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Tai Chi forms and dance figures

Jack Campin 28 Jul 14 - 05:35 PM
Manitas_at_home 29 Jul 14 - 02:19 AM
GUEST 29 Jul 14 - 03:57 AM
Jack Campin 29 Jul 14 - 05:22 AM
Mo the caller 29 Jul 14 - 12:21 PM
Jack Campin 29 Jul 14 - 03:32 PM
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Subject: Tai Chi forms and dance figures
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Jul 14 - 05:35 PM

I've started learning Tai Chi. Not easy.

I'm really crap at ceilidh dancing.

I seem to find the same difficulty with both: I don't easily memorize sequences of spatial movements.

Tai Chi has the advantage that I only have one (very long and complicated) sequence to remember, whereas at ceilidhs the caller might come up with new ones every night. And there does seem to be some intrinsic logic to the Tai Chi form, it didn't just pop out of a choreographer's head.

Anybody else find these related? Does learning Tai Chi eventually help you make sense of dance figures?


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Subject: RE: Tai Chi forms and dance figures
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 02:19 AM

I've been learning tai chi for 3 years now. It does improve memory and observational skills but it hasn't really given me an insight into dance moves. It has changed the way I move (apart from the ease bought on by fitness) and I find myself doing things in a 'tai chi way'.

You say you are learning one long sequence. I understand most schools start with short forms, are you with the Taoist Tai Chi Society?


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Subject: RE: Tai Chi forms and dance figures
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 03:57 AM

24 Steps and Lee short form (50 steps) are two short forms that spring to mind.


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Subject: RE: Tai Chi forms and dance figures
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 05:22 AM

119 moves. There is only one class I can get to locally, but the instructor really knows what she's doing.


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Subject: RE: Tai Chi forms and dance figures
From: Mo the caller
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 12:21 PM

Unlike some dance cultures (e.g. Scottish, Irish Sets) you shouldn't be expected to memorise sequences. Once the building blocks are learnt the individual dances are walked through each time, and the caller is there to prompt until everyone has 'got it'. And you only need to keep that sequence in mind for a few minutes, next time another walkthrough.

Where I come to grief sometimes is because American Contras are now danced for ages (used to be 7 times through when it had to fit on a record), I'm all right before the caller stops calling, and just after, then I lose concentration and start getting it confused with the previous dance.


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Subject: RE: Tai Chi forms and dance figures
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Jul 14 - 03:32 PM

I don't perceive ceilidh dances as having "moves", just strides, hops and handholds. The only kind of folkdance I've ever felt at home with is Moldavian, which is mostly circular with simple patterns repeated at immense trance-inducing length, much longer than contra. After ten minutes I've got it.


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