I was clicking through the Tedx talk archives the other day and came across an interesting talk given by a choreographer who showed how he works with dancers to build choreographies. He even built one using two dancers on stage during the talk!
So I started to explore this concept myself. How many different shapes could I make within a letter? Would it change the quality or texture of my dance?
In the above, I explored the ‘T’ shape in the space around me. I found I was strangely limited by a lot of the normal moves and poses that we use as belly dancers. But at the same time, I felt freed of my usual “what do I do next?” because I had something to work to while improvising.
We can apply this in other spaces too like drilling or cymbal playing. In the Salimpour School we call it “riffing”. It’s where when you have your base move down, you then expand your movements to riff on the original step. So if you were doing say a movement in the lower body, you might explore how it feels to put a ribcage circle on top while retaining the integrity of the lower body movement.. Lots of options!