SONH (Saturday)

So after I spent a night mostly in conversation and chilling out, Saturday was game day. Saturday is the day of fancy dining (lobster, steak or stuffed portobello) and the rabble-rousing cabaret. I was already committed to two acts in the cabaret and probably needed to rehearse one last time before the evening came (or really for the first time for one of them); but first class.

Three classes starting off with Steven’s jazz class where we rounded off the routine and started really cleaning it up. It was amazing to work with Steven for four days in a row on the same piece; developing it and getting feedback. By the third day it is much easier to concentrate on owning the movement without having to worry what is up next. By owning it I mean making the movement fit your body, your attitude, your space. At most workshops you run a jazz routine for one day, you’ve barely finished learning the piece and the class is through, there is never really time to own it and hone the individual movements, feel the way they interact with the music and the attitude each one is meant to evoke. Unlike most dancers, lindy hoppers focus almost exclusively on the partnered dance without delving into the basic understanding of how our own bodies move and work. Solo jazz weekends like Stompology, which are few and far between, focus exclusively on that. If you can’t make it to solo jazz classes or workshops, explore other solo dances (hip hop and modern are two I recommend) or movement practices (yoga, pilates, etc.).

Lunch followed by three classes back to back continued the day. By now what went when has gotten a bit blurry, but I remember we had a packed afternoon with I believe Manu & Gina, Steven & Virginie, and Skye & Frida. It was an excellent array of classes. We cleaned up the routine for Sunday evening, partnered up and ran difficult sections. Mari was an excellent partner to work with, we are front and center in this video.

All I can say is that it was an excellent routine and I want to chop my right hand off about half-way through it. I’ll have to work on the line of energy continuing down my arms and out through the fingers; otherwise it looks floppy.

Saturday night rolled around with the cabaret; which was a serious blast. There were some very touching numbers, a la Gordon’s dedication to his wife, a very entertaining juggler, and a belly dancer who was captivating. I, however, was in three (although technically four) numbers. The first one up was the first half of a joke where we rocked out to Bohemian Rhapsody, and it was cut at 3 minutes clean (that was the maximum length of an act). We froze, stood dead pan and walked off. Another half of the show passed by and we then returned as Act II, resumed our ending poses (plus ridiculous garb) and continued the rest of the song. A giant chaotic melee of movement. Probably more entertaining to be on stage than to see it; but it was fun nevertheless. The other two acts I participated in were opposite in their preparation. The first one in the cabaret was a spontaneous number conjured up the night before in the cabin on a whim, registered as an act, and finally put together about an hour before the show. You can check out G Rhythm and his All-Rhythm Band on Youtube. The second act came with a great deal of preparation before camp even began and thanks to Mike, Mari, Jerone and Adrian went off as the closing number to the cabaret. You can check us decked out and performing I Want You Back as the Jackson 5.

After the cabaret we all adjourned to our cabins to change for the dance. Showered and dressed up in black pants, dark red shirt and a pinstripe vest I was ready to go. The Cangelosi Cards were back and played hard till the break of dawn. I had some spectacular dances Saturday night with all sorts of dancers, some who had come in just for that night. The energy was jumping even at 5am when the Cards pumped the tempo up. The second to last song was a fast tune with a ton of energy and all the dancers crowded around the stage cheering, clapping and encouraging the band members as they each soloed. One of the highlights of this little jam with the band was some solo charleston jamming with Andrew Slac and Skye Humphries. The three of us lined up busting out ensemble then soloing individually. It was great energy. After that fifteen minute number subsided the Cards brought us down from that energy pumping high with a beautiful rendition of Bye and Bye. A slow number which started with Tamar singing solo and the band slowly faded in behind her. It was a gorgeous piece as the sun started to rise and lighten the sky behind them. Each player laid out a wonderful solo and everyone sat and listened quietly, applauding when each solo was finished. A moment to remember and contemplate on as we all walked back to our bunks, tired but uplifted by the soul of an amazing singer and band.

You can find some of the Cangelosi Cards music on Down Home Live, although I do hope they someday release an album recorded live with dancers. You can also find footage of them on Youtube.

Published in: on September 17, 2007 at 10:47 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] (featured recently on Tapdance Man’s Blog). The energy was exceptional, reminiscent of the night they played at SONH, and dancing was exceptional. There were even two tap jams with another tap dancer who joins the […]

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