Thursday, 9 July 2015

Sakur-iosity Rocks!

As many of you know, Sakura are going a bit 'off piste' now, so to speak! We've danced Gypsy Caravan style improv for a few years now - since 2010 in fact - but our curiosity and individuality has finally caught up with us! (Those of you who saw our dead flapper dance several years ago may say it happened some time ago of course!) And hey, are we having fun with it all! 

Of course it's early days yet. This process isn't something you can rush; it's going to take lots of hard work, time and bucket loads of inspiration. We already have a few combos of our own that we've been developing for a while so we've been evaluating these ... dropping/adapting as necessary so that they fit into our 'new' aesthetic (more about that later). Whilst what we do will still be rooted in GC (it's a style that will always be very dear to our hearts and we will always be so thankful to Paulette!) it's going to have our own unique twist. So we are looking too at our favourite GC moves and combos - incorporating some (and of course acknowledging where they've come from) and making changes and additions that will individualise them more to us. And we are taking stuff from other styles and dancers too --- people and formats we've loved and admired for eons - considering what fits or indeed can be adjusted to fit. It takes lots of discussion, batting ideas to and fro and yes, dancing it all out! And then of course there are our own creations - combos that are pretty much pure Sakura! 

We are both really keen to ensure that we don't just end up with a 'Pick and Mix' approach where we choose moves we like and just throw them in regardless of how well they fit with the whole look and feel of the dance. That isn't what we're about at all. We have spent a long time chatting about how we want this dance to feel and look - yes, that aesthetic again - and we are constantly returning to that. There are moves that we love that we aren't including because they just aren't right for us. Anything new we bring on board also has to work with, for example, the GC way of doing Arabics - those basics that underpin our style. It has to work with our music and costuming which aren't as 'traditionally' tribal as before. And of course they all have to work with improv too, cos that's how we roll! There's a concept behind all this which fits our personalities and how we love to perform - and that's our guiding light! 

The creativity was really flowing at our Sakura practice this week - and oh yes, Jan was on a real roll! It was searching, challenging and yes -exhilarating. We debated, danced, laughed ... And came up with some ideas that we think you will love! We love them! This is all so exciting - and it's so good to be sharing who we are! 

Of course this isn't going to happen all at once. It's going to take lots of time and commitment and dedication - but we have those in spades. The new moves and look will develop gradually - after all, it's taken even the most talented dancers such as Paulette years and years to get their formats to where they are today, and that development and growth never stops. We're looking forward to much more learning too ... classes, workshops, training. It all continues! But if you saw our performance at the Nile to the Mersey a few weeks ago then you saw Sakura perform 'pure' GC for the last time ...

Moving on from Gypsy Caravan hasn't been easy. It's been a part of our dance and lives for so long and I'd be lying if I said there hasn't been a lot of soul-searching and yes, even some tears. But it will still be there shining through in its own way and yes, this is so very much the right thing for us to do! We are both feeling so hopeful, fulfilled and oh so excited about the future! 

Looking forward to seeing some of you somewhere soon - and rocking out a few of our new moves for you! 

Until next time - happy dancing!

* Photos of Sakura in this post are by James Lacey (Dark Soul Photography), Ian Craven (Mr Jan!) and Ian Woodward (The Hooded Lens). Thank you all - you rock! *