05 March 2008

wednesdays are for dancing

on wednesday afternoons, I teach creative movement. which is something like joyful (and somewhat controlled) chaos for about 45 minutes. what we are is a soulful mess of wiggling, shaking, spinning and leaping with some floating and melting thrown in just to balance things out. plus, a whole bunch of other things that may or may not involve hula hoops, bags of bright-colored feathers and fat rolls of bubble wrap. we also make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with our feet and swivel our hips to mimic the agitation of nine miniature washing machines. it's all very serious, I promise.

and while I'm on the subject of dance, two things:

1. I am head over heels in love with danceminute-- a blog that posts one-minute videos of dance as seen through the eyes of a new york dancer/choreographer/film editor. it's absolutely brilliant for a million different reasons but mainly because it points the camera at all kinds of dance and breaks it down into bite-sized pieces. if you visit the site and scroll down, you will be able to view everything from rhythmic hand gestures (performed beautifully by a southern iranian in a swiftly moving car) to a late night informal dance showing in soho to a work-in-progress (big love for the swinging light bulb) to the soul tigers marching band breaking it down for the masses in union square. for me, this is beyond good. THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER. honestly, I'm sort of wishing I'd thought of it first but that doesn't really matter. what matters is that someone thought of it, someone is doing it and now it's out there for the world to see.

2. I'm incredibly disappointed to have missed stephen petronio last night. the only consolation is the promise of a couple performances just around the bend-- urban bush women with compagnie jant-bi and the brenda angiel aerial dance company. portland peoples, these are two modern dance performances not to be missed. I promise you, they will not disappoint. unless you are dead inside. in which case, you may leave these performances feeling mildly let down. but then, you're dead inside and I'm sorry but I can't really help you. let's face it, you've got bigger problems. anyway, I first saw the urban bush women back in 1992 (multiple times since then) and remember vividly how absolutely electric they were on stage, how seamlessly they layered text with an athletic style of movement that can only be described as otherworldly. still reeling from the impact, y'all. still sorting out the influence they've had on me and my deep dancer self. I should write more about them, I really should.

so save your green, pdx friends because these two performances are back to back: one night only for the urban bush women (april 2nd) and three nights for brenda angiel (april 3-5).

wow, when it rains, it pours. april showers, yo.


  1. i did creative movement when i was a kid. i loved it....

  2. hey andrea, your dancing and teaching look like so much fun. i can just picture those movements, hehe, so good. and dancing with feathers? brilliant.

  3. You see, I'd wondered what a movement class entailed and now I know! Another blog opportunity to see the world through someone else's eyes :-)

  4. Whoa, I teach my kids to make pbj sandwiches with their feet, too!
    We must have some of the same influences. Great and inspiring post! Urban Bush Women rock! As do the classes you teach sounds like- :)

  5. your class sounds like a dream to be in... thanks for the links. I hadn't heard of the Urban Bush Women before your post (it's a good thing I come to your blog to widen my dance knowledge).

  6. well i love the melting down
    bit thrown in ~ that's
    where some real original moves
    inspire some cutting edge

    i love that photo ~
    and i must say i wish i had
    you around as a dance teacher ~ my son goes to
    a fine arts school which is just
    brilliant ~ he gets equal time
    in the arts to academics ~
    (dance, drama, art, music)
    and he loves to dance...
    he is my little billy elliot:)

    off to check out that dance link:)

  7. Wonderful post. This is going to sound pathetic...but I loved dance so very much at a certain time of my life that I often avoid it to make me forget how much I miss it. You inspire me to look it square in the face. Off to check out the DanceMinute link.

  8. hello andrea, thanks for the danceminute tip, it's really fantastic!