Flawlessly Tapping

There have been so many singing remakes and choreography videos channeling Beyonce’s most recent album. I can say that I have yet to see a tap tribute this flawless. According to SyncopatedLadies.com, “Inspired by her experience working with Beyonce, Chloe Arnold wanted to bring that fierce feminine style to her passion for Tap Dancing.” The Syncopated Ladies are a tap dancing band that “brings fierce rhythms, fast feet, with a feminine touch! With a cutting-edge sound and look, they are the music and the dance.”(Syncopatedladies.com). The tap dancers have traveled around the world for numerous media performances. 25 countries to be exact, including television shows like So You Think You Can Dance and movies like Idlewild.

The ladies have created tap performances to numerous songs and the one I came across was a salute to the fierce lady herself, Beyonce. “WE LOVE TAP. WE LOVE BEYONCE,” the ladies expressed as a result of having Beyonce as their inspiration. Beyonce even gave them a shout out on twitter saying that, “They killed it!” Needless to say, the video went viral through their quick feet and very unique tap shoes. Feel FLAWLESS with the Syncopated Ladies!

For more information about the group’s events, performances and latest news, visit http://www.syncopatedladies.com

Humble Yourself

I’m sure that as dancers we sometimes think we are better at a certain skill, is more flexible, can do more turns better than our teammates or dance mates in our classes. It feels great to be praised when you are actually doing something right and people start to notice. You have received numerous awards, your instructor always asks you to demonstrate, and you have heard people that you may be the best in the class or the studio. Dancers strive for perfection in every different aspect so you push yourself to make sure that you stay on top. It is important, however, to make sure that you make sure that your attitude matches your dance level. The amount of positivity and curiosity about dancing should ooze throughout your personality as well. If you find yourself getting a “big head” from so many compliments, maybe take a step back to appreciate the true value of your talent and attitude.

Here are tips that will help you to further your talents both mentally and physically to live up to being the best.

Be Proactive: Talk to someone about your goals and what will help you achieve them. Push yourself to go out of your comfort zone and show your diversity.

– Know when to stay and when to go: Be sure to be at a studio that is the right fit for you to grow and achieve. Make sure to explore your options in order to step up training to reach the best of your ability.

Stay grounded: It is so easy to lose sight of the big picture. You have to realize that there may always be someone who may be better than you in some aspect so, stay level headed and try not to get too full of yourself. It’s important to have confidence, but also to stay gracious. 

X Works

If you will be near Purdue University area this upcoming weekend, you’ll have double the opportunity to check out “X Works”, Purdue’s Contemporary Dance Company show. This student-produced concert will be presented to the public Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, April 6. The show will offer a variety of styles including: lyrical, tap, jazz and even belly dance.

Purdue’s Division of Dance presents around six concerts throughout the year: two main stage concerts, two studio/lab concerts, one dance improvisation concert and a dance technology performance. Most dancers involved are degree-seeking students in some aspect of dance and there are others that are fulfilling a core requirement.

THE DETAILS

X Works

April 5 and 6

4 and 6 p.m.

Dance Studio Theatre, Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts

$5 Admission, seating limited

After finding about the upcoming show, I did some research and came across a video that shows the way in which dance has been present at Purdue University for over 80 years. There are some really great highlights from the past and how it has evolved over the years.

“Curiosity + Collaboration = Choreographic Expression”

Eaten one sugarplum too many?

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It is to my knowledge that eating disorders are not a stranger to the dance world. The desire to be a thin ballerina is what many dancers strive for. About 4 years ago, Jenifer Ringer, ballerina of the New York City Ballet was a target for her weight in the Nutcracker’s Sugar Plum Fairy. A particular dance critic wrote that “Ringer…looked as if she’d eaten one sugarplum too many,” and this comment caused a lot of media controversy.

With having nearly 25 years in the dance world, Ringer opened up to ELLE.com about many of the heart wrenching, near death experiences from eating disorders and repeated rejections from auditions in her new book, “Dancing Through It.”  Throughout the book she is expressing how hard it was to become a professional dancer and how the reality of such competition was very harsh. She also goes into detail about how as she became older, she had to attempt to maintain the perfect ballet body. What is a perfect ballet body? You may ask.

If she did not have a small head with a long neck and slim legs, she was unhappy because this was not the look that most cast calls would hire for. She began to restrict her eating and although this was not healthy for her body, she had teachers that would approve of this body. She described the fact of her being too thin as a pleasure, but also a part of the sickness. At her lowest point of her entire journey, she considered suicide because she was so self-involved with who she was becoming based on her looks.

Although I find it very disrespectful to abuse our body to extreme measures, I know that this happens all the time. I feel that society is so stuck on the idea of having to be thin in order to be the right person  for a lead role in the Nutcracker, for example. You can eat healthy and stay active and still have a great body. I really hope that this idea transforms to a positive reinforcement that would allow dancers to be confident in their skin and let their dancing to the talking.

For more questions and answers from this interview, refer to ELLE.com

From a Storybook to the Stage

 

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To celebrate the final days of Black History Month, “The Spirit of the Baobob Tree” makes its way back to the stage. This original black history “Dance-umentary” is an annual show presented by DancExcel, a performing arts education center in Gary, IN. “The Spirit of the Baobob Tree”  is a story about a young boy who was placed in a foster home. To escape the harsh realities, he becomes interested in drawing while life is happening around him. His imagination comes to life as a journey that uncovers the truth behind his drawings are seen through various aspects in history.

The story is written by Dionne Champion and Sherice Grant, the creative directors of the studio. This original folk-tale is told in modern day through dialogue and dance. Dance numbers include modern, ballet, hip hop and tap. Other acts will include musical breaks from other students enrolled at the center. The show highlights the traces of African American roots and culture, along with the most significant issues and perspectives in history. The lesson to be learned at the end is to understand where African Americans have been, where they are now and where they are headed.

Gigantic Eye Dance

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Ever wondered what it would feel like to pose in a picture with your favorite dancer? Fans of New York City Ballet had the chance to somewhat experience this. Inside of the David H. Koch Theater, in New York, about 80 life size ballerinas are arranged  within a 6,500 square-foot vinyl gigantic eye. J R, who is a well known French street artist, was hired to make a masterpiece that would draw more fans to ballet.

The dance company has held three special performances in order to hopefully gain new ballet fans as well. Some fans buy seats that are cheaper and located higher up than on the floor just to get a better view of the art. During the intermissions, attendees actually lie on the floor and pose with the dancers as if they are their partner in a routine. Social media, such as Instagram, has been the biggest piece of feedback from the fans. The creativity  of pictures and videos that people are revealing on Instagram has J R impressed. Some videos include people dancing all over the art work interacting with different dancers. In an article with the NY Times, J R said, “It’s endless, that’s the thing. It’s an endless process”, in regards to furthering repeated actions to provide different realities.

Here’s your chance to feel connected with these talented dancers.

Dancers at Their Feet

Another Problem in Sochi?

Olympics Opening ceremony controversy?

It seems that along with the celebrated opening portion for the games, came with many complaints about what was presented. Yes, another problem added in Sochi. Many felt that a particular portion from the 30 minute dance performance was not an authentic representation of Russian history. Daniel Ezralow, a Russian choreographer with a Broadway background went for a new idea with his choreography. Instead of shedding Russian culture in all of its glory, Ezralow wanted to execute a piece of the Soviet life. His main goal of the dance was to make sure that Russians were able to connect with the piece. As it turns out, the stadium was singing along with the music because the sound was so familiar to those of the culture.

Ezralow explained that a big challenge, but an asset of putting the entire show together was the different ideas from all choreographers involved. Once everyone was able to make their ideas concrete, they were able to start the creative process.  There’s a boundary in dance in which creativity and art is accepted in a variety of ways in how it is presented. Therefore, Ezralow thought that the idea to express and unify those of Russian culture, would be the best way to go. All he wanted was for people come together to celebrate, not feel that there was a division. The media, however brought about many political complaints that attempted to cloud the excitement of the winter games and not accept what was shown.