Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Looking Back at 2014 and Forward into 2015


Wow what a year 2014 was!

We saw quite a few trends. I noticed more show offerings, lots of new dancers, but most notably the forecast trend of dancers 'performing at other venues'

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Cross-Venue-Performing

 Initially it was on the onus of the performer to venue-hop, with producers standing back and taking notice. Then, slowly and cautiously with some modest pride-swallowing, it appeared as if producers became active participants in the process of dancers performing inter-venue. I would venture to say that there were some venue-to-venue agreements made on the low-low. 

On the upside, its easier to fill up a schedule of an hour show on a more regular basis if you are struggling with product-supply. On the flip-side, we start seeing the same acts way more than we ever did which has been an expressed annoyance by many...well many that I hear,often of which are the 'squeaky wheels'. So its a price you decide to pay...or not.

If you want to see more shows, then pay the price of seeing repeats...and yes I agree that it wont be a repeat for everyone in the audience, just us die-hards that go to damned-near every show there is.  It could be argued that my small circle of friends are biased towards seeing a 'lot of shows' and are more susceptible to seeing repeats because we are avid show-attendees...than say the majority of the audience for whom it may likely be a 1st time viewing.

You could argue that those willing to do repeats, are offering the newer acts a chance to be seen that wouldn't be seen because they didn't have a full 1 hr show to present. And from the repeat-performers pov, they benefit from being able to reach different audiences and time-zones and maybe gather new followers.

I am ok with seeing repeats, so far, in order to see new acts. I am sure this has a tolerance level and has a limit.

Plan to see more of this in 2015 as well as the occasional 'performer burnout'.

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Performer-Movement

We also saw the wide-spread adaption of performer-movement. That of moving the animation center-point during the actual performance, providing more stage use in the x,y, and z directions. And we saw this in coordinated group movement as well. Also a popular trend is multiple group animation presentations, I call AB sequencing, but others probably know it by some other name. Having 2 (sometimes 3) different dances done at the same time by multiple groups. At 3 groups often and always with  4 groups, it becomes organized chaos to me...but I do love the direction its going and the offering of 2 different groups who branch off and do their own thing then rejoin in unison.

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Groups

I am pretty sure I saw the increased offering of group-dancing. In fact some venues offer nothing but. The upside is it offers more performers the opportunity to perform and helps justify 'big'. The downside is that it de-emphasizes the importance and presence of 'the performer' as artiste-with-a-message.

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Specialization

There are now dedicated choreographers and dedicated ball-sitters.

Venues are adopting a vertical mode of skills...that being a move away from a performer who 'does it all' to skilled specialists who offer their skill to all performers. Dedicated set-builders who build sets for all the performers. The upside is that performers can perform more often because they have less to do in order to offer a performance as well as quality control. The downside...well it goes without saying...so I won't say it.

And I've seen a costume-schema where an ALT holds an accumulated mass of 'transfer' costumes that are checked in and checked out. The upside being that over time, the cost of costuming decreases because there is reuse. The downside is managing the check-in/ check-out process...chasing down people and their 'overdue library books'. 

Expect more specialization.

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Videos of performances

Yes, its becoming the de-facto standard. Expect more of the same and improved quality for 2015 

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The Star-Studded Performance

A sudden new trend is having a good live-singer as part and lead of a group-dance offering with emphasis on 'good'. The downside is that with good comes increased overhead as good wants to be paid for being good and understandably so.

If/when the issues of visible mesh are resolved, we may see multiple ward-robe changes from the 'star performer' ala Cher of Vegas fame.
"Cher and her dancers make 140 costume changes each show, and each costume is more amazing then the last."
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Full-Sim Performances

Expect to see more of this fast popular trend. Expect to see a full-on underwater show where we travel around in a submarine ala '20-Thousand-Leagues Under the Sea'  or up in the air in a balloon-gondola  ala 'Around the-World-In-80-Days...where the audiences are moved en-masse from set to set.

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Theatrical Performances

Expect to see more planned if not actual theatrical performances well-seated in story. These may take the form of theatrical musicals with dance or may contain no dance at all. It's ready to evolve into, something else, I think...whatever that may entail. Expect a lot of full or near misses as original writing, I think, is the hardest discipline to master.

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Extended Performances

I've seen a trend of shows extending beyond the unofficially accepted maximum show-length of 1 hr. I think it will approach 2 hrs as quality and quantity of talent inreases. I think 2 hrs is how long you can 'hold your water' before needing relief. I think thats why most movies are from 90 minutes to 2-hrs 15mins. 

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Rating System


Not going to happen for obvious reasons but the idea has been talked about behind the scenes. I suppose we have a de-facto standard in place. Do you know who they are on first-name basis?

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More Erotica Offerings

Well I predict least attempts offerings. I had predicted more of this before and it fell way short of my predictions so now I am lowering my expectations for 2015 as it is not easy to present boldly and  convincingly to a mixed audience of gender as well as peer-non-peer. It seems as if its been hard present unabashedly...its as if our parents are in the audience. The sensuality must extend beyond the bearing of skin into the actual  animation-motion, and audience proximity, and inter-personal conviction.

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Increased Audiences and Increased Waiting Times

Good news...more people in attendance is a trend, meaning more opportunities for dancers, more tips, more stuff to do and see in a slowly declining active-SL-membership. Along with this trend seems to be the requirement to come earlier, so that you get all the stuff cached for a better viewing. Also, popular shows are filling up faster.

Could we see...? "Announcing the 1st 24-hr Dance Marathon. Thats right 24-continuous hrs of shows. A 1st in SL...starting next Sunday 12:01 am to 11:59pm. We ask that you come this Satruday 12:01 am and sit for 24 hrs while we cache a days worth of animations, costumes, sets, particles and other stuff. I know its a lot to ask but we promise it will well be worth it. Be part of this history-making event. We ask that you arrive 12 hrs early as we expect the newly-expanded SL-sim size of 300 attendees to fill up fast".

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Lat "Yummy" Lovenkraft


1 comment:

  1. How could I forget....2014 the emergence and increased prominence of the the "male dancer" and with that an increase in the number of couples-dances incorporated into routines. I expect to see this trend continue to grow on into 2015.

    ReplyDelete