Yes its been non-stop. All dance, all the time. At least that’s what it felt like in May and June, so much that by the time I got home from rehearsals each night with intentions of updating this blog, I was too toasted to write anything mildly coherent. All of this work is paying off, and at the end of working on some shows there was more work. The discipline of the daily grind, with sprinklings of performance highs.
The madness started in April. Sugar Shakers performed at the Georgian Sound Festival in Thornbury. Our road trip was a lot of fun because there was also a lindy hop act of five couples, choreographed by Joanna of Sugar Shakers. So with a crew of 13 dancers we had a great time both on and off stage.
Then there were the birthday celebrations. Well mine was early April, but for the first time in a few years, nothing really dance related happened for that. Celebrations nonetheless. Drummer and friend Jaash Singh celebrated his birthday at the Cameron House with a show that featured his various musical projects past and present. Victoria and I danced a drum solo, some old school Om Laila styles choreographed by Meaghan Shields. Another April baby, fellow dancer and friend Laura Atma celebrated her birthday with a Champagne Cabaret at the Painted Lady –featuring a wide variety of bellydance talent. I did an ATS duet with Orkideh of Serpentina as well as a solo flapper number for that.
Shortly after that was the Frankie Manning Tribute weekend, where the Sugar Shakers performed at the opening dance. It was a full weekend of workshops and celebrations of one of the innovators of Lindy Hop.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to check out the rest of the weekend but for good reason –great reason in fact, I ventured to Detroit for Soul Skate 2012. Now Detroit has its edge for sure, but overall I feel pretty comfortable there from spending some time there at warehouse parties back in the day and I’ve always found Detroit music people to be pretty welcoming. Soul Skate was one of the many after parties for the Movement/Detroit Electronic Music Festival –a weekend long celebration of the contribution Detroit has made to electronic music, with its specific genre of techno. While I didn’t actually get out to any of the festival, the lineup was great and after ten years of this festival and decades of local innovation in techno, the mayor declared May 20-26th, ‘Detroit Techno Week.’ Sweet. One after party during the first couple years of the festival is where I first heard a Kenny Dixon Jr. (aka. Moodymann) DJ set live. Now, 12 years later that name still catches my eye (and ear!) which is how I ended up at SoulSkate 2012. With a couple other four wheel enthusiasts we drove Northland Arena, laced up our skates and started to move. We didn’t stop til the early hours of the morning and I saw some of the most insane rollerskating ever. So many amazing crews, dancers, acrobats and overall fierceness on four wheels.
The first weekend of June was filled with excitement. The long awaited, much anticipated Rachel Brice intensive finally arrived. Friday was a short workshop separate from the intensive, ‘Chop chop’ featuring learning fast tribal fusion combos. Right after that workshop I had a show with the Sugar Shakers at the Carlu for the Mortgage Brokers Awards for their speakeasy-themed event. We greeted, danced, took photos and performed two sets over the course of the evening.
Rushing home after the show to get some sleep while mentally preparing myself for the days ahead. So much to learn from Rachel Brice and Saturday she worked us hard with drills, yoga, musicality…my mind has yet to process everything that my body took in that weekend. After the day of dance it was time to get ready for the Infusion gala show, where Serpentina North Ensemble would also be performing alongside a variety of tribal fusion dancers. I think this whole experience with the intensive and the show together in one weekend really warrants more digesting so suffice it to say, that it was incredible.
Toronto is bursting at the seams with interesting events right no –too many to mention right here, right now. But some things you need to know about right here, right now:
Alternative Garage Sale at Radar
Sugar Shakers 3 Year Anniversary Party
Funkabelly at the Capitol Theatre
Love&Sweat to you my friends…