You Are Not a Nostradamus

belly dance blog


If you are dancing to an unfamiliar song, or to a live band improvisation, don’t try to predict what’s coming up. Just stay tuned to hear it and process through your body as fast as possible. In fact, it’s even ok to be a tiny “delayed” after the music. I remember when I was participating in one of Arabesque Company’s production in Canada, director Yasmina Ramzy gave me feedback that I was too much “perfect” with my timing of movements. She mentioned that even despite all pieces were choreographed, the idea is to create an illusion of improvisation, so how could a dancer move her body before the music queue her to do so? And if this applies to choreography, what to tell about an actual improvisation?! Hear it first, then reflect.

Also, save this note for your future toolkit. There are two moves that miraculously work with almost any music: turns and shimmy. If at any moment of your improvisation you feel completely lost, or panicking, use either of these moves, whichever feel more right to a particular moment in the music, as your emergency tool in order to refocus, get back in a moment, and keep going with your improvisation once you are ready. In 90% of cases it will work.

Do you have your own special tricks on how to make improvisation run nice and smooth? Share!

Author: Iana Komarnytska
Photographer: Pedro Bonatto

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