How long to lead?

This topic contains 4 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 3 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #74812

    Anonymous

    How long do you think a dancer should generally lead for in a song?  I tend to think that switching lead every few moves is distracting, and perhaps confusing to the audience, but I would like others' opinion on the matter.  Of course I understand feeling the music, and not feeling the music, and switching out when it's not “moving” you;  is that more what it should be based on instead of time?

    #96722

    Anonymous

    It honestly depends on a few factors for our troupe. I have 5 dancers that I dance with regularly and only 2 are “lead ready” and “lead confident” for Public performance.  I'm grooming the others to get to that point and it's coming along nicely, but it'll take a bit to get them to where we want them for performance.1. how many lead ready dancers do you have?2. how dynamic are the  changes (if any)in the music?3. how many dancers in the formation? Is there a Chorus?4. How long is the song?1. For us, we have 2 so, we're limitted by that to maybe 4 changes total in a song. 2. A song like Helm - "Amel" where there are 3 speeds in the song (slow intro, Fast 4:4, medium 2:4) we may have 1 leader for the slow portion, then have a change as it goes to fast, a change somewhere IN that fast section and then a lead change again when it switches to the 2:4. Maybe in the fast 4:4 we can have some lead neutral circle time too, which makes for a dyanmics change for the audience. 3. In a trio, I like for all three dnacers to get some lead time, even if one of the "leads" is a fade or in the circle. Quartets have some leeway for keeping it to just 2 leaders, and duets (for us) have a constant banter between lead/follow, facing in towards each other and out towards the audience. There we have a tendency to divide the song in quarters and just follow the dynamic changes in the song.4. Short song, Under 3 minutes, only one lead change. LONG song... 5 mintes+? A minute or so per leader?

    #96723

    Anonymous

    Yes, ours is based on your latter thought process, Noelle. We just change when we want to.  Providing we all know the song, one dancer may have inspiration that last several moves, others longer, other shorter.  For us it's a balance between the phrasing in the music and how long or short that particular leader is inspired to be up there creating something.  They might go up, do one move and be done. 

    #96724

    Anonymous

    There are no rules about giving everyone equal time leading, or anything like that. Rather, I'd say that you should let the music be your guide: when does the music tell you to transition leads? How does your choice of which lead transition to use create a visual representation of the music that the audience will respond to? When is the music telling you to fade vs. circle up? When is it telling you to use a more complex lead transition, like the trio passes (camel and arc arm / “shell game”)? How can you use the lead transitions to tell the visual story of the music and not just change leads for the sake of showing off a new lead dancer?I think the audience will respond better to a good group musicality than just switching up dancers - the latter can look robotic and disconnected, imo. All that said, I'm in total agreement with Carrie - sometimes inspiration dries up and you just gotta get out of the lead!

    #96725

    Anonymous

    Thank you for your insight, ladies, I appreciate it.  My troupe is made up of four dancers, and while I tend to lead/switch out of lead as the music moves me, I feel that some of the other ladies are kind of like, do three moves, change lead…Janet, you said, “I think the audience will respond better to a good group musicality than just switching up dancers – the latter can look robotic and disconnected, imo,” which is what I worry might be happening, lots of switching up instead of doing so when moved by the music.  I guess I am wanting to bring it up to them but wanted to hear from others first that what I felt was what others felt too, so it's nice to get the replies I did.  😉

    #96726

    Anonymous

    In my opinion, it also depends a lot on how you're switching leads.  If it's constantly one person leads, does a few moves, turns into a circle, circle rotates to the next person who then takes the lead, does a few moves…that does get very robotic and boring.Our troupe is currently a trio, which generally means all three of us dancing the entire set, or most of it.  We change leads pretty frequently, but prefer to do so using fades and other formation changes, so we avoid the repeated circling up, which can get tedious.I do agree, though, that it should be based in musicality.  After all, that's what should be driving the entire dance, right? 🙂

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