Thursday, April 14, 2011

part 1: the hard questions (2/5 of the series)

Welcome to the second part of the series, also known as the first part of the interview (I just had to keep you waiting for one more week for the actual interview to be published! How do you feel? *giggles* Sorry for that!)

My questions are written in bold italics while Ms. Nericcio's answers are in more readable letters.

So here goes!



Hi there!


Let’s begin with the hardest ones first. Could you tell us the typical process of creation of a movement? From the conceptualization until it’s out there in the ATS vocabulary.

Well, the core movements that you see in Tribal Basics volume 1 are the movements I learned from Masha Archer. Basically, for a movement to be admitted to the ATS vocabulary, everyone has to accept it first, in that it has to be doable. Because everyone has different bodies, it is important that the movement is created so that they complement to these different types of bodies. This also applies to the range of motion. Dancers must be able to do a move, otherwise it will just get sidetracked because no one’s using it because no one can do it.

Most of the later movements are layering and expansion of the core movements. First you have the Egyptian Basic, and then you have the Egyptian basic with half turn, with full turn, and with spins. Just like the Turkish Shimmy that evolved to Turkish Shimmy with arms and turns, half turns, quarter turns, etc.

The core movements in Tribal Basics volumes 1 and 4 are now officially called “Classic ATS” while the movements in Tribal Basics volumes 7 and above are called “Modern ATS”.

Some of the movements evolved from a choreography and then they just became cue-able. Some movements were created with a song in mind. The Sahra Turn, for example, was inspired by the song “Sahra” by Cheb Khaled.

Do you adopt other people’s moves?

Well, I’ve been doing business and tours with Megha (Gavin of Devyani Dance Company, Birmingham, AL) creating the show Tribal: Pura and she said she had some new steps to show you and so I said go ahead. And so, Tribal Basics volume 7 was born.

Partnerships like this will happen again in the near future. After this year’s Devotion show in June 2011, we will shoot a new DVD called Anatomy of Steps that will be released in the fall of 2011. The DVD will include new moves and steps from Megha, Devi Mamak (Ghawazee Caravan, Australia), and Jennifer Nolan (Tamarind Tribal Belly Dance, Milwaukee, WI).

Tell me, what do I have to do do to make sure I don’t get kicked out and banned from FCBD’s studio?

(Laughs). Show up on time, leave your baggage at the door, be open minded, be in a good mood, allow your mood to be transformed, follow directions and be polite to the teacher and be helpful to other students, but don’t micromanage the others.

We really frown on people teaching when a teacher is teaching, and commenting when a teacher is presenting. What is planned for the day is whatever the teacher is planned for the day.

What do you think is the worst thing an ATS teacher could do?

I’d say that it probably has to do with what they say, not necessarily what they’re doing. If he or she is overly critical of other dance styles and saying that other teachers are wrong, that’s really frowned on. Also if the teacher is overly critical of the students and doesn’t build a good rapport with the students,

A really good instructor, I think, would be magnanimous, confident, able to manage things as they come and go, creative, open minded all the while staying with the philosophy (of ATS). If a teacher has so much creativity within him or her that makes the teacher go completely off the ATS map, then ATS is not the right dance. Perhaps fusion will be more rewarding, because what makes ATS so great is the boundaries of this dance.

You’ve said that even when you’re doing your solo, it is considered as fusion.

Yes, because that is not ATS. To be able to do ATS, you need a leader and a follower. This is one of the boundaries of ATS.

What do you think is the worst thing that could happen to ATS?

The worst thing would be if boundaries of ATS were lost and became a blur by being taken away so off the ATS track and that we lost the essence of happiness in dance itself.


Continued next Thursday, April 21, 2011, with "The 24/7". Ms. Nericcio talks about her 24 years of dancing, her pet peeves, and where the first FCBD studios were.

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