The Wizard of Oz

Posted by matthew on Apr 13, 2005 in dance

On Monday night Lotte and I had the pleasure of seeing the kids involved in the Mt Scopus production of The Wizard of Oz perform a number we had choreographed for them while Lotte was on placement as a student-teacher. The kids were really terrific. About 30 of them performed The Jitterbug, which is a song that never appeard in the film. It’s a shame because it’s actually a really swinging number. We did track down some shaky footage of the cast of the film rehearsing it before it was dropped (it’s an extra on one of the DVDs). The challenges in choregraphing it were many: the kids varied greatly in their age and dance experience, and the number was quite long and very high energy. We needed to come up with a way for the stronger students to do some “real LindyHop” stuff without requiring too much of them, and we only had 2 sessions to teach them! Lotte did almost all of the work, of course. I just helped with the planning and choreography. We split them up into smaller groups and gave each group a short sequence. There was a longer sequence that they all did as a chorus, and then the smaller groups trade phrases, stealing the spotlight briefly. The principle actors (pictured) all needed small dance parts of their own that were not too challenging because they were singing at the same time with headmics.

The way it turned out was even better than we’d imagined, dance-wise. The kids completely nailed it, really. Musically it was not so great. Instead of using the recorded track as they had said, they decided to play the music live. That would have been a big ask for an experienced swing band, but for the student band it was a nightmare and they didn’t pull it off. To the kids’ credit they danced it all as though the music was spot on, and they got away with it. Thankfully there was a reprise at the end and one of the two numbers they did was The Jitterbug. It worked better musically the second time through, and it showed. After the show the kids came up to us and told Lotte that they’d seen her watching and dancing away in her seat. They went back to their friends and said “Lotte’s here! Now we really have to dance well!!”. It was so cute.


A Very Good Day

Posted by matthew on Apr 13, 2005 in life

All in all I’ve decided that today was a Very Good Day. For one reason or another I’ve been very productive at work this week and today was no exception. It’s always a good feeling when you know you’re really on top of things at work. Sometimes coming to work can be a drudgery, but this week I seem have quite a lot to do and that motivates me. So I’ve been turning out work by the bucketloads.

Tonight was dedicated as Tax Night, due to the fact that I have an appointment on Friday with my Accountant to put in my (now very overdue) tax returns for the past two years! Whenever I tell people about this I feel really guilty. Accountijng is my least favourite thing to do in the world. But the funny thing is just about everyone says that they get behind on their taxes pretty often too. That always makes me feel a bit better!

Strange that I hate doing accounts but I’m really enjoying the accounting project I’m doing with Business Information Systems. I guess it’s just teaching people how to do accounts, not actually doing it myself. Even better I get to try to think up ways to make it more interesting for them, which has got to be a benefit to society, don’t you think?

So anyway the other good thing about today was that I got my tax done. At least, all I need to do before seeing the Accountant. Yeehar.

As if that wasn’t enough, just an hour or so I got an email from someone who was organising the gradual repayment of a long overdue sum of money — sponsorship money that fell through — for an event in 2003! I’ve been waiting a long time for this to happen and it finally looks like it will. This means we may be able to keep up with uni fees without going a long way into debt after all. Phew.

OK, I have an early start and I should be in bed. I just thought I would post something trivial instead of a huge long super-pretend-seriou s thing about DJing or something. I’ve noticed nobody comments on the long boring blog entries!