Derwood Green and Musicality in General

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  • #74800

    Anonymous

    Hey everyone!This term I have been doing lots of work with my ladies on this track as we have the Flash Mob coming up and it's not an easy one!My personal musical interpretation is there are 4 definite slow sections, then a section 2/3 of the way through that I'd define as a bit "ambiguous" as I've seen both fast and slow interpretations and like them both.I'm trying to get the students used to the song so they know where the definite slow sections are, however those that have not "done their homework" are not catching these right away - I have suggested that if it's a beat or two in and they switch to slow that's ok, but if they're nearly to the end of the phrase and switch to slow only to have to switch back to fast a couple of beats later it's confusing and they should probably stick to the fast. The last section of slow towards the end is longer though and also lacks the "pulse" of the other slow sections so it's driving me quietly potty when they don't catch it tee hee. 🙂I know that it's a whole other level for them on top of remembering moves, formations, posture etc etc. And I'm talking students L2-3 here with varying abilities so I realise this piece of music is asking a lot from them.But I'm just interested to know how everyone views dancing and teaching musicality for this type of track. How "strict" are you with enforcing musicality (sorry I sound like a drill sergeant!) Would you go as far as to say if they can't hear the changes they should not take the lead in a performance situation? Or is that too extreme? What kind of levels of musicality do you expect from your troupes / performing students?If you are in a troupe do you discuss the track in advance - where you go fast, where you go slow? Do you ever have any "ambiguous" sections? Or do you all agree to stick to one thing each time no matter who's leading?Thanks so much for your feedback in advance!xx

    #96659

    Anonymous

    “Would you go as far as to say if they can't hear the changes they should not take the lead in a performance situation? Or is that too extreme? What kind of levels of musicality do you expect from your troupes / performing students?”I don't expect a crazy level of musical knowledge, but the BEAT and the '1' are NOT negotiable.  As in, if you can't perceive and interpret Rhythmic, dynamic, or tonal changes then, NO, you should not yet be leading in a performance setting. I myself have a lot of Musical ability and knowledge, I play the guitar, played the cello and Drum occasionally so i have an edge, but i do expect the Performing students to interpret the music appropriately.  The 'ambiguous' slows that happen tend to get interpretted by my troupe in 2 ways. if it's longer than 4 counts of deviation from the 4:4 that is established in the song then i expect us to do a slow move. If it is less then we play right through it, keeping the rhythm with the zills. Also, it helps a lot to really KNOW the song. Meaning you stopped counting it in the front of your brain and just have it memorize "i know at about 2 minutes in xyz will happen in the song and can dance accordingly" So I definitely expect my performing students and troupemates to Study the music, Play it inthe car, dance to it, workout to it inthe gym...whatever you need to do to KNOW that music before we perform it.

    #96660

    Anonymous

    Thanks Adhara!Yes the beat and the "1" are non-negotiable! 🙂 I love how you put it like that. Also how you've set 4 counts as the benchmark for going slow. Thank you.Anyone else? Would love to get some more views on this if possible!

    #96661

    Anonymous

    This song has always been a *one way or the other* situation for me, and a lot of my dancers.We love it so much but....Sometimes we can go through it without a hitch, other times we can't dance to it to save our lives.Unfortunately, we're not all in unison with our on/off days,  😮We ran through it yesterday, but I've been having such a bad week with my balance issues, and muscle/joint painon top of it, that I walked over to the stereo halfway through it and turned it off... cuz we were pretty much all havinga rough go. Hence, I am not doing the ATSWWFM today, cuz it would only be me due to it being our ThanksgivingWeekend, and since I can't even walk in a straight line today, there is no point me trying to do this 🙁Also, on the musicality 'note', if you'll pardon the pun... I used to play flute and alto sax, and danced/taught ballet,and yet, even knowing the music we're dancing to, I sometimes miss things, maybe it's age creeping up on me, and I'm not as 'sharp' as i used to be 😉  I know lots of musicians who can't dance, can't find the rhythm with their body, but are amazing at their craft.  I know dancers who play musical instruments,or sing in choirs, or whatever, and they can't dance.. so I'm not exactly sure what the connection is between musicality and being able to dance adequately, or better.  It's always been a puzzlement to me.

    #96662

    Anonymous

    I stress to my students that need to know the songs before dancing to them.  Particularly one that is challenging like Derwood Green.  We just danced to that this weekend.  The hard breaks were the slow is definite is not negotiable.  But the flute part is. I do discuss finding the beat and the various rhythms in Level 1 but generally, I do a full blown musicality class or two in Level 2 when we start to add songs with changes like Amel.  I usually start them off with less challenging songs and work up to Derwood Green.  But I like to keep those songs in rotation and we drill to them.  Sometimes we loop the same song during a class so they get a feel for it.  I find that everyone learns to hear the beats differently.  I am trying to learn new ways of teaching this too.

    #96663

    Anonymous

    Yep, I hear ya and agree with ya, Raven! I use similar techniques for myself, and my students, but the more challenging the song, the more difficult it is to dance it well.  Also, I think it takes a long time for some people to 'get an ear' for this type of music, as it is so foreign to them.  Oh well, what is life without challenge?! 😉

    #96664

    Anonymous

    Derwood Green is a challenge.  But the genius of Hossam Ramzy and Phil Thornton is apparent.  Any good dance song should lead you through a whole landscape and should make sense to the dancer.  To dance to it, you must understand what this landscape looks like, otherwise, it will be very unsatisfying to the dancer and to the audience.  There are those either/or fast/slow moments in this song as well (and in others - don't ask me, I can't think of the names right now - but they're there!).  It is a matter of how you want to interpret those moments. As for students performing to challenging songs like these, I would save advanced songs for advanced dancers.  You want everyone to excel in a performance, which equals to you excelling as a teacher in giving them the challenge, but also something to work towards.  It is not the task of the student to choose a song to perform to that is way over their heads and then working on dancing to it.  That will only give them the experience of one song.  They must work up to that level within their practice, always.  ...and the non-negotiable "1".

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