Moving forward in our study of the next component of the 7 Layer Dip, we consider the idea of motion from a dance performance perspective and rest our attention on these three main ideas.
- Motion of the body: this includes movements of the hips, arms, head, legs, chest, torso, fingers and everything else. For a dancer, the ability to articulate with precision and control different elements of the music and sounds through body movement is just as important as the poi movements themselves.
- Ability to turn: this is the ability to turn right or left for 90º, 180º or 360º continuously from each move into other moves including being able to do the move in complete turn around (360º). This flexibility allows for freedom of turning through space on any stage. Turning in both directions is ideally because it creates more mystery in execution rather than the predictability of only turning in one direction. In most cases with poi, artists will need to know the move and opposite version of it (as in the overhand and underhand weave) in order to execute a complete 360º turn.
- Move through space: as a performer, artists have various stage configurations they might encounter. The ability to gracefully traverse space and project one’s performance presence throughout the movement is a big part of the motion aspect of the 7 Layer Dip. This skill involves owning the whole of the performance area and creating a compelling enough performance energy to keep the audience engaged.
When working to integrate these three aspects into ones repertoire, artists can practice using a single move, focusing on each of the three elements. Then, artists can practice applying the concepts to short combinations.
Written by Temple of Poi founder and visionary, GlitterGirl, who has been a full time flow arts coach and instructor since 2002. If you are looking to step up your skills as performer, instructor, or artist with personalized coaching from GlitterGirl, email her directly (GlitterGirl <at> TempleOfPoi <daught> com) to set up your appointment.