Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
I jumped in the car keen and eager to head off to class, turned the key... click... turned it again... click... crap - flat battery!! I'd taken my car in for a warrant recheck in the morning after replacing the brake light bulb, what I hadn't realize that at the testing station they turned my lights on and so when I got back home I didn't know to turn them off!! Gaaaah!!
I called the AA for a jump start, left a message with my teacher to let her know I'd be late then waited for an hour for the AA to turn up and get me going again.... gggrrrrr!
So, I missed all but the last 5 minutes of the first class. I got there in time to join in one last run through the choreography and actually surprised myself by keeping up with most of it except the formation flying parts.
Solo development class was another story though. This week we were all to dance in front of the class to the second minute of our chosen piece of music... again we were to be videoed to watch later along side feedback from the teacher. As we'd done the chair dance a couple of weeks ago the thought of dancing in front of the others wasn't too daunting.... that was... until... I watched the people before me get up and do their thing. It seemed to me that they've put a lot more thought and practice into their pieces than I had. I started to get a bit worried.
My turn came around eventually and I got up to give it my best shot, it could have been worse, at least I managed to keep moving and not freeze up but still I felt as though I could have done a lot better if I'd put in more effort (any effort) since the chair dance. The entire time I did my best to interpret the music but the style is still quite foreign to me and I felt quite disappointed with myself.
At the end of class my teacher tried to transfer the video and feedback from the chair dancing to a flash drive for me to bring home and analyze but there was some sort of compatibility issue so instead I stayed on to watch it and read the feedback before heading home. There was a lot more positive feedback than I'd expected and all the points to improve on were very fair and most definitely warranted. I got home with a determination to make more of an effort to improve.
I set the alarm for earlier so that the next morning I got up to put in some practice before work. This was when I started to feel quite dejected, nothing was happening naturally, nothing was spontaneously jiggling, shimmying or popping and I felt as though I was constantly thinking about what to dance. What was I thinking when I chose this style of dance!
There was no way I was going to be able to come up with anything like the videos I'd seen of the gorgeous dancers making it look oh so natural! All my moves were on the "up" rather than being earthy and grounded... Why did I ever consider I could do this? Who did I think I was? I'm no dancer! Had I bitten off more than I could chew?
Thankfully my teacher had loaned me another DVD to watch. This one was more of an instructional DVD rather than pure performance. I've started watching it and practicing some of the combinations and now have clawed back a little hope that I can do this. Whatever comes out of this class I have to remember a few things... This is the first time I've gone through this process! My physique is a whole lot different from those fantastic dancers I've watched performing so no matter what I do, at this point in time I'll look nothing like them. And... I'm still learning for goodness sake! I need to lighten up on myself... this is meant to be fun for God's sake!!
So I’ve been listening to the track over and over and realize that I will have to make the choreography far less ornamental than anything on the DVDs I’ve seen… at the end of the day it will be mine and I will have learnt a lot by going through the process.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
So I'm back on the mainland and it doesn't quite feel right. I was really not looking forward to leaving our little corner of paradise... and was even less enthusiastic about arriving back in the city. I think that perhaps my brain is resisting reality because I feel very floaty and am operating almost "out of body". It's a bit bizarre really, it's a bit like I still have sea legs and I feel as though I'm hovering a few feet away from my body. My balance feels out of whack and everymove feels like going through treacle. It's almost as though I'm operating in a different gravity field when I get back and that my body is resisting becoming attached to this reality ... I'd much rather be back on the island.
I'm just going to kick back and try to fit back in... slowly... very slowly... and check my Lotto tickets!!
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
I am not yet sure what I think about it... there is a lot to take in.
There were about 25-30 people at the club to see the film and some of the reactions were interesting to watch/listen to.
Part of me wishes I hadn't seen it at all... I don't want to have to think about it... It's too confronting... I don't want to have to make a call on whether I believe what its saying.... I don't want to believe that there are people in this world so consumed by greed they have no regard for the rest of us except as a means to further their own wealth...
and what exactly am I meant to do about it anyway?
But... I have seen it... and it keeps popping into my head .... and I keep thinking about it... and even though I don't really want to, I think I might have to watch it a few more times to get my head around it... I guess that's the point.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
I was a real sadsack most of the day… my own fault. I’d stayed on at the pub last night and was suffering for it this morning. I didn’t have any motivation and basically lay about feeling sorry for myself most of the day. Funnily enough, the closer I got to the Barrier the better I felt. The drive to the airport with the windows right down helped… as did the bottle of V I skulled on the way! By the time I got off the plane I was feeling a million times better! What a magical place this is!!
Steve picked me up and drove me up to the bach… the first time I’ve been traveled over here without Tommy also being here!
I opened up and walked in… Phoooaarr! What is the pong?? I looked around…
Can you see my welcoming committee?
On the bench to the left??
Take a closer look…
That’s the last time we’re leaving the trap set when we’re not here!! Just as well I got rat bait to lay this trip!
So, I got that cleaned up, hooked the fridge up to the gas bottle and set it running and have been kicking back enjoying the peace and quiet.
Now I’m off down to the Club for dinner and a movie… and given my improved state of health… probably a beer.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Well.... the latest installment of my Solo Development class was very... ummmm... interesting... challenging.... freaky...
Lordy I nearly freaked out!
We had been given a DVD each to watch and review. In class this week we had to give our opinions of it and then... sit on a chair and interpret our chosen piece of music in dance from the top half up.... Yikes! Not only that but our teacher was videoing each of us so we can see it later alongside of any comments she has to offer... gulp!
Luckily I was not first up but still it was a daunting experience.
My DVD was Tribal Fusions... I was able to review this quite easily. The performances ranged from what I considered to be belly dance to more modern dance (without necessarily being belly dance). Some pieces I loved - some I hated with a passion!
Then ... my performance time... it didn't help that initially the wrong music was playing - most certainly not the track I had picked out from the beginning! Once we got that sorted it was crunch time! As I had watched the DVD I realised I would need to work on my arm technique and had been thinking about this not realising just how soon I would need to put it into practice. I made it through the first gruelling 60 seconds but it was hard!... No hips, no stepping..... I found myself becoming more internalised to trying and shut out distractions - not necessarily a bad thing but also not making contact with my audience. I did start to relax more towards the end and just "let it happen" which resulted in a spontaneous "flutter" ... I surprised myself with that one!
What I am really keen to find out is the feedback from the teacher... I won't be in class next week so I guess I'll have to wait for that.
The really interesting thing about this whole exercise is that it was a whole lot less frightening than "the circle of death" does this mean that I'm finding more self confidence in my dance? I suppose it must... so I guess this class is achieving exactly what I'd hoped for! Challenging me as a dancer... how scary is that?
Watch out world!!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
My bellydance teacher is organising a group trip over to Sydney in November to see the Farha Tour! How exciting!
I put my name down a couple of weeks ago as a definate starter and we have just been waiting to hear if there would be enough people to make it viable. We do!! Today I paid my deposit and am really excited.
As well as seeing the show there will be opportunity to attend workshops with some amazing dancers so now I'll have to study the workshop timetable and work out what it is I want to try!
Squeeeeeee!! Did I mention how excited I am?
Monday, March 10, 2008
We left at about 4 in the afternoon to make the trip back to Auckland with Craig telling us our apprenticeship was served...
"That's all there is to it!" he told us, grinning.
Tommy was buzzing with excitement about how easy all it was. It had been one thing to know, in theory, how it was all worked but having experienced part of the process first hand has made it so much more real and certainly more achievable. I had a bit of an afterglow, that lovely tired feeling you get after a day's physical work to achieve something. We contributed in a small way to something that will become a fantastic building but more importantly we have had an experience that really proves to us that our dream of building our own mudbrick house is not a dream at all, it's an entirely acheiveable goal.
As if that wasn't enough, on our trip back we had another experience that reminded us why we want to move off the mainland....
Monday, March 03, 2008
...5th form science class, with Mr Calder.
One lesson we we treated to a somewhat spectactular demonstration of the same reaction MacGyver used. It involved mixing sulphuric acid with sugar to demonstrate the dehydration properties of the sulphuric acid. Mr Calder brought out a really big beaker - it must've held at least a litre. Into it he poured some sucrose ... he seemed rather gleeful, with a twinkle in his eye. Then as he added the suphuric acid he was fair dancing about like a pixie.
Initially we weren't very impressed... all that seemed to happen was the sugar tuned yellow... not very exciting really....
But then there was a bit of a waft... and a bit more.... fumes like smoke started filling the room and the distinct smell of burning toffee permeated everything. As the thing fizzed and spewed out smoke it got to the stage where we could barely see each other...
"Okay, everybody outside... come on now... is everyone here? Standstill while I do a head count..."
Ha!! We had to hang out outside while the air cleared in the classroom. This was going to be something to talk about. As far as any of us knew, this was the first time anyone had evacuated a science class! Eventually the haze cleared and we started filing back i nto the class.... Lo! there! ... where the beaker had farted and spewed forth all those fumes... was a tower... a black tower of.... now what was that reaction meant to produce?.... A carbon tower rose out of the beaker and stood there... at least 18 inches tall.... As we all stood about with our mouths agape in awe, Mr Calder grinned, eyes twinkling... it was the BEST.SCIENCE.CLASS.EVER!!