Basie Centennial Clips

Posted by matthew on May 4, 2005 in dance

Dachelle just pointed me in the direction of a batch of video clips available by FTP from the Basie Centennial event in New York last year. These are fantastic clips and include some terrific footage from the Hellzapoppin’ contest there. See for yourself (but make sure you have broadband). ftp://dans.poy.no/events/y6a/


Life is good

Posted by matthew on May 4, 2005 in dance, life

Life is good today. I had been feeling a little sorry for myself this week after having suffered for at least 10 days with the effects of the Hullabaloo ‘flu (a cold, really). It’s not one of those debilitating colds — just one that’s hard to shake. Anyway yesterday and today I have been feeling decidedly more upbeat, and I put it down to the receding effects of the virus. Last night we invited Ursi from Switzerland to join our troupe training. It was an excellent decision as she inspired us all. Watching a professional dancer of her calibre is intimidating to be sure, but it challenges us, and we are often struggling to find new ways to bring our dancing to a new level. She showed us a very short routine to a slow jazz track from a Starbucks compilation CD. I’m having trouble tracking down the track name, unfortunately. Anyway the routine focussed strong, slow movements combined with fast ones, and it was incredibly difficult to infuse with quite the same feeling as Ursi.

I think I was able to do it all the way through on the correct time, but I was struggling with pretty much all the nuances of movement. For one thing, body rolls are something I just don’t seem to be able to do with my computer-stiff back and neck. I fantasise sometimes about the idea of dancing all day every day, and wonder how my body would be transformed. It would be really interesting to find out just how much flexibility and strength someone like me could get with the kind of daily regimen that someone like Ursi uses. She told us on the way home that she has trained 2 hours a day while she’s been here, and she has felt like she has been slacking off dramatically. I’m sure that if I trained for an hour a day for one week I would imagine that I was an elite athlete. It’s all relative I suppose.