So yesterday, I was showing a non-dancer friend a video of us dancing. In fact, it was of “Heavy”, which we performed in Grand Rapids in February.
I get nervous showing our stuff to people that are outside of the dance community sometimes—don’t know why, but I do. She showed me her arm afterwards and it was covered in goose bumps…and that made me really happy.
She asked me later, “Do you guys ever crack up on stage when you’re being all serious like that?”
I gave it some thought, and…No. No, we don’t. Which is funny, because if you saw us rehearsing? Completely different story, because we are laughing the whole time, even when we know we’re supposed to be going for a certain, less jovial, mood.
I can’t help laughing and cracking up, because let’s face it—Kat’s my best friend and we act like children half the time…okay, 95% of the time…::hangs head in defeat:: Well, maybe all the time, but who’s really looking?
Kat and I talked about this—actually, we talked about it on our way home from Grand Rapids last month. When we started Raks Incendia just over three years ago and even two years ago when things were just starting to really move along…we would need a minimum of two to three hours to “get in the zone”, or get into the right mindset for performing. An exercise in Method acting, if you will.
Now, it’s easier. We’re snorting and giggling right up until the moment that curtain opens, and then…boom: We’re in character.
I think the reason we took that time to prepare before was because we were still getting used to the idea of being “us”. Still wiggling around in the new skin we had created for ourselves, getting settled in until the fit was just right.
To get more personal…it grows harder and harder every day to acknowledge the “other” me…the one that used to be the real me and for which Domhnulla was just an alter ego. Now, I find more and more that the normal me…the one that works in an office during the day and cooks dinner every night and snuggles her three kitties? She’s Domhnulla, too. The name I was born with and all the negative things connected to her just don’t fit me anymore.
Where was I going with this? Oh, right. Holding it together during a performance…it’s easier for some than others…and quite honestly, when we’re doing our cheekier dance numbers? The odds of us cracking up in the middle of the song are far more likely to happen, because we’re not as focused…and the humor in it is much closer to how we are in real life. But for those that need a direction to hold their focus: until you find your dance self, do what we used to do: take some time before your performance and talk or think yourself into the mood or mindset you want to convey. Be that character. After a while, you will start to recognize what gets you there quickest and then one day, you will find you need just a few seconds or no time at all to snap it all into place.
As always, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or comments.
On our immediate agenda is the Second Annual April Fool’s Hafla in Kalamazoo, hosted by our wonderful friends: Bohème. See http://www.bohemetribal.com/ and go to their Calendar of events to purchase tickets for the show!
After that, we will be polishing up our workshop for Detroit Raqs and maybe trying to come up with some new choreo…Maybe. We will definitely be performing “Heavy” for those of you that missed it in Grand Rapids.
Until we see you all again…