Thursday, February 24, 2011

devotion - ats general skills training, day 3

Day Three: Carolena Nericcio & Sandi Ball
  1. Slow moves: Camel Walk, Ribcage Rotation, Head Slides, Belly Rolls, Flutters
  2. Fast steps: Arabic Shimmy, Arabic 123, Waterpot, Arabic Hip Twist (with Half Turn & Flourish), Arabic Orbit, Shoulder Shimmy - Hip Drop Combo, Ghawazee Shimmy Combo
  3. Music for Tribal Bellydance
  4. Quartets and Duets
It was a somewhat somber day for all of us. To begin with, it rained and stopped and rained for the most part. There were forecasts that said it was going to snow. If snow happens, it's going to be the first after thirty years of going the Bay Area going snow-free.

And then Ms. Nericcio came into the studio holding a bunch of DVDs. When she asked us to do the Puja to bless the DVDs, I thought they were new DVDs that FCBD was going to sell. Turned out, those were last year's Devotion DVDs.

The good news is, each of us was given a copy of Devotion: the Harvest DVD. The bad news is, the 2011 Devotion show, which is supposedly in June, is seriously under threat; the place of the upcoming performance has been claimed unviable. So now, FCBD is looking for a place that can hold up to twenty companies (or dancers - I'm not quite sure) and enough room for an audience of fifty people or more. Preferably (well, I'd prefer it so) in San Francisco. Or at least somewhere near San Francisco. Oh, and there has to be enough parking space. If you have any idea of a place, go to FCBD's website and send an e-mail to Ms. Nericcio.

FCBD's 2011 Devotion theme is "The Home", which is ironic because this is its 4th year and FCBD is still looking for a home - a sanctuary where they can perform their yearly Devotion show.

I just finished watching Devotion: the Harvest DVD and I gotta tell you... Everything is just so amazing. I could really feel the "harvest" theme without the dancers pushing it on my face. I don't know which ones are improvisational and which ones choreography. What I do know is I WANT TO HAVE KAE MONTGOMERY'S AND KRISTINE ADAM'S BINDIS!!

Speaking of bindis, I remember that Sandi Ball is a bindi artisan. I asked her about her bindis after the training ended but sadly, she is currently not producing bindis due to lack of materials. Sigh.

The third day of GS Training went fairly well. Ms. Lalwani dropped in and I was so glad to see her. When Ms. Nericcio was explaining about Music for Tribal Dance, she played Hossani Oo and Ms. Lalwani and I glanced at each other - Ms. Lalwani gave that song for me to learn as a homework. It had changes from Maqsoum to Fallahi rhythms. The song was used to demonstrate how the FCBD format fits in to the music no matter if the rhythm changes. However, dancers need to really know the song (possibly even count the measure to determine which steps to use) to be able to dance to it with full confidence.

We also experienced dancing in duets and quartets. I did the Arabic Orbit with Ilhaam, a dancer from Spain who did really awesome job leading Chorus on the second day of GS Training. She is as tall as I am... Okay, she's a little taller... That's why I chose to work with her.

Ilhaam and I had difficulties in Arabic Orbit, so when break time came, I decided to try it again alone. She saw me and quickly joined me and we did it together. And finally, with a little help from another dancer, Diana, a Puerto Rican, who talked to her in Spanish on what we did wrong, we got the Arabic Orbit nailed down! Yay!

There are two little things that I like to point out. I really love the way Diana handled the situation. She didn't act all know-it-all, and when she did come to the rescue, she didn't gloat in the afterglow (when we thanked her profusely).

The second thing was that, as I was talking to Karen (one of my Trio members - GO GROUP FOUR!!) before the class started, she said that she was staying in a hotel where the owner didn't even know about FCBD.

That reminded me a lot of the fact that no one in EF knows about FCBD and that American Tribal Style - now considered a bellydance genre of its own - was born and now resides in San Francisco.

I mean... FCBD is like world-renowned. I'm not saying this to suck ass. I'd rather suck on something else - but that's for another blog. I'm saying this because I wonder whether Americans are really ignorant. I always thought that I'd been living under a rock, but when a foreigner asked me about an Indonesian(s), I'd usually know right away.

Also, I have a teacher who was surprised when I said I quit my job to become a dancer. He didn't know that being a dancer can actually support a decent living. Well, obviously, my teacher doesn't know anything about this business. It's both fun and money-making.

Sandi Ball is a bubbly, joyful creature with a face and voice that make her look like a 30 year-old. And it's just amazing to see that the FCBD dancers are so fit. They carry themselves in such an elegant way. I guess that's what years of dancing in a powerful posture can do to you.


Diana Lee said...

Wow! thank you Yuska, ♥ ♥I just saw the comment of the Puerto Rico Dancer in your blog. Made my heart warm allover and for a second we were at the GS again. I really wish we can see each other again. ♥

famousfeline said...

Diana! I realized that I had forgotten to update this blog entry after I remembered your name! *kicks own bum*

We will see each other again!

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