THE VEIL AS PARTNER
Through spending time alone with your veil you will discover some new and original ways to use the veil when you dance. This time we are going to inject some life into the veil by imagining it as a dancing partner, discovering how to use the veil in a playful or theatrical way. How does it feel to dance together?
EXERCISE 3A: THE VEIL AS PARTNER
1. Hold the veil away from you at arms length and look at it as if it was your dance partner. How do you feel towards your partner? Respectful? Playful? Flirtatious? Attracted? By changing the position of the veil, your arms or body and your expression, experiment with expressing different feelings towards your ‘partner’ or imagining the veil as different characters. Without moving from the spot, discover new poses or ways to hold the veil.
2. Staying ‘in character’ start to move with your veil. Do you draw your partner close to your body or do you turn away? Develop some sequences with the veil as partner moving in the space.
3. Try exercise 2 with different ‘characters’, e.g. dancing with a partner who attracts you or with a partner who supports you, rejects you or plays with you. The possibilities are endless!
4. Think of how you would hold, lift or support a dance partner. Can you transfer these ideas to how you hold or move the veil?
5. Do the exercise without music several times.
6. Make sure to film yourself to capture your new ideas. Watch the film in silence or play oriental music whilst watching your movements. It may surprise you how well some movements fit to the music! Take them and use them in your veil choreography.
EXERCISE 3B : INCORPORATE YOUR IDEAS INTO A COMBINATION
1. Create a combination that begins with meeting your dance partner! Begin by acknowledging and looking at the veil before starting to move together. Will you enter the stage together, meet in the middle or begin in an embrace?
2. Taking the sequences in space you have developed with the veil as partner, try to layer oriental movements into the sequence. Combining the sequences, how do you signal a change from one character to the other? Can you use a change in the music? Work on the transition from one character to the other using poses and stillness before moving in space again with your new idea.
3. If you were to use this combination at the beginning of a Raks Sharki choreography or to enter onto the stage, what message would you be giving your audience? Would it make a difference emotionally to use the partner idea instead of just creating figures and shapes with your veil?
COMING NEXT TIME...
Experimental exercises with the veil as an extension of the body in space, to foster creativity with the veil and escape the clichés!
Photos: Roland Soldi