  • editing a marker

TUTOR NOTES:

WHAT IS TROFF

Troff is a software app, available in the Chrome or Android store, that is designed for learning music.  It contains many features that are extremely useful for the choreographer and with just a little practice may become an invaluable tool for creating your own choreography.

HOW DO I GET IT

Troff is a free app available from the Chrome or Android store.  There is no cost and no obtrusive ads.  I’m not sure I’ve even ever noticed any ads.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/troff-training-with-music/mebbbmcjdgoipnkpmfjndbolgdnakppl?hl=en-US

WHY DO I WANT IT

What it will do:  Allow you to create markers and make notes for your own use, allow you to loop the entire song or just sections, allow you to set repeat options, and to also set a countdown delay and/or a repeat delay.  These are incredible useful when recording your sequence.

What it will not do:  It is meant for the playing of music, and does not include the ability to edit music.

Troff full screen

WHAT CAN IT REALLY DO FOR ME?

Benefits for the choreographer or anyone who works with music:

  • Use the countdown feature for recording your dance.  This gives you time to flip back to SL and take a deep breath before you need to start recording your animations.
  • You can set the number of times to repeat the music – to infinity if you like!  The wait between feature gives you a pause before it restarts – and you can set how many seconds.
  • You can create markers and notes – note where there’s a change in the music, a change in the set or formation, or even what animation you want to use where.
  • Use the markers to isolate sections of the song and just repeat those for choosing animations or practicing/recording choreography in sections

LET’S TAKE A LOOK:

Troff_songsTroff uses tabs to hide or show different features of the software.  We are going to focus on the ones most critical for choreography.

Songs – Allows you to choose a folder of the songs to display.  You can then click on the name of a song to view the timeline and markers.  By default, any markers and notes you add are automatically saved and will appear every time you open the song in Troff.

To add songs to this list, click on Select Folders.  You can choose of of the suggested folders or click on Add location.

Note:  this doesn’t change your music files in anyway.  It simply allows you to access your music/image/video files through Troff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Settings – Set the volume, speed, countdown, pause, number of times to repeat, and more

Troff_settingsI/E – import or export your markers and info
Move markers – shift all of your markers by x seconds. Useful if you’ve added an intro sound to the music.

Play full song – Helpful if you’ve selected markers to play all of the song, don’t want to change that but want to hear the full song.

Zoom out/zoom – zooms in to just the selected section or out to view the whole song timeline.

Start before/stop after – gives a bit of extra time before your selection starts to play and when it stops

Pause before/wait between – countdown before music starts, and wait between for repeats

Numbers/infinity – how many times to repeat
Volume/speed – adjust volume and playback speed

Info – displays any notes you’ve typed for the song or individual markers

Troff_info

Countdown – Displays a visual countdown and the number of repeats chosen in the settings window.

Troff_countdown

PLAYING YOUR MUSIC AND MARKERS

To stop and start your music, press the space bar

To create a marker – while listening to your music press m. You can also click on the timeline and press “add marker” from the settings section

To edit or delete a marker – click on the E in the gray box next to the marker name

Troff_create markerTroff_edit marker

SELECTING MUSIC RANGES

Troff_marker selections

To select a music range to play:

Where to start:
Click on the marker name

Where to stop:
Click on the word Stop next to the marker name

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY

To make a marker – press M during the music

To edit/delete a marker – click on the E in the gray box

Press on the marker name to set the music starting position

Click on Stop to set the music ending position

Troff full screen

I hope you give Troff a try and perhaps find it as useful as I did!

Additional resources:

https://slnightmagic.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/troff-chrome-app/

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Please Stand By…memory refresh in progress

Please Stand By…memory refresh in progress

memory post itsIt feels good to be home again after a week away.  I live in the South, sometimes referred to as the screen door to hell because of the heat but I was slammed with how oppressive it was way up in Northwestern New York!

Overall it was a great trip, but I did miss home – my routines, knowing where everything is, my comfortable bed…

The best thing about the trip – and the long drive?  Inspiration and a reset of thoughts.  Sometimes my thoughts get so jumbled.  I may have everything lined up and keep telling myself…do this…do this…do this.  It’s good to stop sometimes and ask “why am I doing this?  why do I do it this way?”.  I am on a path to self discovery, satisfaction, and growth.  In some ways it’s never ending, but slowly I find what inspires me, motivates me, what I enjoy most.  Most importantly I learn the triggers to my anxiety and methods to cope with it.  Slowly I learn how to balance my need for a lone time and my need to spend time with friends, keeping those relationships strong.  It was a bit unplanned, but I had an amazing time finding small items for my longest and dearest friend in SL to add to her package.  Didn’t make it to FedEx before I left, but will tomorrow after replacing the three bags of gourmet chocolate I left in NY…

While away, my brain slowed down a bit.  I went to an amazing glass museum and still feel so inspired by the art I saw.  I even created two pieces myself while I was there and did a lot of introspection during quiet moments.  I can’t be everything to everyone, no one can.  But what I love, what I enjoy most, I can focus on, do my best, and share that with others.  I have a nurturing soul and a soft heart, easily hurt and at times easily taken advantage of.  I have always poured my heart into what I love, what I’m fully engaged in.  This is a strength I believe.  A weakness?  Having my thumb in too many pies.  This I have done my whole life, especially in RL work.  At times, even in this world I have done the same but through various transitions things are just about the way they should be.

the-four-agreements-3-728

I haven’t read this book in a while and should again.  The Four Agreements.

This…and slow and steady win the race.  Those are my mottoes for the upcoming days and weeks.

What is your motto?  Perhaps even a theme song for the upcoming days?

So glad to be home again.
~ Eva

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Visual Art…Inspiration of Performance Art?

Alas, last minute snafus as I prepare to leave for a visit to family.  I turn to art – to soften my thoughts and to ease the tension in my shoulders.  I write for others – that perhaps my shared words might inspire in a way, encourage the journey in others, but primarily I write for myself as part of a healing process.  Sometimes it is purely for the need of releasing the visions that swirl about in my head.  Sometimes it’s putting emotions to paper.

Does a piece of art influence the dance creations of others I wonder?  Is this the piece I sometimes miss?  Composition itself is a form of art, putting together a set that is balanced, pleasing to look at, conveys the desired results and looks just as though it was meant to be that way.

This morning it is art I share…

I am hoping that while I’m away, I’ll have moments of time when I can lose myself within creation, generally early in the morning as I sip my coffee and the sun comes up.  A natural rhythm, a natural flow are important, and I’m very sensitive to when these are off balance.

May your day be one of bright colors and bold strokes.
~ Eva

I could create this…and think I will..

 

I don’t care for the noose, but what of a dance in shadow?

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