“I’ll lift you and you lift me, and we’ll both ascend together.”

I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousand times again
And we’ll rise up
High like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousand times again

If you’ve been here a while, you know that I sometimes ramble about various things – the thoughts in my head, something I may have read, a video from Ted.. (ha!  I made a rhyme!)

The feeling, the realization that overwhelmed me this morning is how critical we can be in the dance world, how easy it can be to judge others…and I realize I too have judged others.  I have based my opinions on my own definition of what a dance “is”…and “isn’t”, what’s “good” and “not good”.

This is very different than evaluating dances for yourself, how you responded to it, did you connect to it, what you liked about it, what you didn’t like.  An impartial evaluation.   One with no emotional response tied to it, no judgement of the artist who created it, or that they “didn’t do it right”.  One where you are open minded and appreciate the effort when a choreographer puts their heart and soul into a dance, and does their best, following their own vision.

We don’t limit works of art such as painting and sculpture, why do we limit dance?  Perhaps we should seek the message within the dance, however the choreographer chose to communicate it, using whatever tools, whatever knowledge and skill they have to apply to it.  Perhaps we should appreciate and hopefully see the growth of a choreographer over time, as they expand in their skill and find their own voice through dance.  When we have the opportunity, even support them in their growth, in whatever way that may be.

Perhaps we should celebrate the successes along the way, and those that dance simply because they must…because it is a form of expression.

It is a slippery slope, giving positive encouragement while not giving false praise.  I once performed a dance, some time ago thankfully, that was truly horrid.  Due to lack of planning and procrastination on my part I’d slapped something together and performed it…racing to the finish line, just so that I ‘had something’.  I truly didn’t understand the comments “that was wonderful, amazing, beautiful”.  I knew it could be wonderful, but it wasn’t, not nearly, and that was my own doing.  There was no passion or effort put into it, and to me, I could feel that.

One thing that will not change?  To me, dance in SL is art, it is communication.  I believe in the purity of it, in the need to create because we must.  Not for the praise, not for the tips, but because of that innate desire to create and to share.  That is heart and soul, and without that…a performance loses its color for me.

As I put these thoughts down, I process them at the same time, relieved that they are no longer swirling in my head.  What will I take from this?  Personally, it is this:

   To truly focus on experiencing the performances of others, with an open mind, to offer support and encouragement where it is welcomed. 
   To appreciate the true effort choreographers make in their self expression through dance in this world. 
   To remember the difference between evaluating a dance for my own knowledge, compared to judging a dancer or their creation.

I will continue to create, to try, to celebrate my successes and my failures, because it is by overcoming the fear of failure that we can reach new heights.  While looking for a quote, I came across this one, and this one stays:

“I’ll lift you and you lift me, and we’ll both ascend together.”

May you soar freely, and always dance to the music in your head.
~ Eva

lift you

 

 

 

 

Rise Up:

Posted in Musings | Leave a comment

See Me, Feel Me: Male choreography – Cry Me a River

See Me, Feel Me.  A dance performance, generally RL, that touched me in some way, but I won’t share with you how.  That’s for you to feel, to see, to listen.  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.

There are elements in this I like, others I don’t, but I leave that for you to discover for yourself, on your own.

In SL, male choreography I believe is one of the most challenging things to do because let’s face it – most dancers in SL are women, most choreographers are women, and there are 876,942 dance animations for women, and 14 non-feminine dances for men.  Exclude the exotic male dancer animations and there’s….three.  (Yeah, I exaggerated but there is a significant gap.)  Adding wrist locks to the men can help, but it’s still a challenge.  One thing I really liked in this dance performance is watching powerful and artistic “male” choreography.

Posted in See Me, Feel Me | Leave a comment

See Me, Feel Me: A different perspective…

Last one for the day.  To me, this is such an interesting perspective on dance.

See Me, Feel Me.  A dance performance, generally RL, that touched me in some way, but I won’t share with you how.  That’s for you to feel, to see, to listen.  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.

In in our world, so much we can feel, and learn, and apply in our own way, our own expression, in our own time.

Notice how her coach points out the music hits in the beginning, how the choreography slows, the poignant pauses, and so much more…what do you see?  What do you feel?

Posted in See Me, Feel Me | Leave a comment

See Me, Feel Me: Rise Up, Contemporary

Simple.  A dance performance, generally RL, that touched me in some way, but I won’t share with you how.  That’s for you to feel, to see, to listen.  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.

 

There are moments when I question my own choreography, if I’ve become too “formulaic”…my animations too predictable, following the beat…the lyrics too closely.  Never stop questioning, never stop growing or stretching…

Posted in See Me, Feel Me | Leave a comment

See Me, Feel Me: I Built a Friend…

See Me, Feel Me

Simple.  A dance performance, generally RL, that touched me in some way, but I won’t share with you how.  That’s for you to feel, to see, to listen.  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.

 

** dance starts at 1 minute in:

Posted in See Me, Feel Me | Leave a comment

Harleyquin Performance Videos

 

Carousel – Melanie Martinez

Nov 29, 2017
Videographer:  Tristan Lyonesse

One That I Want – Lo-Fang

Oct 14, 2017
Choreographer/Dancer: Eva Harley
Virtuoso Production
Videographer:  Tristan Lyonesse

Bone Dance – Deya Dova

Sept 16, 2017
Dancers: Rose, Elayn
Videographer:  Tristan Lyonesse

 

Come Sail Away/Facets

July 29, 2017
Videographer:  Tristan Lyonesse

 

Shatter Me

July 15, 2017
Videographer:  Tristan Lyonesse
Dancers:  Beebs, CG, Path Jr, Pan, Tristan

 

Barefoot Bluejean Night

June 30, 2017
Videographer:  Tristan Lyonesse
Dancers:  Show Cast

Echoes in Rain

June 18, 2017
Videographer:  Tristan Lyonesse
Dancers:  Misha, Rose

 

Bat Out of Hell

April 29, 2017
Videographer:  Tristan Lyonesse
Dancers:  Lotta, Que, Beebs, & Carol

 

Push It

2015
Dancers: Nick Mammoth
Videographer:  Pia Klaar

  • pre-spot on tools, and when I ran the huds manually ^^ 🙂

 

Posted in Harleyquin Pictures & Video | Leave a comment

Freestyling – what it is and why you just gotta do it!

Freestyling is:

a.  jumping outta bed, running your fingers through your hair, and racing to work.

b.  that thing those skateboarder kids do, where you know you’d break your neck.

c.  when your favorite hair salon has open house and offers free services

d.  loading dance animations into a dance hud, kicking on some music, and choosing animations that fit the song – dancing like nobody’s watching!  Hopefully with a few friends too.


 

Well, I’ve done all those things (except b) but the one we’re talking about today is…. <drumroll>

d.  loading dance animations into a dance hud, kicking on some music, and choosing animations that fit the song – dancing like nobody’s watching!  Hopefully with a few friends too.

But wait…there’s more:

  • In freestyling, you play the animations manually be selecting them from your hud, really dancing you and your friends as you do it.  It gives you a chance to really feel the animations, feel the music, just let go.  No deep thinking, no worrying about recording or anything.  Just simply dancing to whatever music comes on.
  • You don’t know what song may play next.  You do your best, go with it, and have fun!  It’s a great way to loosen up as your mind makes the connection between the animations you play and the music.  Sure, some may work, some animations may look silly, but have a laugh and change it again!  I love tossing that Napoleon Dynamite move in unexpected places!
  • Break out of the mold and enjoy the ride!  When freestyling it’s about having fun!  Try animations and combinations you never thought would work to that Latin music!  You may be very surprised.  No stress, it’s not a performance, and when the song is done it’s done, a new one to start!

Besides having fun and really letting loose, there is one MAJOR benefit:

As you dance you are learning your animations.  It gives you the opportunity to become familiar with them, to see how they move, how they transition from one to the next, how certain animations work with different types of music, and you’re having fun while you’re doing it!

It can really give a boost to your confidence as you let go, relax, take a deep breath.  You’ll find that you start surprising yourself with some very slick moves!

It’s a great way to become extremely comfortable with your dance hud as you invite people, reinvite people, reinvite people, and reinvite people again if they keep missing the invite.  Don’t forget caching your dances too and knowing how to remove them when they decide to head to the punch bowl or pass out in exhaustion…

The more you freestyle, and the more you work with your animations, the easier and more natural it becomes to choreograph a dance.  Focus on feel, and rhythm, and all those other things that bring a dance to life, make it “feel real”.


 

So, how do you freestyle?  It truly is easier and less intimidating than you might think!

First – you need to load an animation hud with mix of animations.  I love the Smooth Dancer hud for this.

  • you choose what animations you want to load.  I always recommend a good mix of animations and a few fun/surprise ones.  Think about where you’re freestyling.  Is a friend streaming?  Are you going to a club?  What kind of music do they play?  *note: just because you’re going to a club, don’t load up on just “upbeat” dances.  Add in some variety!  it’s amazing how different genres of animations can work in a song.  Toss in a few ballet, slow contemporary, and sensual.  Even add a few poses in there for a dramatic finish to a song!  Variety adds interest!
  • if this is your first time freestyling, start with 1 hud.  When you become comfortable, you can wear multiple huds on your screen letting you see more animations at one time and making it easier to flip back and forth!  Don’t forget to invite your friends to all the huds you’ll be using.
  • know the basics of the hud, how to invite people, reinvite, and remove, how many people you can have on your hud.

Second – where will you be freestyling, how are you getting the music?

  • you can literally freestyle anywhere:
    • go out to a club
    • get together with some friends, maybe someone wants to stream music
    • turn on a radio station, on your own sim or even somewhere else
  • I’ve even gone to a beautiful sim where I felt inspired, tossed one of those text titlers over my head that said ‘dancing to the music in my head’, and did just that (well, music only i could hear)

Third – it’s more fun with friends!

  • Invite a friend to go with you, or five, or even more if you’d like.  Go out to a club, have a freestyling party, go to a freestyling party!  It’s fun to do on your own, but also lots of fun when you have others to laugh with when you do the funky chicken to the Beastie Boys…
  • Personally, I wouldn’t go to a club and invite random strangers to my hud, but if you’re a regular and know some of the people or feel comfortable, why not?

Fourth – just do it and have fun!


 

Periodically we have freestyling parties at Ravens House.  Come and dance, or wear a HUD and freestyle the group as we alternate who’s going to lead!  IM me in world (EvaHarley resident) if interested in future invites.

Freestyle on your own, especially with any new animations you buy.

Have your own freestyling party or drag some friends out to a club.  Add costumes to make it even more fun!

as Nike says “Just do it!”

Happy dancing!
~ Eva

Posted in Dance Resources | 1 Comment