Tap Dance Blog>>
DRAMA - love songs and other jazz
Ok. I really haven't posted anything on this blog and I guess I have been to busy with all my projects. In march 2012 I came out with my new show "DRAMA - love songs and other jazz". It was produced and performed at Kampnagel, Hamburg. It was financially supported by the city of Hamburg.
The whole production was great fun and everybody had a good time. The dancers were Ellen Murray, Laura Mogalle, Thomas Kolczewski and myself. The text edits for the show were done by Miriam Mandelkow.
Here is an excerpt of one of the numbers….. enjoy!
I found this amazing clip of Gregory Hines & Stanley Clarke the other day on Youtube. These two numbers first appeared on Stanley Clarke's CD "If this bass could only talk" and I was always fascinated by their musicality and interaction.
In my show tap&bass with my partner Kurt Holzkämper (www.bassmusik.de), we always performed these two songs in our version as a tribute to Gregory Hines & Stanley Clarke. Now it's great fun to actually see them perform it and not just listen to the CD.
In my opinion this is how tap dance should be done: highly musical, subtle in how technique is used and captivating in it's artistic expression. This is tight!
Forget 5,6,7 and 8 : How to count properly and communicate basic musicality.
In today´s dancing world there are still many (tap) dancers counting 5,6,7,8 when refering to a 4/4 measure. This is quite confusing to almost everybody who is understanding the concept of a 4/4 feel, which only consists of four beats : 1, 2 ,3 & 4. So were do the 5,6,7 & 8 come from? It´s a way to count a 2 bar phrase as one logical unit : 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. So the 5,6,7,8 simply refer to the second bar of that phrase. But this is very unlogical because the measure only consists of 4 beats : 1,2,3 and 4.
This is why I think you should drop counting 5,6,7 and 8 in a 4/4 measure:
1. There simply isn´t 5,6,7,8 in a 4/4 feel. A 4/4 measure only consists of 4 beats. Namely: one, two, three and four.
2. It is totally f***ing 80s and sounds a little stupid anyways. Who started it? Fame? :)
3.Counting to 8 ignores a main fact of swing music, which is a strong feel for the 4 beats. Ask Basie he knows : "Four beats and no messin´", Count Basie.
4. Since by pure logic 1 is not 5 and 2 is not 6 and 3 is not 7 and 4 is not 8, this whole concept is pretty confusing.
5. Transfering this way of "wrong" counting to other measures like 3/4 would mean trouble, because then you would end up counting a 6/4 or 6/8 which is clearly different than a 3/4 feel.
6. You probably count a 3/4 or 5/4 measure correct but not a simple 4/4? WTF???
7. Once you get used to correct counting you always know were you are in the music and you are able to communicate it with other musicians who also "speak the language". This is a universal musical language, that makes sense. Why do you want as dancer stand out, and simply do it wrong?
8.You will never ever have to translate your steps and choreography when trying to work with musicians.... (How many eights again????) Stop being confused when trying to arrange your dancing to music.
9. It´s a first step towards thinking in musical terms as a dancer and understanding the music. And since most (tap) dancers claim to be musicians that should be a given.
10. Become a happy (tap) dancer.