I got to attend a absolutely amazing Flamenco workshop on day 2. The teacher Mirelle of El Rincon Flamenco. I absolutely fell in love with this dance form, the posture the upper body strength and control and of course the fabulous, dramatic stomping and rhythm. It’s just a strong, passionate dance you can’t ‘walk through it’ at any point. The teacher moved at a good pace and we managed to finish the bit of choreography she had wanted to teach us and by the end I actually was adding in a few of the proper skirt flicks and head turns (which is where all the attitude comes in.) I commented to the organisers of Syncopate in the feedback forms they sent us that 2 hour workshops would be nicer next time as you feel you are finally grasping the concepts and moves at the end of the first hour but of course, with so many good options for workshops it would be hard to fit them all in, still, lets see what they decide. 🙂
I then went to a combo workshop of ‘Good Vibrations’ from Bhana and ‘Icing On Your Sugar Cookie’ by Marion. There was only one more private room for classes and due to the excellent yet unflattering poses one does while doing yoga warm ups etc…, they decided to combine their workshops and we got to have a little taste of both. To me, the downside was that this made both seem even shorter as we switched back and forth between the shimmies and the layering but on the upside what I took away from it managed to break some ‘rules’ I went by, such as if you’re layering with shimmies the second movement must always be slow. Marion did a lovely chest lift and drop that matched the time of the three quarter shimmy. It was difficult at first but when it started coming together looked really good! That has definitely opened a world of possibilities and combinations for me. Bhana, queen of shimmies that she is, also gave some tips on where to put your weight and which muscles to concentrate on that made a big difference so I’m very glad to have gleaned some key elements from both of these amazing performers!
My other suggestion would be to have fewer tables in the audience set up so that all the performers can watch the show as well, it got to be standing room only in the back (an excellent sign of a well marketed/sold out show!) but if we only had chairs then the fellow dancers could watch and support each other better. (Or as we grow and get better funding for such events, National Theatre, here we come!)
Still, for a show of such magnitude, I believe it was almost 30 dance studios participating, it worked like a dream, classes were on time, the shows were seamless and well planned and the variety was wonderful! Definitely looking forward to Syncopate 2012-THE CARNIVAL!