Dance Queens

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2014/10/30

Getting Great Ideas!

What a great idea!

Great ideas, I've realized are what separates good shows from great shows. I am willing to bet that of all the times spent on shows: choreo, song selection, set building, costume selection, rehearsing, special fx, emoting..that less time is spent on thinking up a good idea than any of the above. Ane yet, great ideas are what has the greatest impact on what I came away with. What makes a performance stick in my mind, making it memorable?

We've heard from Baby's popular post (Feeling uninspired? Need some ideas?offering ideas on how to get ideas, and an arousing trail of 9 comments to Kat's blog on Is Dance in SL Art?

I saw a recent show that really impressed me and made me rethink what makes good shows. I am now thinking that more than "payoffs", packaged tricks you can do, that what truly separates the good from the great is "fresh ideas". 
Not a bit stage. A troupe of 3. Not glitz. Even lightly attended. No pre-show hype. Didn't say they were the 'best'. No Las Vegas glitz. Just great song selection, great dance selections, an approach that made you cock your head and go whoa. Sometimes you see a big production and go ...'just ok', and wonder why its packed, and then on occasion see 'a little show, lightly attended and go...ok this feels awkward...this theater should be packed. I dunno. I dunno. What the heck do I know?

It was just different. Not your typical Halloween show and its easy to get into the "rut of dancing at gravesites" Yep I even had have a routine where i thought i was cool doing my Thriller dance...talk about innovation...NOT duh!.  

And of course those types of great shows make you go shuffling back to your drawing board in your basement scratching your head asking yourself, "Why can't i create like that? And swearing your next creation WILL be as note-worthy. 

There is more to it than the trite formulaic offering that I proposed way back when...to 'razzle dazzle them', 

Razzle dazzle 'em
And they;ll never catch wise!
Give 'em the old Razzle Dazzle
BILLY AND COMPANY
Razzle dazzle 'em
Give 'em a show that's so splendiferous
BILLY
Row after row will grow vociferous
BILLY AND COMPANY
Give 'em the old flim flam flummox
Fool and fracture 'em
BILLY
How can they hear the truth above the roar

Chicago The Musical 


...all though i do believe some honest razz-a-dazz is a component of the 'all of it'.

But I am now more influenced by an article from Issac Asimov How Do People Get New Ideas?

What seems important is that conditions be "intentionaly" provided such that we have a hugely improved chance of "getting new ideas".

Here are some key excerpted points that took away from this article:

======================
I propose increasing your knowledge of the subject matter,if you are not already a subject matter expert. Maybe do some extra research on "it" and add a new spin on an old record, based on what he says here...

"the person who is most likely to get new ideas is a person of good background in the field of interest and one who is unconventional in his habits. (To be a crackpot is not, however, enough in itself.)" 

I am wagering that, like he suggests below, you will have best success if your efforts on 'the idea' be devoloped in "isolotion". Walk alone.

"Do you want to bring them together so that they may discuss the problem mutually, or should you inform each of the problem and allow them to work in isolation?"


"My feeling is that as far as creativity is concerned, isolation is required. The creative person is, in any case, continually working at it. His mind is shuffling his information at all times, even when he is not conscious of it." 


"The presence of others can only inhibit this process, since creation is embarrassing. For every new good idea you have, there are a hundred, ten thousand foolish ones, which you naturally do not care to display."

Now what he states below is something I presumed and has been at the core of my works over the past 4 years. Offering people interconnecting 'blocks' to allow them to find associations and combinations to create anew from old. And people can combine each others combinations into even new combinations. 

"Furthermore, the information may not only be of individual items A and B, but even of combinations such as A-B, which in themselves are not significant. However, if one person mentions the unusual combination of A-B and another unusual combination A-C, it may well be that the combination A-B-C, which neither has thought of separately, may yield an answer."

Yes. take the time to state the facts, including the obvious. Then brainstorm associations and combinations without fear of ridicule. 
"It seems to me then that the purpose of cerebration sessions is not to think up new ideas but to educate the participants in facts and fact-combinations, in theories and vagrant thoughts."

I think the most important part of this new approach is state-of-mind. It must be loose, carefree, of reckless abandon, frivolous, cantankerous, free-spirited, freely-associating, non-nonsensical, Alice-In-Wonderland-ish. While not promoting it, I wouldn't be surprised if many of the great creations have come while someone was 'under the influence', legal-or-not, of god knows what.
"should be a feeling of informality. Joviality, the use of first names, joking, relaxed kidding are, I think, of the essence—not in themselves, but because they encourage a willingness to be involved in the folly of creativeness." 
Repeating, the best way to avoid disapproval is to work alone. But if the choice is to collaborate then the rules-of-engagement should state that anything goes. Time-out on critiquing. No thought-stopping negatives. Let the process play out. No saying 'that wont work because' or 'we know that will never happen', as that idea that seems idiotic to you may be just a stepping stone to the 'real great idea coming up subsequently.

 "there must be ease, relaxation, and a general sense of permissiveness. The world in general disapproves of creativity, and to be creative in public is particularly bad. Even to speculate in public is rather worrisome. The individuals must, therefore, have the feeling that the others won’t object".

Maybe even being intent on being outlandish, the edges of a twilight zone. Force yourself to be crazy, off-center, if that is NOT your normal comfort zone. Try and make others laugh if that's what it takes to 'sound foolish' as he says below.

"all people at a session be willing to sound foolish and listen to others sound foolish."

If one person is dominating a group cerebration and you feel stifled then i suggest you politely dismiss yourself and go about the process solo.

"if a single individual present has a much greater reputation than the others, or is more articulate, or has a distinctly more commanding personality, he may well take over the conference and reduce the rest to little more than passive obedience. The individual may himself be extremely useful, but he might as well be put to work solo, for he is neutralizing the rest."

Sure 5 sounds like a reasonable limit on a cerebration session.

"I should guess that no more than five would be wanted." 

I really like the idea of having non-conventional meeting places as he suggests. If in SL, then maybe at a club, relaxing jazz club maybe or at an art gallery. Form a conference.

"a meeting in someone’s home or over a dinner table at some restaurant is perhaps more useful than one in a conference room."

I think, from group cerebration, the best ideas might come from those from who the least is expected for they've nothing to lose and everything to gain. I think I will start asking those for ideas from whom those from whom we might, on the surface, expect the least, maybe because they are usually quiet and non-contributing without some prying and encouragement.

"The great ideas of the ages have come from people who weren't paid to have great ideas, but were paid to be teachers or patent clerks or petty officials, or were not paid at all. The great ideas came as side issues."


"To feel guilty because one has not earned one’s salary because one has not had a great idea is the surest way, it seems to me, of making it certain that no great idea will come in the next time either."
=======================
Well I don't have much more to add to this. Just offering up the idea to spend more time thinking about what you are going to do from a 'theme and spin' approach, before starting any of the other things. I suppose it could start with your initial motivator, often a song that you don't or tune mind listening to 100 times. 




Lat "Yummy" Lovenkraft

2014/10/29

Le Jardin de Paris NEW SHOW - Reservation only !!


Le Jardin de Paris NEW SHOW !

Friday 31st of October 2014

═══════  ✩  1:30 PM SLT - 21:30 France ✩ ═══  ✩

              ♬ ♪   - PARIS DANCING -  ♪ ♬


▶ Reservation only !! Contact : DameLessage Igaly

All our shows are translated in English :)

http://troupe.paris1900.net
https://www.facebook.com/TroupeDuJardinDeParis

Royal Opera House Presents: Little Yoshiwara Geishas

Konnichiwa!







The Geishas from Little Yoshiwara Okiya, will be performing a show on the Royal Opera House, on Sunday 2nd November, at 2 pm slt.
The dedication and discipline of a whole like as living doll, on a stage. Please come!!

Royal Opera House

2014/10/28

Elysium's "When Darkness Falls" Show


Are you scared?  Would you like to be?  Elysium brings you all the creepy cool in a Halloween dance spectacular!!  Get your freak on Friday night starting at 6pm with a huge Hallowed Eve's show featuring some of our spookiest ghouls, goblins, and creatures of the night!  We encourage you to come in costume and let's do Halloween SL dance style!  Welcome to the weekend!!

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Copperhead%20Road/74/64/2754

2014/10/27

Blue Velvet Halloween Party Dance Show


The Blue Velvet is opening again the doors Next Friday 31 Oct. At 2pm slt.

Halloween Party with an exclusive live show, not to be missed.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Xappen/211/28/3003

2014/10/26

The Old Days - How Bad Was It? (or Count Our Blessings)

I 've been in SL about 7 years but was not show-aware back in the earliest of days. So if anyone wants to chime in on how bad (or good?) it was compared to now, then here's your chance.

Nai was there and bent my ear with:

10:01:51] Naiki Muliaina: The glee of getting 30 people in a club
[10:01:59] (You): entitled "How Bad Was It"
[10:02:01] (You): ?
[10:02:02] Naiki Muliaina: The horror of it going over 40 and having every scripted object stop
[10:04:02] Naiki Muliaina: Enumerate
[10:04:04] Naiki Muliaina: long word
[10:04:09] (You): list
[10:04:13] (You): short word
[10:05:20] Naiki Muliaina: Lag, crashing, sim crashing, every script stopping, HUDDLEs never working, people running animations with no HUD, some using dance posters to construct routines, the most primitive of sets (a back board and that was it)


Should we indeed be thanking our lucky stars that we have it so much better today? Did you also have to trek 40 miles a day, each way, to school naked in the freezing rain uphill both ways?

What do you recall?

Yummz

2014/10/25

La Oro's "The Unleashed Tells Life & Death"


La Oro's Unleashed Ladies and Gents bring you Hallowed Tales that will send chills down more than just your spine!!  Hair-raising performances with ghouls and goblins!!  Release your inner grim and come reap this exciting show, featuring guest performer Babypea!  We have plenty of tricks for you, but YOU will be OUR treat!!  MuaHaHaHa!!  Saturday, November 1st at 5pm SLT!

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Stellina/229/160/4001

2014/10/23

Stage-Side Manners

Well I didn't know what else to title this post. But I feel its paramount and in the common interest. I try to blog on issues that have value to others and the topics almost always results from me having heard the topic voiced from more than 1 individual. This is a case where  I have heard from multiple people on this issue. I am meant to be the voice of those crying out.

I tend to blog on things that are a bit controversial that nobody wants to bring up due to dance-community-political-correctness.

To  producers out there and representatives of products and anyone of similar stature...being courteous counts a lot. I have heard from a least a half dozen individuals (dancers/choreos) who have opted NOT to become involved with a troupe because the producer chose to ignore their messages or were curt with them when they did.

You may not be aware that your **** stinks so I am trying to make you aware that if you find you are having a hard time attracting, hiring and/or   keeping dancers, this may well be the reason. Ask people you trust if your stage-side manners are respectable. It is simply a case of being nice, showing respect, and 'doing the right thing' at the right place and time. If you wear your *** on your shoulders and that's just how its got to be then please ignore this post, but for those of you who are trying to build an ongoing theatrical concern, and wonder why people treat you as if your anti-antiperspirant is failing, then this might be the wake-up call you needed. 

I hope I never get like that. If I do, tell me, "Yummy, you didn't answer me, I sent you an IM. Why are you blowing me off?. Why don't you speak to me?" And i will cower and apologize and will do better. 

I guess it can work both ways. Dancers need to show respect too. Yep I'm guilty as a performer. I missed a show practice and didn't tell the producer. I had gotten called into some temp. work, since i was out of work for a long while before that time I guess I got so excited, that I got my priorities backwards. SL 1st then RL. Anyways... They played the "C" card on me. Told me that so-and-so let them know they would be missing practice and they were dying of cancer. I almost wished I was dying too just to avoid the embarrassment. Wow. I looked in my excuses bag, dying relatives, national emergency, dog ate my internet cable, but couldn't com close to matching the "C" card. I could have played the race card. But essentially I was out of cards. Suffice it to say i got the cold shoulder from them and their mate for years over that incident.

But on a more serious note, had I took the time to call in sick, I could have avoided ill will and a friendship burgeoning friendship. Who knew? 

So if you are a show producer and you find yourself losing performers as fast as you are gaining them...or if you have a product and wonder why people are not upgrading, or expanding into other product offerings, this may be a culprit. Now if you have too much business and you are using the cold-shoulder to help whittle down the number of support calls ,then that makes sense to me. After all there are only so many hours in the day. Damn whiny customers!

Play nice.

Yummy