Friday, March 28, 2014

Shake It Baby


Every spring Seattle hosts a three day belly dance festival called Cues and Tattoos. What makes this event special is it's emphasis on the role of improvisation in the belly dance form. There are many branches of American belly dance, each with an emphasis on a particular movement style or regional music and movements, but improvisation is a fundamental part of nearly every kind of belly dance being practiced in the United States. That being so, in recent years there has been a marked shift way from improvisation and towards set choreography. Not so at Cues and Tattoos. One of the requirements for participating in their performance showcase is that at least 50 percent of the performance be improvised, which is especially challenging for any group that wants to present something other than the well-known and easily recognized movements of American Tribal or International Tribal styles.

My solution,  to play with "weaving" choreography and improvisation, unconventional formations, and a little bit of impish playfulness. What I have to show for it is a deeply textured and seamless piece that is, in fact, different every time. Time to put it on the stage.


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