As a group (Ayano, Romane, Amelia), we decided that we will be using part of the Kennedy Center Performance from Pitch Perfect 2. As the beat in Timber is straightforward, we can incorportate the cross-leg move from Toshi’s dance routine and other steps.
We have decided that we will be starting in a line and spread out one at a time and do a pique and pirouettes until we reach our spot. When the faster part starts, we have decided to the box step as there is a clear four-beat rhythm throughout the part. When it says “It’s going down”, we go down and have one knee on the ground and be in a kneeling position with one of our hands on the ground. When it says “I’m yelling timber”, we swiftly stand up and first turn to the right, pretending to yell with our hands on our mouth and then turn to the left. Next, we do the first step of Toshi’s dance routine (to the right and to the left), second step of Toshi’s dance routine (to the right and to the left). When the song says “Face down, booty up”, we look down and lift our hips.
We have decided that when it says “We got the World…..”, Ayano and I move a bit towards the middle so as not to be too far away, before going down on our knee. Also, we will move to the right and and move to the right and left while lifting our hips and doing the hand movement of Indian Dance after the second step of Toshi’s dance routine (to the right and to the left). After “Face down, booty up”, we do a few steps from the virginia reel during the transition.
After the virginia reel, we do the arm bending move from the original kennedy center performance video and hip move. Towards the end, we do a pique and pirouhettes into the middle and get to our positions in which we end in a single file and put our arms out. We have decided that we will be wearing a white/ grey top and shorts/ jeans.
1) Describe how you planned your performance?
We created the steps and planned out our performance by identifying dance routines/ steps that will match the rhythm in the song. For example at the start of the song, we imagined the opening of the curtains at a stage and so for introduction, we danced ballet; a pique and pirouettes. When the relaxed and slower melody transitions to a faster melody with very clear beats, we did the box step from Toshi’s dance routine matching to the four-beat rhythm. After a bit of change at “It’s going down”, where we went down in a kneeling position with one knee on the ground and our right hand on the ground, the music resumed the four-beat rhythm in which we put in the first step of Toshi’s dance routine (to the right and to the left) and the second step of Toshi’s dance routine (to the right and to the left), which matches the rhythm. After “Face down, booty up”, where we looked down and lifted our hips, we put in steps from the virginia reel. As shown above in the dance routine, we choreographed our dance by identifying dance steps that match the rhythm/ beat in the song.
2) Why did you choose the particular genres?
Before working on our dance routine, we explored a variety of genres of dances from different cultures so we could incorporate them in our dances. We had the MS dance teacher, Toshi come in as a guest to teach us hip hop and Ms. Premchand to teach us indian dance such as Punjabi and Bhangra. Ms. Shirota taught us ballet which I personally I enjoyed a lot and Mr. Cook taught us the virginia reel and dances from ’70s including the bus stop. We included all genres of dances in our dance routine as we thought it would be interesting to reflect different cultures in our dance.
3) Why did you choose the particular music
The mashup of We Got The World, Timber and America The Beautiful by The Barden Bellas of the Kennedy Center Performance in Pitch Perfect 2 was ideal for the dance performance as there were frequent changes of speed and mood, where we could change the genre of dance easily. For example, at the slower parts, we could dance ballet and dance hip-hop at the faster parts. The song was also very energetic, with a strong impact on the audience and the fact that it was a mash-up of different songs made it more entertaining and rich in variety. The song also had a very clear four-beat rhythm throughout the song which made it easier for us to incorporate different steps/ routines and match up with the music.
1) How does culture influence dance?
Using indian dance as an example, people normally dance to show celebration or happiness and the culture also influences dance heavily in India. There are religious aspects to the music and dance as for example, Dama Dam Mast Qalandar by Mika Singh Feat. Yo Yo Honey Singh is a pop version of a traditional Punjabi spiritual song, which was written a few centuries ago in honor of the most revered Sufi Saint of Sindh, Shahbaz Qalandar of Sehwan Sharif, District Jamshoro, Pakistan, who worked for the unity of Hinduism and Islam. The original Dama Dam Mast Qalandar is one of the most famous qawwali and Qalandar is referred to as Hazrat (holiness), Shahbaz (king of falcons and a goldy figure leading to victory, divine spirit in Iranian mythology) and Qalandar (sufi faint, poet, mystic, nobel man) in the song and there are historical and culture aspects along with religions aspects influencing the music. During the performance of their dance, Mika and Yo Yo raise their arms frequently to show respect and praise their allah (god).
2) How are different dance genres developed? What influences?
Throughout history, dance has been an important part of ceremonies, celebrations and entertainment since the prehistoric times traces of dance have been found in 9,000 year old Bhimbetka rock shelters paintings in India and Egyptian tomb paintings showing dance figures from c. 3300 BC. Dance has also been a form of protection against diseases or showing expressions such as love. An example of the transition and change during the development of a dance genre is the transition from court dancing to Romanticism, where there were drastic changes in costume and choreography during the 18th~19th century, allowing more freedom when dancing and conducive to a fuller use of greater and expressive motions of the body. The development and acceptance of heel-less shoes opened the door to pointework, eventually leading to ballet.
3) Describe 2 things you learnt from this dance unit.
Throughout the dance unit, I learnt a wide variety of dances from different cultures and they were influenced by the culture of the country, and that teamwork was most important when choregographing and planning our dance as we had to incorporate everyone’s ideas and put them into one dance routine. Also, at first, we were planning to wear our P.E. clothes during the dance performance but I thought we should all wear something different such as a white shirt on top and any shorts/ jeans to be more colorful and unique, and show that we have made an extra effort to look better as what we wear is also part of performance. Although my idea and the idea of my teammates were in conflict as they thought that changing the outfit was tiresome and were unwilling to wear the coordination I suggested, I was persistent and wrote an e-mail, explaining the reasonings behind my decision. I doubted that they will change their mind at first but I was delighted and very happy when they accepted and agreed to wear the outfit and I realized that through communicating clearly to my teammates and thinking through together, we can come up with a solution, leading to great outcomes; our dance was a success and I was very glad when Mr. Cook approved of our decision to wear a unique outfit.