movement

Talented Padawans

Just look at the lightsaber fight the Lvl 4 Longmont Dance Academy teens created themselves last week. Just look.

(Here’s the link in case the vid doesn’t work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fu-rc-hZ2wY)

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Punching Through a Crystal Wall

Remember that Doctor Who episode, where he was trapped in the nightmare loop? The way he escaped was, each time he got to the end/his death, he punched a thick glass (or rock crystal?) wall, just once, with his bare fist. Turns out that he ends up going through that time loop so many times, that he eventually punches through the thick crystal wall completely. Think of how many millions of times you’d have to punch with a bare fist, to get through a rock wall several feet thick. But he succeeds, and it sets him free.

My life lately has run up against that thick layer of crystal, or so it feels: beautiful, but holding me in a loop. I’m punching it with my bare fist, though, over and over, and will persist until it gives way. Problem is, I also have to rely on others to add their punches to mine, and so am also being forced to wait. I spent a long while musing about this last night: I’m stalled, and it’s frustrating, as I am powerless to move these other people into action. And so I wait.

But here’s the stuff I am indeed actively doing–these things may be interesting to you, lovely lurkers, so here goes:

Wisdom From Everything was a remarkable production, and my scenes of violence were carried out beautifully. This production closes on the 26th, so those of you lurkers who are local, don’t miss it.

My initial writings on the topic of Problematic Female Badasses in lit and pop culture are slowly, painfully, becoming a book. Page 23, the academic branch of Denver Comic Con, has accepted it as part of their panel presentations, and so I will be talking about this project and my 7 Tropes live in front of a roomful of geeks this June. Will I be the catalyst for Gamergate 2.0? Time will tell…

Also this summer, I’ll be trekking back to Longmont to teach the teenaged ballerinas how to fake punch each other in the face, drag each other around by their hairpinned buns, and etc. One of the highlights of that is when they learn the face slam. The initial teaching of it is slamming the face into the floor, but some tutued girl always gets the idea to slam her partner’s face into the ballet barre, which is just such a delightful thing to witness.

Sooner than that, though: Blue Dime Cabaret is having our first show at Full Cycle on April 7th. It’s a bike shop, coffee shop, and bar over on Pearl Street where Penny Lane used to be. This is going to be a really fun show: we’ve got comedians, burlesque, burlesque on roller skates, and an opera singer. I’ll be jiggling my sparkles in a 1920s Charleston inspired burlesque bit that I actually need to finish choreographing… anyway, we’ve also been picked to perform in this summer’s Boulder Fringe Fest, too, so this’ll be a fun way to see how these variety shows will turn out. If you’re local, do come see us, and tip generously. I need the money.

I’ll let you know how Goth Prom goes, too. I have a rather ’80s inspired outfit to honor my early days of gothiness. But anyway.

These are the punches I’m throwing these days. What punches are you throwing into your walls? Add them in the comments, if you’d like to share. Of course, there’s a reason I call you all “lovely lurkers…”

Stage Movement Class: sign up please pt. 2

Yes, lovely lurkers, I have taken to begging for students to take the Stage Movement course over at MSU Denver. Well, yanno, it has been cancelled due to underenrollment enough that I feel I need to explain what makes this class such an essential part of a student’s experience at Metro, especially in the Theatre Department.

Here’s the thing: the skills learned in this class don’t only apply to

Don't make this sad clown even sadder. Sign up for Stage Movement.

Don’t make this sad clown even sadder. Sign up for Stage Movement.

the performing arts student. Not at all–actually I’ve had the following diverse folks take this course (beyond the theatre majors, for whom this class is required):

  • a major in accounting
  • a 75-year-old auditing the course for fun
  • an 8th grader interested in the clowning arts
  • a poli-sci major
  • a couple English majors
  • someone who was undecided, who wanted to be able to have good presence in front of a crowd

Recently I have received some advice from an intimate friend in the career reboot department, and I am realizing that these skills are all excellent ones for building my corporate consulting practice. All of these things (body language, vocal work, social status manipulation, presentation skills, etc.) are the difference between a corporate drudgery and a successful businessperson.

 

I Miss My MTV already…

The backdrop as it looked in Fort Collins’ Bas Bleu Theatre, made by talented tattoo artist Sal Tino.

 

I Miss My MTV version 2.1 has come and gone, and it was a helluva ride. The reboot held many of the same core pieces as v.1.0 (the 2014 Boulder Fringe Fest), with some revisions and recastings all with a positive result, IMO. I’m glad in this reworking that I got to dance in an el-wire suit, and got to join the complex Cut Copy piece (the one with the suits and briefcases and plentiful bits of paper).

My favorite bits in this show overall were the Depeche Mode piece which took place at the bar at the end of the world, the opening dance medley filled with classics from ’80s vids (Pat Benatar shoulder action, anyone?), and, weirdly enough, the quietly sublime David Bowie Glitter Portrait bit. That last mainly from the consistently wonderful audience reaction to the reveal.

My favorite tweaks from v.2.0 (DCPA) to 2.1 (Bas Bleu Theatre) were the new band members, and the casting of James as The Norwegian in the A-Ha video sequel.

And if you missed it, you have no idea what I’m talking about, but no doubt really wish you did. Farewell, I Miss My MTV. “Don’t you / forget about me / I’ll be alone / dancing, you know it baby…”

Don’t You…

Latest Theatre Event

Check out this article I wrote over at Your Boulder, about the latest theatrical gig I’m involved with. It’s The Five Fifths of the Princess Bride, and it’s going to be…as postmodernly insane as you can imagine. An excerpt from the YB article is below, and for the rest, go to the above link. And come see me on Saturday!   ~Jenn

The artists assigned to tackle each of the five facets of the Princess Bride are (in order):  Stories with Spirit,The Band of Toughs, Al Stafford Productions, Mandy Greenlee, and Jaryd Smart. Tickets can be purchased on the event’s Facebook page or the Boulder Fringe website. $25 will get you admission to a cocktail hour, silent auction, and of course the show itself. All proceeds go to the Boulder International Fringe Festival. It’s a Boulder event not to be missed, to support another Boulder event not to be missed!

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The Art of Stillness 

in Stage Movement class at Metro, one of the big things we work on are tableaux. This term refers to an artistic still stage picture. When we work with our corsets and comedy of manners, tableaux are an essential part of the  effective composition of the scenes. Now that the students are working on their final Dr. Seuss performances, tableaux are becoming that much more important again.

Why would stillness be such an important part of the curriculum of a movement class? The same reason why learning punctuation is an essential part of a writing class. Actually, literally the same reason: an audience needs the pauses, the stillnesses, in order to follow the action itself. This is something we learn in stage combat classes too: it’s much easier for an audience to follow a movement sequence when there are stillnesses strategically placed. The key with a tableau is that it’s a dynamic stillness: it’s based on visual art and so is just as stimulating to the eye as the movement. And in their Seussian pieces, their tableaux are literally based on one of the illustrations from the original picture book. The students chose which picture they thought was most pivotal and recreated it onstage. Below is the one that turned out best, IMO. See the resemblance?

  

This particular stillness tells you a lot about this story, and takes place at a tense, pivotal moment in the plot. What better way than a tableau to ramp up the tension?