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.