dance technique - relaxing the bodydance lessons
Music for download - „Na piecu łoroł”
Our 1st methodology lesson was devoted to even rhythms. In the 2nd lesson, we will take a look at odd rhythms that can be found in dances with the rhythm of the mazurka, e.g. in kujawiak and oberek.
The rhythms of the mazurka seem to be more difficult than those of polka mainly due to fact that we are not accustomed to the type of melody present in mazurkas.
Now, letʼs try an exercise using the melody of the mazurka. Before you start dancing it, listen to this melody a few times. Feel its pulse and listen to individual instrumentsʼ playing. For example – focus on the drum, notice how the drummer places the accents, i.e. where he hits the drum harder.
This exercise – to the rhythm of the mazurka, as well as the previous ones – to the rhythm of polka – can be done solo, in a small room. They can also be done in a large room with many dancers. Imagine that you are standing around a circle, facing the direction of the dance, i.e. counterclockwise. From time to time, the step of the whole group of dancers can be interluded by moments, in which the couples split and all dancers scatter around the room. When this happens, each dancer is free to walk in different directions, passing by other dancers on his/her way. This can be very useful for learning orientation in space so that during a real dance party we do not bump into each other.
In this video lesson we will practice the following issues:
- relaxing the body
- knee resilience
- relaxing the whole body and activating the bodyʼs “rotary axis” – the spine.
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHORS OF THE POLISH TRADITIONAL DANCESʼ METHODOLOGY
The TEACHING METHODOLOGY OF NON-THEATRICAL POLISH TRADITIONAL DANCES that we propose here is an outcome of 25 years of workshop and educational work. What is important, this pedagogical experience was taking into account contemporary predispositions and skills of the generation of Poles, who were deprived of lively contact with traditional dance and music.
Our methodology encompasses dance lessons and exercises rooted in the natural mobility of our body and the activities of daily living that we perform. Hence, the methodology presented here is a key to mastering the basics of non-theatrical Polish traditional dance forms characterised by the even double meter (polka rhythms), as well as odd triple meters (e.g. mazurka rhythms). This methodology will help you feel and understand the rhythm. It will also help you move in tact with the rhythm, dance solo, dance in a couple and a group, dance around a circle and in a loose group. Following our lessons, you will also learn to spin in both the open and the closed arrangement.
In our system, the process of learning to dance – learning the steps of a given dance form, is supposed to go hand in hand with the process of learning and acquiring social attitudes, learning to interact with the partner, with whom the dance is being performed and with other persons/couples that partake in the same dance event and share the same space-time as we do. We want traditional dance and music to be a pretext for an encounter with the other person, just as it used to be in the past.
Our dance tutorials are intended for viewers of all ages, both beginners and intermediate students, both amateurs and dance education professionals, who want to explore traditional dances in their non-theatrical forms as a new movement formula.
We hope that our project will fill in the gap and provide the viewers with easily accessible educational materials that present the methodology of teaching Polish traditional dances in their non-theatrical forms.
As far as the learning process is concerned, our dancing skills and the ability to move in sync with music, will be acquired through our acquaintance with the music. Getting to know the music you will dance to is essential – without it, our dance will be detached from its base and its rhythmical and melodic source.
Secondly, if you want to dance, knowing the steps of a given dance are not the only key to it. Of equal importance is the cosy and friendly atmosphere of the dancing event, which will provide you with a feeling of comfort, acceptance and safety. These elements will bring a feeling of relaxation in your body, triggering joy and good mood, which will make it easier for your to feel the rhythm, catch the beginning of the musical phrase, feel the pulse and catch the essential moment in the tact – the “ONE”. After all, dancing is not to be hard work but a pleasant form of entertainment, a leisure time spent in a nice atmosphere.