Saturday, April 29, 2006

Betty Boop in a China Shop


Improv dance is challenging---what will I do? How will I look to the audience? What if I don't know the music? What are my arms and legs doing ?!...

Yes, we tried out some dance games at Thursday night's bellydance class. It was the end of a dance session, with one favourite teacher passing the next session on to another favourite teacher due to other life committments, so we were all feeling a little bittersweet. We were sitting in a circle on the floor, discussing upcoming dance parties and recent epiphanies, and not really feeling much like dancing, when someone had the bright idea to fetch a bottle of wine from a nearby shop to toast our teacher.

Well, it's amazing how much more energy we had in us after downing a mere thimbleful of wine: we decided to play a game to practice our improv skills. We wrote a "location" or "environment" on one piece of folded-up paper, and then an "emotion" on the other. We put them in the middle and randomly drew one from each pile.

My first random dance instructions were to combine the feeling of "euphoria" with being " in a favourite childhood place (like a fort)". And then the other dancers watching me had to guess what I was trying to convey. Ah, belly-dance charades! It builds character, I'm sure.

Other class members danced being "joyful in an ocean", "overwhelmed in a greenhouse", and a very saucy portrayal of being "sultry in the kitchen".

We played a second round where we now chose a "character" as well as a location.

I guess its a good thing to challenge oneself... that's how I ended up dancing "Betty Boop in a China Shop" to a Turkish dance tune the other night. I got the Betty Boop idea across in a satisfyingly short time, but how exactly does one belly-dance being in a china-shop?

And then a third round---yes, I think any self-consciousness had dissolved by this point in the evening... we were laughing too hard.

I danced an improv duet with my teacher as my partner: she portrayed a medieval knight and I had to personify Spring Equinox--strewing flowers from an invisible basket and pretending to run my fingers through my imaginary long, flowing hair.

I also watched a dance duel between Super Woman and a sword-fighter, and a stand-off (in dance) between a female wrestler and a flamenco-dancer! Now that's something you don't see every day!

10 comments:

Liz said...

You guys sure have some imagination. Can't imagine adding dancing to it.

Tai said...

HAHA!
That sounds so amazing and creative...I'm envious!

Crazy Me said...

That sounds like so much fun!!

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

That sounds hi-LAR-ious!

Valkyrie said...

My girlfriend knows how to bellydance and now I want to learn, despite my klutziness.

Ian Lidster said...

Betty Boop in a china shop. Love it. Wendy is a huge BB fan. Did you know some of her cartoons from the 1930s were censored because of her proclivities towards showing off her panties?

dragonflyfilly said...

hey spider girl, thanks for the info.
these are teeny tiny ones, almost micro-scopic (i try not to kill spiders by the way, well, i seldom kill any insects.) when i went to move what i thought was a big spider, i touched it with the corner of the paper towel to nudge it out the window, and }}}}bingo{{{
it fanned out into all these little ones, kind of connected to each other, but flying all over the place, and sticking to my fingers, about a hundred of them. whew! what a mess, i finally had to get my blow dryer, and on the lowest possible setting, spent about 15 minutes removing them from my window frame...what a job!

WOW, the improv dance class sounds like such fun!! -- maybe i will meet you at one of the many Belly Dancing events that occur around these parts. My very first hands-on experience so to speak with real belly dancing was on Gabriolla Island, my friend Connie invited me and my daughter to a Spring Arts/Women's Fair there about 6 years ago...have been wanting to do belly dancing since then [check out my March 20 post for nice photos of my daughter's first "mini-exhibition"].

i have my fourth lesson tonight at the local rec. centre. it is extremely difficult for me with my stupid condition, but i force myself to go, even tho' it hurts, because the next day i feel so much better (mentally and physically) - when we had our first "veil" lesson, we all laughed and laughed, because most of us got all tangled up in them, but once we got the hang of it, ohhh, such beauty and grace...

- i love the whole belly dancing community, i find the women all so open and giving and excited about their art...WONDERFUL ENERGY...

thanks for all the fab photos and stories.

cheers for now,
pj

Ms.L said...

oooh that sounds so lovely!
Fun too,hee female wrestler and aflamenco-dancer,I love that!

Grant said...

Joyful in an ocean? Look at all the little fishes at the bottom of the sea. Who would like to join them? Who would like to join them? Who...

glenda said...

What fun. You seem like such a free spirit.....