Dance as Art, a labor of love

There is a beauty in movement, the human body creating form, painting the stage as we flow across the world we create inside inside a simple box.  The dancer pauses….then rises again with the music, expressing whatever feeling or emotion the creator chooses.

At times it is not a conscious choice, this act of creation, but a natural love affair.  The creator gives freely in a labor of love and the music in turn feeds the soul of the maker.  This is what dance is, an act and an art that transcends the mortal world.

Dance begins at :44

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100 word stories…and the Quill

There is a beauty in roleplay…writing your own story, living in a world of your creation.  For hours and hours I could lose myself within the words that spilled from my fingers.  Such depth and feeling as I soared with each word, at times the story writing itself without conscious thought.  Twists and turns for hours beyond end.  Now?  A new challenge unfolds…the one here 100 Word Stories.  A woman of many words becomes one of few.  This is mine…

100 word challenge_quill

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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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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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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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