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Dance Literacy
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Concept

Shared online home dancing is something beautiful emerging from early lockdown periods. Sharing dances arcs back to other traditional ways of communicating. 

In this work people can share dance moves. It will be shared in a few forms, a site, social media platforms, video screens facing public outdoor spaces and live sessions. Sharing and collecting movements as units in a language and an archive of movements with defined meanings and personal or wider cultural history attached to the movement is explained. This is like a community pantry of dance - dance pantry for people to visit, add what they wish and take what they wish. 

Audience

Outdoor screen audience: the general public passing through outdoor area with screen.

Online audience can be engaged through various online social media platforms. 

Dance Sessions are with interested audiences attending in the flesh. 

 

Space 

Videos can be shown outside or as filler video on screens running in the background, when other events or other feature videos are not on. Preferably with a decent amount of space near screens so that if people want to watch and learn some moves nearby they can, or if they just want to stand around and watch passively they can too. Ideally, the screen would be facing an accessible outdoor space. Walking along the harbour, randomly running into screens where people from the city teach you some of their favourite dance moves and if you feel like it, you can join along, or if not, you can just watch and enjoy the community teaching you some dancing on your walk. 

 

Additionally: Dance Sessions will ideally be in an outdoor space with grass (so if people fall over trying to dance, they are less likely to be hurt).  These dance sessions will be like aerobics sessions with a guide up front the rest of the crowd follows. These sessions could be promoted as a dance "workout" and "dance party". A choreographer will be up front teaching with a series of dance moves from the dance literacy archive, a screen will project the symbol of the dance move on a screen behind the instructor, after twenty minutes of instructor-choreographer led dance learning, a dance party could happen after the instructional "workout" a space for people to dance freely and use these new dance moves if they wish. 

 

Development

DRAFT TIMELINE

1. An email goes out to a number of arts organisations, they are asked to share five dance moves from five people working in their organisation or artists who have shown with them. Each move donated comes with a form to fill out which tells us about the history and meaning of the move (meaning according to whoever writes the form).

These dance moves can be personal historical cultural moves, a move from our political history, forgotten Sydney goth club dance moves (from  or weird uncle Derrick moves. The "movement" submitted can loosely become a "dance move" but does not have to be officially a dance move to begin with. By submitting a "move" it becomes a dance move for people to use in future. Like building up movements in a sign language, each dance move has a history and meaning relative to the person individually and/or the culture at large which can be looked up in this project, from the personal, completely private familial, to a ridiculous and innocuous to a significant gesture found our shared political history. 

  

To encourage other institutions to submit a few moves, the commitment of a handful of notable people and institutions should be confirmed first to get the ball rolling.

 

Each organisation has one month to submit their five "moves". This might begin to look like an arts organisation Rockestedford challenge at this stage. Workers in these organisations would be paid for their contributions and this would funnel further funds back into other artists and arts workers who may have missed out on a lot of work in lockdown periods. 

2. Once the dance moves are submitted by the deadline online (and if there are not enough submissions, the deadline could be extended) then the moves are put together in site. A minimum of 70 dance moves should be added before the site is launched. This could take up to a month or two to finalise. This will mean there will always be enough videos for people to watch and learn from encouraging further submissions of dance moves if it launches with a kickstart. Individuals on the street of Sydney are asked to share a dancemove also and explain the history of where it originates and what it means. This can happen in masks. 

3. The site is launched, the dance moves are shared across social media platforms and ask audiences to add their own dance moves (encouraged by the moves already present). Tese videos will not only be online but also can be displayed on screens facing outside the space to the general public passing by. These videos should be CC captioned so they can be viewed silently with subtitles if need be. Some of the most interesting moves are compiled in one video file on loop ready to be shown in public video screens. 

The website with all the dance moves (which are all easily sharable on instagram, tiktoc, facebook, youtube and linkedin) will be updated weekly by me. 

4. A choreographer is hired to learn these dance moves and create a few sequences to instruct others on using them. I will work with the choreographer in delivering the dance session and figure out costume and other performative presentation methods tested. It will be bright colourful and embrace Sydney activewear styles, Mardigras, corporate Sydney aesthetics. 

5. Event - a few dance sessions are organised online and offline, people can join and easily follow along to a choreographer who has learned these dance moves and put them together in a new easy-to-follow sequence. The could be promoted as a "dance workout" and "dance party afterwards" Following along with the choreographer (not geared at professional dancers but something everyday people can follow) People can learn these dance moves more easily and enjoy learning with others in person or online. A symbol for the dance move will pop up on a screen next to the instructor to remind people of the move. After dance sessions is the freedance party time, where people can dance freely and use some of the dance moves they've just learned, if they wish. In short, the sessions are half instructional and half dance party. 

PROMOTION

Considering how reliant this work is on audience participation, marketing and encouragement of online involvement are paramount. 

"Learn a Dance Move" and "Share a dance move" 

The main slogan for this work could be something like "SUPPORT THE ARTS, DONATE A DANCE MOVE" or "WE WOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN THROUGH THIS PANDEMIC WITHOUT THE ARTS. FILM, DANCE, CREATIVE WRITING RECONNECTS US TO THE WORLD - WE ARE ALL CREATIVE , DONATE A DANCE MOVE AND SHOW YOUR SOLIDARITY WITH THE ARTS, DONATE A DANCE MOVE" or something like this. Might be a bit too heavy handed, but considering this approach for now. 

Benefits

- Community connections.

- Community sharing.

- Fun events.

- Works easily within festival events or outdoor events. 

- Can be filler background video running between other things. 

- Growing work.

- Sharing of personal and cultural histories. 

Covid Accomodations

- Online content and online sharing on a number of social media platforms.