Last weekend I worked a gig for a friend’s cousin, dancing at her daughter’s fifth birthday. I dressed up as a Hawaiian Princess and taught the children a few simple moves. I may as well out myself now as someone who has never studied hula dance or any kind of Polynesian dance. I’ve been to Hawaii numerous times, however I don’t even own any clothes that are remotely Hawaiian. Thank God for the internet and more specifically, Youtube. In under a week, I was able to garner some knowledge from my housemate, who used to study Polynesian dance, scrounge up a dress from another housemate, and download an album called “The Best of Hui Ohana”. I would say it all went well. The children paid attention for the anticipated 15 minutes and it put a huge smile on my face for the afternoon. Mission accomplished. And now, I have an album of Hawaiian music to listen to.
In other dance news, I attended Dances for Small Stage at the Legion on Commercial Drive a few weeks ago. It’s a show I’ve been going to for years and it does very well for itself. Many of the performers that night I had seen before or knew well and many of the audience members were those of my peer group, which made it a familiar and comfortable experience. As I stood by the doors stamping hand after hand, I became warm-hearted and my eyes grew brighter as the seats in the Legion filled. Somehow it felt so good to know that other people were getting to enjoy (perhaps for the first time) something that I already knew I would enjoy. When it came to the performances themselves, I was pleasantly surprised by a duet choreographed and performed by sisters Yeva and Thoenn Glover. I don’t mean to say that I didn’t think they would be good but the truth is that their piece is still resonating with me two weeks later, and that rarely happens for me. The Glover sisters and I attended the same training program, Yeva in my class, Thoenn a few years later, and they are both stunning dancers with powerful stage presence. I expected to see both these qualities on stage that night. What I didn’t expect was the sensibility of their work. It was eerie and disjointed, yet somehow naiive and interesting choices were made with an original score and lamps as props onstage. I suppose what the pleasant surprise really was for me that night at Dances for Small Stage was the fact that I can still be impressed and touched by things that I’ve experienced over and over.
CoCo & Rico Contributor, Kara Nolte