Barcelona workshop May 2017

On 13th and 14th May, 2017 Leolani Gallardo and Hunor Lőrinczi organized an intensive Tahitian drumming and dancing workshop! Thank you both, I learned a lot! Let me share some of it:

 

  1. We are extremely lucky to be the only group in Europe to have our own drum master so that we can practice dancing to the rhythm of live drums!

From now on we will make more advantage of this! It is completely different to dance with live drums or recorded music. I want all my dancers to learn and understand the rhythms, so that they can dance with ‘smart hips’. You may not know but back in those days we started learning to play the drums together with Hunor, so we used to practice together for a year. This knowledge and experience gave me a better understanding of the rhythms and made it so much easier to dance. This is why I would like more of my dancing ladies to practice the drumming as well, the two classes perfectly complement and support each other!

  1. The most important part of dancing is the attitude

This also means the posture, the appearance and the facial expressions: dancing should be done with confidence, openness and eye contact, while generating and sharing good vibes and joy. This is the most important, because this is the way to share the energies and the pleasure of this Polynesian culture with our audience.

The second most important ingredient is the fitness and the stamina. Tahitian dance is not an easy genre. (Even though professionals make it seem so easy, this illusion is generated by their professionalism.) It requires regular training and practice and it can also be useful to complete the physical exercise with other forms of sport – the results are impressive! Running, yoga or any kind of cardio exercise can help to improve our performance.

The technique only comes third. Of course, this is also important, since a real dancer’s moves are sharp and conscious as they know exactly when they have to do what they do and why. It might be surprising though how much more enjoyable a performance can be with an enthusiastic, smiling, powerful beginner dancer than a professional struggling to focus on perfection. Looking at the suffering face of a beautiful performer makes the audience feel ashamed of making the dancer work so hard. Dance should be about sharing the joy.

  1. Leolani enriches her choreographies with modern elements

These elements make the dances more dynamic: the dancers enjoy the flow of the moves  and the performance becomes colorful and dramatic. I am getting more motivated to create more of my own choreographies for our team!

I am very grateful to Hunor for this trip. He handmade 30 drums for the beginners, he loaded about 40 drums of varying sizes in our minivan and he drove 4500kms to Barcelona and back! We had a wonderful journey. On the way there we experienced the spring-spirited riviera, but on the way back we enjoyed summer at its best along the cost.

I am also thankful to the Imua Polinesia organization and especially to Shyrah, who came up with the idea of the workshop and organized everything for us. Shyrah’s enthusiasm and hard work is very inspirational for us. Thank you for uniting dancers and drummers from Moscow, Stockholm, London and Barcelona!

And I would like to mention the Hungarian team represented in such a great number. I believe that Leolani’s vibe and energy, the sunny Barcelona and Costa Brava was worth the time, the money and the effort you invested! I can’t wait to do it again!

But for now let me invite all dancers and drummers to our full-day Budapest workshop on 27th May. Let’s share the new ideas and all that wisdom we gained!

 

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