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Practising without practising

I had an inordinately early night, on account of the Gentleman Friend staying over, and with him needing sleep long before I did, I was lying in bed with the lights out so as not to wake him, and nothing to do. So of course I started practising my various dances in my head (and trying not to do the actions involuntarily, again, so as not to wake him.

First of all, I was dancing through Akdeb Aleik (I still haven't decided whether I'm spelling it with a D or a T). Up till now it's all been improv, but I'm veering towards choreographing it. It's so well-structured, that I think it would work well as a choreo, and it would be a chance to choreograph something at my own level. I'm all too often choreographing for students, and I really ought to have a choreo in my back pocket that is more sophisticated than how I make my students dance.

I've been very much inspired by watching Warda singing it. I love how emotional she gets!

I was improvising in my head to the introduction. I couldn't remember how many repetitions there were, but I've got two sequences/combinations, that would work for the opening melody, and the second melody, both of which can repeat in the other direction. I decided I had to write them down, because it's pretty much guaranteed that I'd never remember them in the morning. I always have bits of paper & pens by my bed, so I could, but the lights were off and I didn't know if the notes I made would be at all legible in the morning. Astonishingly, they are(ish- at least legible enough that I can reconstruct what I scribbled). The next issue will be whether what I was doing in my head is actually feasible in real life.

And then I started on my Ala Shat il Bahr il Howa choreography, the one I'm currently teaching my Farnham class. It's fairly difficult, because I'm not using much repetition, and I'm still in the learning stages of it myself, and I haven't finished the full choreo. I wanted to practise the transitions particularly, because that's how you learn what bit comes next. I think it's really helped to keep going through it in my head, over & over & over.

I'd put together the next bit of the choreography on paper, but couldn't remember it at all, and in any case I wasn't sure it would flow very well, so I did a bit more mental noodling, and soon had a *much* cuter set of moves for it, which I thought would work much better. Again, I managed to scrawl something to remind me in the morning, and equally surprisingly, the notes are legible and make sense, and yes indeed it does work much better with the section that has gone before.

On that choreography (Ala Shat il Bahr il Howa) I've got two more sections to put together, with one being very easy, and the other one being much more complex. I sort of know what I want to achieve within those sections, but I suspect that what I'd originally thought would work isn't going to. Damn me and my finicky insistence of making the choreography work with the music instead of being satisfied by four hip drops on the Right, four hip drops on the Left.

I'm feeling happier about my choreo now. And I am determined to choreograph Akteb Aleik.

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