the art of dance

for anyone interested in dance --the art of designing spaces with the body

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Escenic Arts Festival 2008, Panama City

Starting from tomorrow April 3 until Monday, Panama City will be welcoming several artists and dance academies from diverse countries, in commemoration of the FAE 2008 (Festival de Artes Escenicas). Dance groups from Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Costa Rica, Colombia, Spain, and the US will be performing and offering workshops during this festival.
I really wanted to be there, because the festival is held every two years. I went to the last one in 2006 and even participated in a two-day seminar with a very recognized modern dance choreographer from Costa Rica. I also had the honor to participate in it with Milvia Martinez, which is one of the most outstanding modern dance ballerinas in Panama. This year she will be presenting her last piece, and also sharing the stage with Analida Galindo the most renowned modern dance ballerina in my country. When I read yesterday the news about this event that these professionals were dancing together, I felt very excited because for sure it will be a spectacle that no one should miss. Yet, I will be the one missing it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Out of this world - video above

This is just unbelievable. The beauty and gracefulness of ballet combined with the breathtaking gymnastics: awesome. This Chinese couple who worked for years to get this piece done, are masters of arts by putting into real practice what a lot of people believe it is not possible.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dance activity in Panama

Hi everyone. I know there has been long time since I wrote my last post. I was on my break of classes and went back home to Panama. It lasted about a month and a half and feels like little. Once you are with family and friends again, it’s hard to realize that you have to return for classes that are about to start. And it’s even harder when you are enjoying warm summer weather at the beach, to suddenly start freezing at the north.
Anyways, referring to the main theme in here there was a quite active dance period in Panama. All dance academies and schools had their final performances of the year where girls from different ages demonstrate what they have learned. During the mid of December there was this aerial dance festival for 5 consecutive days in which national and international dance companies presented their numbers. I heard critiques and comments about it saying that the performances were great. There was also a Nutcracker presentation for two nights after Christmas, conformed by Panamanians young dancers from different academies and schools, directed by the Polish choreographer Marek Cholewa. I believe Cholewa goes to Panama every year or every two years to work on big ballets, since a long time ago. I even auditioned once for the Nutcracker he was directing some years ago. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend to any of these performances during my stay at home.
Now back in school, I will keep posting every often about dance and interesting things related to it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

OK Go - Here It Goes Again

here is the treadmill video

Performance: a gift from the dancer to the audience

Referring to some videos that I saw about the different dance techniques of two great figures in modern dance, Jose Limon and Alwin Nikolais, I felt the need to write about what their thoughts were regarding an audience’s reaction toward a modern dance piece. Knowing that in those times when modern dance was beginning, people did not quite accept modern dance as an art, compared to ballet.
As a lover of modern dance, I couldn’t agreed more when Jose Limon expressed in the video that modern dance it’s a challenge for the audience. He likes the audience to experience that challenge which is a presentation of an artistic idea. Complementing that thought with this one of Nikolais’s, who says that he likes to give the audience the freedom to imagine what they want from his work. He is giving the audience a conceptual gift, an idea that is up to the audience’s criteria to figure it out.
It is impressive how two different artists with different styles think like one person, in reference to modern dance and its effect in the audience. I think that today we still struggle with close minded people to appreciate the beauty of modern dance. And will stay that way until they understand what modern dance is about, overcoming the “challenge” and using the “freedom of imagination” that modern dance artists provide.
Videos: “Jose Limon and Company, with a collaboration of Doris Humphrey" (no specific date) and, "The world of Alwin Nikolais" (1990).

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Treadmills as a new stage

I saw this post by a dancer and choreographer about treadmill dances, and think it was interesting how these dancers used the machine not to exercise, but as an element that is part of the choreography.
From all the videos that Maria, the author, posted on her blog, this one in particular caught my attention for the successful use of the equipment and the way the dancers created original movements incorporating the machine. The treadmill is no longer seen as an exercise machine, but as the technological element that gives life to the whole composition, providing a visual spectacle to the choreography.
It might be seen as foolish how someone can use a treadmill for a dance piece. However, nowadays dancers and artists use technology as part of their creative sense of their work to create new form of arts.
In this case it was a treadmill, but it can also be any other simple object in which someone finds another use for it as a complement for an artistic piece.

*Don't end reading this post without checking the video, above.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

For open minded people only

Everyone is feeling the Christmas spirit coming, and in the dance world a magical Nutcracker completes the season. Everyone is waiting to see The Nutcracker ballet, full of magic and fantasy that makes us all remind of our childhood and enhances the Christmas spirit.
The Nutcracker Rated R, takes a different turn towards what we all expect of the sweetness from the original Nutcracker. This one instead, presents Clara, as a grown up teenager, exploring the world of drugs, sex and other vices. The ballet uses the same concept of the original story but with some arrangements; Clara gets from her uncle an album from an androgynous singer from the 80’s instead of the nutcracker, fells asleep after partying and dream about the fight between rats and soldiers.
After reading this article from the
New York Times, not everyone likes the idea of this dissident version. Indeed, the author of the article states that is not worth watching it. I, as an open minded viewer and dance lover, don’t agree because it is still a dance performance that shows talented dancers. It is a modern ballet dance performance with hours of effort and practice.
If you want to know more about the Nutcracker Rated R
click here.