how to mix Tribal Improv levels onstage

Here’s how we got three levels (at least) onstage at MidSummer Magic, my annual student recital here in Fredericksburg (VA), this year:

getting everyone on stage at once!

mixing levels for a student recital

I’m out front with a duet partner while the rest of our Level is directly behind us in a Chorus Line; behind them, another Chorus Line with Levels One and Two are dancing together.

This was the last section of our Tribal Odyssey set in recital.

We began with Level Three dancers going out to frame the stage, some on stage left, some on stage right.

Then Levels One and Two came out together, moving into a large Chorus Line. Since there was only a small number of Level One dancers, they came out immediately as Center Dancers and then moved to the back joining the Level Three dancers as a backdrop. Because these Level One students were new to performing I wanted them to dance early and then “get out of the way” so they could relax but still be a part of the group. We used Farzad Farhangi’s song “Sandstorm”, it has a good strong beat that students can hear easily, and it’s longish at 6 minutes or so.

After the Level One dancers moved into the backgroup (is that a new word?), then Level 2 became the focus, and they moved through their own paces as if they were the only dancers onstage. They were free to change their group staging and throw the lead as they wanted, for the rest of the song.

When “Sandstorm” finished, the Level Two dancers moved into the background and I along with the Level Three dancers moved forward to create our own group onstage. Since we bring a lot of variety to our group improv with Veil Dancing and Skirt moves, and about 30-odd combinations, our set lasted through three songs. And just like an Oriental dance set, the tempo of the songs followed the pattern of fast, slow, fast; we always finish “upbeat” with cymbals – we just like it that way!

So that’s how you can mix different Tribal Improv levels onstage at once, if you haven’t done that before think about the possibilities – the students REALLY love it – and it looks great onstage!

(end of post)

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  1. […] how to mix Tribal Improv levels onstage (tribalodyssey.wordpress.com) […]

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