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The basic questions to ask every Move

This post is a follow up to last weeks introduction article about dance concepts. I introduced the following key-principle.

You should understand every move as an abstract set of instructions that can be applied in different ways.

Yo, right. But what do I do with that information?

When you see every movement you learn in this way, there are certain basic things that you can alter. This gives you a lot of possibilities how to apply this move in different ways.

I’d like to call this basic things that we can alter “the basic questions that we ask every move”. Of course this is only a metaphor as we do not really ask, but I love the dance = language metaphor and will entertain it a lot in the following posts. So it is better to get used to it.

Let’s get to the questions:

The question of direction. How does it look when presented from different angles. This includes choosing different orientation in the space as well as rotating during the move.

The question of speed. What happens when you execute it faster or slower. Every move has a certain speed imprinted to it, that is set by it’s traditional connection to the music. But often a change to this brings really interesting results.

The question of energy. How does a move change when I reduce or increase the amount of energy used. Energy is not always directly related to speed. You can do every movement with a different intention and amount of force. This changes the movement itself.

The question of size. Size does matter in dance. There is a big difference if you reach out in the space as big as possible or try to keep the movement small.

The question of rhythm. How does a change in rhythm change the movement? Like with speed, most moves come with a basic rhythm attached to it. This is usually the rhythm the moves are taught with. But this does not mean that it is the only way to do it. Change the rhythmic phrasing of the move and get some interesting variations for free.

By exploring all the possibilities above you create a whole world of moves from within one movement.

Dance Concepts on FraGue’s Blog

As I am still working on my book about dance concepts I will start to put some of the content online to test how it resonates with readers and to get some additional feedback. If you have suggestions or something is not easy to understand, let me know in the comments or send me an email.

For today I give a little introduction about what dance concepts do in my opinion and why you should learn to work with them.

A dance concept gives you the freedom to explore the music and movement without thinking to much about technique or moves.

It gives you direction about the creation of your dance or creation of your moves. This can happen in the moment you dance = freestyle or beforehand in a planned manner = choreography. Almost all the concepts that I know can be applied in both ways.

The first concept that I will introduce today is very easy to explain but gives you a ton of opportunities to work with. Acutally it is the root of all the basic concepts I will introduce further down the road.

You should understand every new move you learn as an abstract set of instructions that can be applied in many different ways.

Sounds fancy but it is not that complex. Instead of learning a new movement and think of it as set in stone you should look deeper into what it does and apply the idea of it, instead the move itself.

For Example: in breaking we have a step that is called the salsa step. It goes by different names in different places but salsa step is the most common one. Instead of thinking Kick – Step – Side – Back : Repeat, you should think: one kick and three steps, then repeat. Now you have a easy set of instructions that you can apply. You are free in directions, rhythm and size. In this way the salsa step alone gives you endless possibilities to create.

Elsewhere screening in India

The guys at Aug& Ohr are doing an awesome job. Yesterday night the first email came in, telling us that Elsewhere will be screened at a festival in India around christmas. 🙂

Tight Eyez vs Junior or Krump vs Breaking

Usually I do not comment on battles and recent stuff but at the moment the Tight Eyez vs Junior thing is getting a little bit out of control because a lot of people miss the context of what happened. Everybody who does not know what I am talking about can check the video here.

The thing is: the discussion is evolving into some krunping vs breaking thing. But the truth is – this is not about dance styles. Dance styles do not disrespect each other. People do. This is not even about the battle and who won. This is about one guys missjudgement of what he can do or can not do.

There only two reasons why one would make this a matter of dancestyle. Either one is stupid and does not understand that this is not about dance or there is an agenda to create extra fuzz around it.

Both reasons are not to be supported. So be clear on what we talk about: Respect and disrespect between people, not dancestyles. Don’t make a war from this, that should not there. That is happening enough in real politics, we don’t need this shit in dance.

Working together in flexible structures as strategy in niche markets

When active in a nice market people tend to avoid working with other people in the same niche. One is afraid of losing possible customers to the others.

In most cases it is much better to do the opposite and connect with as many active people in your field as possible.

I use an example from our austrian hip hop scene to show why:

There is a loose group of dancers that are responsible for doing a ton of projects, despite the fact that they are not in the same crew. Under different leadership they are doing event management, theater productions, movies, commercial shows, fashion labels and music production. The advantage is that everyone has an experienced workforce and at the same time more work during the year. All of this would not be happening if we avoided each other.

Artists Social Insurance Fund

Today I sent in the last papers for my application to the austrian artists social insurance fund. It pays a part of your social insurance if your work is considered art.

Before 2016 the rules were pretty strict and it was very hard to get accepted. In the beginning of 2016 the rules have been renewed so that you can also apply with work that is teaching art and promoting art.

Therefore I highly encourage you to check if you are within in the rules that qualify you to receive funding from there. The KSVF supports freelance artists that live and work in Austria.

More Info on the Homepage of the KSVF (in german language).

Social media is not the problem

A stupid facebook meme

Often we tend to feel that social media is keeping us from doing more important or more productive things. But saying social media is the problem is a serious misinterpretation of the case.

If we hang out online instead of doing stuff we want to do – the problem are our priorities. Because we just don’t want it enough. Facebook and friends can be ignored if we really have something to do.

via GIPHY

a plea to the djs

Todays post is about laziness … and how it does damage to people that did work that some of us make their money with. DJs that play only their own stuff can stop reading here.

The following stuff is based on laws in Austria. Most countries have their own societies for that and the details in the process may vary but the concept stays the same.

In Austria we have a very controversial insitution: the AKM. It is the copyright collecting society for musicians an composers. This means whenever a piece of music is played in a commercial context, the AKM takes care of giving some money to the people who created that music.

That’s great, right? Yep but a lot of DJs don’t care about doing their part in giving the people their money. Because the AKM gets money from the promoters. Either with a yearly fee or on a per event plan. The money goes to the artists of the music that was played during the event. But the AKM needs to know which music was played. And it is your responsibility as the one who plays the music to send your setlist there. If you don’t do this the fee that is payed by the promoter is distributed via a distribution key that favors mainstream artist and well known composers.

Damn, that means by not handing in the list of your set, you give money to the people that are aired on mainstream radiostations instead of the people that made the awesome sound you are playing. Shame!

 

Playing the missing Instrument

At the Red Bull Beat Riders Camp in 2007 we had a lot of discussions about topics related to dance and life in general. One evening was about musicality in dance. B-Girl Asia 1 made the following statement:

When dancing I don’t follow the music. It is more like I am playing the missing instrument to the track.

While Asia 1 is really doing what she says she is doing, the same statement is often used by other people to justify the fact that they are off-beat and not listening to the music while dancing.

The thing is: improvising an instrument to an existing piece of music is not as easy as it may sound. You can not just do “whatever you want”. To make such an endeavour successfull you have to follow the rules of the music played. Using it as an excuse to dance without a relationship to the music is disrespectful to the people who can actually do it. There are people out there who can pull it of. Asia 1, who made the original quote, is one of them. If you are not, don’t worry – all is good. But please don’t make claims you are doing it, when you have trouble hearing the music or you just don’t care enough.

#thinklikeamusician