Saturday, July 25, 2015

those fabulous TRAVEL STEPS

Everyone loves to "step-arabesque"

dancer on stage
"Don't look down!"

After years of working at the Marrakesh (DC) on a tiny raised stage, I became obsessed with Travel Steps.
I'm exaggerating, but looking back I can plainly see the action and reaction, the cause and effect. At Marrakesh I couldn't really move from my spot, as I was scared of falling off the stage - so I basically danced in place for my whole show.
At the same time though, foot patterns and travel steps were creeping into my classes more and more, becoming a staple of my warmup, drills, and teaching method. Now I really love them - my feet finally feel "unchained"!

I've long loved and admired the Egyptian dance stars of the late modern era - their individual styles were quite developed and idiosyncratic, so that watching them you could easily see their favorite moves and steps because they repeated them over and over as they danced. One of the dancers I find very inspiring is Azza Sharif - a large, strong, dynamic powerhouse of a dancer. In one of my new solos I was really tickled to find a chance to incorporate a wonderful travel sequence I've seen her do that uses the step-arabesque pattern. It seemed perfect for this short break in the music where there were no flashy frills or solos, just the rhythm. But as "luck" would have it (and contrary to how I'd rehearsed!) I started on the wrong foot, so you can see the first sequence has step-step-step-step-arabesque... which I think is the first time I ever did THAT. And of course, the energy doesn't seem as powerful as the awesome Azza's; but anyway, here it is! 
video

I find travel steps so exciting - the feeling of momentum moving through space! 
Do you have favorite step sequences that turn up in your dancing?

Yours in dance,
Anthea Kawakib
(end of post)

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