Sunday, February 24, 2013

"Wolf" Act Part 3 - choreography

omg gah! Did you guys realise this act is due this Friday night? Where did our twenty days go?

I'll never be half the instinctive dancer he is
We are up to choreography - the bit I struggle with hardest. Some people, like my partner, have some kind of photographic memory for the dance animations, and can hotkey the shit out of any musical situation. I have tested Diawa Bellic countless times, and she is always able to find a sequence of dances that will fit the music I have played, within seconds of first hearing it.

 But I can do none of these things.

 Choreography, for me, means setting aside countless hours to test dances against the music. Yes, I listen to the song I am using over and over again through this process. Not many songs make it out the other side with as much favour as they went in.

It should come as no great surprise that I have no real life dance expertise. I am that person who doesn't dance until they're so drunk they should be prevented from dancing. I will dance at home though (which is a good thing, since it's many moons since I got that drunk, and really, a life without dance would be no life at all). I trained in ballet, as a young girl, but unsurprisingly lacked the discipline to do it properly and drifted out of it before I hit high school. I am not the woman who scampers joyfully to belly dance or burlesque classes.

But I know what looks right, and I know how to feel a beat and stick to it, and that's how I do my choreo.

The first stop is always A&M Mocap, and regular readers will know why that is. The first time I went to A&M, I was so besotted I was there for four hours. I am still there for hours, but I must admit it's not the joyous experience it was then. The animators at A&M Mocap have a great sense of theatrical dance, and I think it's important to see and recognise the difference. These dances, as beautiful, emotional and sensual as they are, are not for use in clubs - though A&M have plenty of dances which are - and to my mind, it's similarly true that club dances don't look good on stage.

the advent of mesh has added a new set of hazards for choosing a dance

I'm no  fan of Gor, but I think we professional dancers owe the girls who come to SL to play slaves and concubines a great debt; their active engagement with SL has ensured a legacy of sensual and performance-oriented dance. Some of my very earliest dances and poses come from the Gorean lifestyle.

So based on what we know about my dancing style, we know we need rhythm. The song has a good pace to it, it's looking for fast and big steps ... but I think the story calls for some dignity too. It's the story of the respect and love "wolf mother" inspires. So she won't be prancing, and she won't be rolling around on the floor. But you knew I would say that anyway, right?

Each time I do a new act, I purchase 4 new dances. A dance animation is usually around 26 seconds, and a song is roughly four minutes long. So I buy four new dances when it makes sense, and use between 2 and 4 that I already own.

You can't really say this too many times, so here's my PSA for the day: Do NOT buy trans/no copy animations. Yes, they can be as much as 200L cheaper. But you only have to lose your hud one time to realise your investment was pitifully inadequate. We know 4 new dances will cost 400L each. That's 1600L, for those playing at home. A Guerilla Burlesque dancer will earn 700-1000L in a Friday night show. My second PSA for the day - do not go into professional dancing thinking it will make money.

Suddenly it's midnight, and I have bought four dances - Thought You Knew, Spring Jive, The Arrival and Aziza, all from A&M. I'm sleepy, I have to stop now, but I'd wanted to have a look at Henmations and My-Animation too. I like Henmations dances very much. I am less impressed with My-Animation, but I love their AO stuff so much I will use any excuse to go by and see what's new. And sometimes it's a great dance :-D.

I caught a break, in that no-one else is ready for Sunday night rehearsal either. We'll reschedule to Wednesday, which wreaks havoc on my other jobs, but buys me a little more time to pull this act out of my head and onto the stage.

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