inspirations, beliefs, philosophies: is a dance career a *REAL* career?

dpg_0286A¬†while back as a¬†colleague¬†and I¬†were talking about a¬†company we work for, the topic of conversation moved from our usual dance-related musings to our availability for some upcoming gigs. Our boss is a generous and understanding man who cut his teeth in the corporate world and then transitioned to the artistic one, but he¬†doesn’t often understand the life of artists and people in non-corporate fields. A week or so before, I sent my schedule of availability to the corporate office which¬†included all dates I could accept gigs as well as dates that I couldn’t. It just so happened that this year¬†I was unavailable for a gig that I usually make myself available for and my boss was highly disappointed. He took it upon himself to go ask my colleague, “Why is Bryan not available for this event? He usually works it. He’s not doing anything new and he doesn’t have a real job, so I don’t understand why he’s not available!”

I’ll admit, when I heard this, I was low-key offended. “A real job?!”, I thought to myself – “what on Earth am I out here doing everyday and night?! Playing?!” After I settled my nerves about the shade of it all, it got me thinking,¬†“Is a dance career a “REAL” career?”¬† Why wouldn’t it be? For those of us in this career path, there’s no other answer but YES.¬†We throw our bodies around rehearsing and performing, tax our minds planning and codifying¬†lessons,¬†shrink our wallets training and keeping up with what’s next…sounds like a career to me! Although that’s¬†my¬†reality, I wanted to get the consensus from the¬†other side, from people who aren’t dancers or in the arts industry. Flip the page to see what I found…

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Aside

it’s a celebration – my 2 year blogiversary!!!

It’s¬†my blogiversary!!!¬†#TURNUP!!! Just in case you’re a little confused: On this day¬†two years ago, I published my first blog post and said hello to the world through the chanel-logo-cake-2loveliness of WordPress! From then to now,¬†I’ve published¬†77 blog entries, which encompass everything from¬†my biggest loves to my biggest insecurities and so much in between! I’ve enjoyed sharing my experiences living this dance life with you and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about them! Here’s to many more years of blogging and many MANY more posts!

much love to you ALL!  ~b

choreo journal #11: the art of letting go

SPDC promo photo by Nicole BattistoneRELAX. RELATE. RELEASE.

This dancelife¬†does not quit y’all.¬† After a full¬†Monday through Thursday¬†of taking and teaching classes, creating choreography, and a performance or two, I’m damn near beat. As much as I love it, the fatigue in my bones,¬†muscles, tendons, and joints all want to take a looong¬†break in my very comfortable bed. Then comes Friday. The end of my week is punctuated¬†with company class and rehearsal¬†for dancEnlight, one of the two modern companies that I dance with. I drag my physical body out of bed, toss some food down my gullet,¬†throw on¬†an¬†eclectic array of dance clothing, jump in the car, battle traffic and time, arrive at the studio, say hello, and try to warmup – all that is before¬†class begins. Class¬†itself isn’t that bad – some stretching, tendus, battements, a lovely adagio, some really nice movement across the floor,¬†wrapped up with a big leaps and girthy movement. Sweaty and smiling, my favorite part of class comes when the chill music plays and we take the floor for cool down.

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Video

dance break!!! enra, “primitive”

Today’s dance break feature is¬†Enra, a dance company based in Japan that fuses elements of technology, dance, and performance art. The result is a breathtaking¬†visual experience that captures your attention and imagination. A company of only 5 members of diverse training (one was the¬†Green Power Ranger!)¬†and led by Director/ Visual Artist Nobuyuki¬†Hanabusa, the Tokyo-based company dances in sync to a computer-generated projection of balls, spheres, lines, and curves racing across the screen, giving the illusion that their movement creates the effects. After a friend shared one of their pieces on Facebook, I was captured by the visuals, which¬†are¬†very similar to¬†how¬†my mind¬†interprets movement. Immediately¬†interested, I delved into researching¬†the company and their pieces, which range from fun (“Primitive”, below) and dramatic (“Beginning”) to serene (“Pleiades”) and epic (“Fuma-kai”). With music groups like Perfume and performers like Beyonc√©¬†taking advantage of¬†it, the advent of projection technology as well as its use in everyday culture is beginning to start the trend of much more multi-media specific performance pieces. It’ll be interesting to see who will be the next to innovate this technology into a¬†commonplace¬†performance media.

Check out Enra on the offical site here and learn more about their director and his works here.

choreo demo: will.i.am, justin bieber, mindless behavior – power mashup (featuring hte dance staff)

camp dance grid

I was so excited last year when I was asked to choreograph HTE Dance’s annual Camp Dance, this year was no different. I’ve explained it before but I’m always super grateful to be asked to choreo something that will be showcased all summer. I again collaborated with my partner from last year’s dance, the lovely Carly Kingston, and with the help of other Senior Staff members, put our heads together to tackle this year’s performance.¬†Last summer we used Adam Lambert’s hit “Pop That Lock”, but this year we wanted something with power and passion – a song to motivate the masses. The first song that came to mind was #ThatPower by will.i.am and Justin Bieber, but it debuted a week before our Staff Retreat and we KNEW it’d be everywhere in no time (and we were right). Thus started our quest to find a song to combine it with. We tried Rihanna, other will.i.am songs, Britney, but nothing fit. Our VP threw “All Around the World” by¬†hip hop guy group Mindless Behavior. I won’t lie, I wasn’t feeling the song itself, it was a bit too teeny bopper for me, but at the VP’s insistence I went ahead,¬†imported it in Audacity,¬†added it some spinbacks, and extra song for a big end, and¬†mashed it up. What resulted was magic…

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happy new year!!! 2013 in review and looking forward into 2014

new year 2014 2

Happy New Year friends! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are ready to start anew in 2014! I want to thank you for your readership and support throughout 2013 and as I continue to do my best into 2014, I sincerely hope I can count on your continued encouragement. Arigatou gozaimasu! *claps and bows*

WordPress¬†cooked up a little 2013 cumulative report about my blog this year. I think it’s cute, so I invite you to take a look at a few interesting facts they found. Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 950 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 16 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posts will continue as usual and I look forward to reading your comments and thoughts, and I encourage you to add your voice to the conversation in each post.

with much love, b.

spotlight: the top 10 dance-based music videos of 2013

top 10 collage22013 has been¬†a different year¬†for music, but the dependency on the music video has grown. Much like Beyonc√©’s recent example of concurrently releasing music videos¬†alongside her newest¬†album tracks, the music video remains one of the few ways an artist can guarantee a response to the release of a single.¬†Though not as prevalent as in recent years, dance is still¬†the keystone of lots of pop music’s visual rep.¬†Many of¬†this year’s releases¬†focused on introspection, leading to a lot of midtempos¬†and sonic experimentation with artists like Lorde, Ed Sheeran, and Imagine Dragons leading the way. Uptempos¬†from Robin Thicke, Daft Punk, and Britney Spears¬†kept us all moving, but it took me a while to compile¬†a list¬†of 10 worthy videos to present.¬†I don’t know what to expect as we head into 2014 as I’m still reeling from the¬†surprise release of Beyonc√©, but something tells me she’s started a trend we’ll see many other try to top. On to the countdown!

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