Monday, May 14, 2012

Dance as a Duet . . .

or the Art of Mapping. I first heard Robert Royston proffer this idea of hearing and using what he called the map of a song at a workshop in Albuquerque and have since seen a video that helps explain the idea, West Coast Advanced, Volume One, Mapping the music.  That was in 2003.   Since then, I've kind of dropped out of the competitive dance culture.  This last weekend was SwingDiego, however, and as a part of our new re-committment to physical well being, T and I put on our dancing shoes and headed out.  No that's not us by the way, since I was taking the shot and T was saying hello to some fellow San Diegans.

But that was the scene at the beginning with warm colors at the fore and swing sounds beckoning towards the floor.

So, there we were ready and willing, toned and tuned as they say and yet within a few songs or so we are lost.  You know the kind of loss Mike and Patti called, The "She can't follow and he can't lead" step.  The kind you can't not ignore and yet you can't not let it get you down.  I know, too many Knots, eh?  That was Day One.  Day Two was better but it was probably because we distracted ourselves with workshops.  By night fall, dancing with others was definitely in.  Then came Day Three, we drive down separately.  I stay home so I can teach a two hour private and she goes so she can enter a Jack'n'Jill.  We meet at eight and by then we both admit to a tendency to be hummimg songs that our imaginations are dancing even as we stand in line to get back in.  As far as the actual dancing, it feels like our bodies have found their own GPS's as we link and  hit and connect to the song and each other like it is supposed to be.  Immersion has given us the mapping tool and for awhile we wear ourselves out trying it out.

Still, things were felt, and things even said that keep what happened from us until we, we always seem to do, talk it out.  Our first attempts spark with tempered energy.  The next morning we try again with different examples and for a while there's still some sense that we are getting nowhere.  Then Monday and guess what, we are intently listening to the car radio while discussing the map we hear in the song.

So, Robert, thanks for the idea.  I'll let you know how it works out.

1 comment:

rhbee said...

So now it's 2013. T and I mix lessons at Micheal's Starlight with Tuesday's at Tango del Rey or Parker's monthly Project Swing. the Nuevo Swing still sounds like Performance Jazz but now we have ways of dealing with that.