Thursday, June 11, 2009

Parade Reflections

When I learned that I was going to be in a dance class for my spring quarter of college, I was very excited. Because I have taken part in the performing arts ever since I was a child, when I heard we were going to partake in a parade a jolt of nervousness and excitement came over me. I was nervous because we were going to come up with our own everything! Our own theme, moves, costumes, practice dates and times, and specific jobs. Usually, in previous years, one person, mainly the dance coach or teacher, is in charge of everything, but this time it was split. Some people were the choreographers, some were costume designers and we even had a “props person”. It worked out very well because although we didn’t know what to expect of our group members and our audience, everything turned out according to plan.
We chose water conservation as our theme. At first, it seemed like it was going to be overwhelming because we didn’t know in what direction to go in. But after the choreographers had some great ideas that seemed to go with our theme very well. I was assigned the role of a “bad water bottle”. In order to demonstrate how unfortunate it is to have disposable water bottles I played Ogum. Because he has a machete, and swings it around in a crazy manner, I used those movements with a water bottle in my hands. This demonstrated being wasteful with the water by moving my arms in the same machete-like movements and disposing of water bottles that are not completely empty. The music I used for my part was called “Skulls and Crossbones” from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean which was suggested by one of the group members. It reflected the havoc and craziness that was much needed for my part. Because our parade was set up as a dance off between the good and bad, my good counterpart who was played by Avneet, utilized a reusable water bottle to demonstrate conserving and using all the water that is allotted to you.
The costume designers decided to have the “bad” people wear red, and the “good” people wear green. The contrast of colors represented the severity of this issue. The red stood out as a bad harsh color and the green represented the more peaceful and calming conservation side. There were different props used in the parade which included water bottles, hoses, sponges, and even rubber duckies. These added to our parade and helped demonstrate our theme of water conservation.
When it comes to having group projects, I’m usually the one in charge because I cannot handle being told what to do or I worry too much about if the other people are completing their tasks. It was kind of hard to not to try to take over and make it my own. I think the people that were in charge of this project did a very good job of making sure that this project didn’t go down the drain. When I was in high school I was always on a dance team so I know all about eight counts and ripples and a little bit on how to explain how to do dance moves. This gave me a big advantage on learning the dance moves for our performance and this previously acquired knowledge also helped me put together my own routine for my solo part in the parade. I learned that sometimes it’s okay for other people to take over and manage things. Trust is the ultimate factor that holds me back. This performance is a major part of our grade in this class and at first I didn’t know if I could trust my group members to have the same seriousness I did about this situation. I was very lucky to be in a group that also thought failure was not an option and the entire group made the effort to make it their best.
Overall I was very satisfied with the parade and really the class as a whole. It was very interesting to learn about different dances in Brazil and which moves represent what. This class was a stress reliever; the dancing was fun and took my mind off of the pressures of college and a lot of other things that are going on in the world and in my life. I learned that sometimes it is good to let go and dance the stress away.
written by Arazely Montano

1 comment:

  1. Hello, Arazely. Not only did you forget to send me the link before our final was over, you did not send me the actual link to your work, so I had to hunt. I've done quite a bit hunting this last week, and while I usually am rather lenient, for folks who sent the link late but the post clearly shows the got it up well before the close of the final, I am giving 75% credit as opposed to taking all of it.

    With that said, your writing is very full of your voice--congrats! make sure, however, to avoid run-on sentences. I find it interesting that you decided to challenge yourself and not choreograph or run the show. In retrospect, it sppears that your group had an overabundance of super-powered leaders; sorry about that. It especially shows in the inordinate amount of objects, ideas, songs, and moves your group employed. What you all needed was an editor. The ideas were all good, but sometimes, you just can't put it all in there at the same time...especially when you have not rehearsed enough. Take some time to read the comments I left for your teammates. You guys worked very hard from dress to final, I just had hopes that you would've worked the two weeks prior to dress with the same fervor.
    parade: √
    write-up: √++ (will be recorded as √)