So sadly, things haven’t been working out like they were supposed to. An accident will do that to ya you know? I’ve been presevering through everything, but just know that I sadly did not get to attend Fashion Greenville so you will not be receiving a video about it. But this video is one I said I would post. I’ll talk more about it… after class.
Her name is Leiomy Maldonado, but most know her as Leiomy Mizrahi. She is voguing. More specifically we call it vogue femme. She is LEGENDARY! Get into her and her movement. Do you see the dollars raining from the crowd? That’s not apart of the show. When we say pay homage, we’re not talking about just verbally… we like to see those little green pieces of paper.
VOGUE-a highly stylized modern dance characterized by photo model-like poses integrated with angular, linear and rigid arm, leg, and body movements. There are three major ways of voguing: Old Way, New Way, and Vogue Femme
Vogue Femme– fluidity at its most extreme; exaggerated feminine movements, influenced by ballet, modern dance, and breakdancing. There are Five Elements of Vogue Femme:
- Hand Performance
- Dramatics(Spins and Dips)
- Floor Performance
Follow Leiomy on Twitter.
So I haven’t posted any dance videos in FOREVER! I want to change that up and begin to post them regularly. For older viewers some names like the choreographer of the videos I’m posting today, will be familiar. Dejan Tubic was nice enough to answer some interview questions of mine before, and that post still to this day recieves views as people search him on Google. He’s undoubtedly one of my favorite choreographers and the regulars in his classes like Chang Chang, Janelle, and Gabriel all have a special place in my heart. Anyway, get into a few videos since I haven’t posted in a while. Make sure to subscribe to both his YouTubes.
For London Fashion Week, Georgy Baratashvili, a Russian born fashion design who offers a “fresh take on contemporary menswear” showed this video. London as a whole is making large strides with incorporating video into fashion. Just take the 7th Man magazine for example. Even though the first issue hasn’t come out yet to my knowledge, the website for the magazine already says that it will lead the way in “Videotorials” or video editorials. Hopefully I’ll get around to writing a blog specifically about this magazine but right now I just want to talk about Baratashvili.
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Above is the rehearsal video for the performance. The choreography was done by Darja Reznikova. Darja is apart of the Transitions Dance Company now and was born in Ukraine. A dancer since the age of 6, Darja has received training in classical ballet and modern, both of which are evident in her choreography. She made it to London, after moving around between Germany and the US, to study Dance and Theatre at Bird College. Her choreography for this showing to me shows strength yet at the same time grace, and a softness that is not normally associated with male dancers. There’s a tenderness to this presentation that I believe at times stands out as a stark contrast to the clothing.
Baratashvili is known in some circles for his work with Puma, and in others for his latest work with layering in his own line. Utilizing leather and a variety of other materials, Baratashvili is quickly making a name for himself and fulfilling what he has claimed to be. He really and truly is giving a new take on contemporary men’s fashion. I love the entire artistic direction for this video. The choreography adds yet another layer atop the clothing. It’s just so much because they combine two of my favorite loves, and I can only hope that more designers will employ videos that utilize dancers who will really be able to showcase the garments in motion.
This is a Carnival set by one of my favorite choreographers, Kyle Hanagami. He brings like a Disney-esque creativeness to a set and I love that about him. He is apart of Neverland which was formerly The Lost Kids. In this set there are amazing dancers like Sohey, Miguel Antonio Jr, Tricia Miranda, and Kyle himself. Also Brandon Dumlao from So You Think You Can Dance, who also happens to be a member of Neverland was apart of the set. The entire production was clearly thought out and hopefully one of these days I’ll get the chance to pick his brain about how he goes about doing things.
I surf YouTube like I surf blogs. I use it almost exclusively for choreographers and other dance related things. Well in my perusing a while back I found Dejan Tubic, (IDeJance) on YouTube and subscribed to him. His choreography is positively… well there’s no other word for it… it’s cunt! It gives me what I want need and desire and he still incorporates this hardness into it, this grunginess… a down south toughness that I’m not sure where he gets it from. So before the new year rang in I thought I should reach out… You know, see what connection I could make.
Check out the Interview and an EXCLUSIVE here!
Birthplace: Zenica, Bosnia
Number of Years Dancing: I started when I was about 7 years old, but didn’t get serious in it until i was about 14.
Current Studio and Location: I teach at IDA Hollywood, in Hollywood, CA.
Artists that You’ve Worked with in any capacity: Chris Brown, Trina, Paul Wall, B5, and The Jackie Boyz.
Favorite YouTube Video that you have seen that isn’t yours: Charlie Bit My Finger 🙂
Favorite YouTube choreography that is yours: Bad Romance Performance at Carnival.
With the Carnival performance there’s so much I want to ask and just have you to express about that but first I want to start off with, how did you get the chance to choreograph for Carnival?? How did your entire idea for this performance come about?? Were there others that assisted with styling and things or was this just something birthed from your mind alone?? How do you feel the performance went??
This was my first Carnival piece and I got the opportunity after several referrals from other choreographers and being introduced to Carey and Paulette, who put the whole show together every month.
The whole idea of Bad Romance came to me one day while I had the flu. I was stuck in my apartment for almost 2 weeks and couldn’t do much. I blame it all on the NyQuil and other medicine I had to take(haha) because I feel like you have to be crazy to put something like this together. Bad Romance had just come out and while I was listening to it, it honestly just unfolded in my head. I started mixing the music, which I did by myself, I starting using pictures of dancers that I would be using to make sure I used the right amount of Blondes and that the opposites matched, that I had the right amount dark toned girls and dark haired girls for the other group. Then I started drawing out what kinds of masks each group would and their color scheme. Finally costumes. The process took a couple days for it all to be finalized just in my head. During the process only my roomate, Lygia knew what I was planning. Overall I am very pleased with the performance. If I could go back in time to change anything about my piece, it would honestly be nothing. I am 100% satisfied.
You had some of my favorite dancers in that set: Glenda Morales, Gabrielle Morales, yourself… how was it to work with these dancers?? Did most of you have the same dancing style?? How was the time in the studio?? How long did you have to prepare?? And if my information is correct this was the last Carnival that’s going to be held so how did it feel knowing that you would be the last to perform under that name??
Working with ALL the dancers was great. Glenda was such a great lead. She takes directions so well. I would give her the idea and choreography and she created it with such ease and perfection. I said live, and she LIVED. Gabriel, for only being 14 has SUCH a great work ethic. He came to the rehearsals when needed and went full out every single time. His dedication is not something you see nowadays in young dancers. Everybody in the piece had such different styles, but I feel as though my style of dancing (especially in Bad Romance) was set for you to just live in the choreography so I feel as though they didn’t have a problem with it. Each dancer had anywhere between 8-10 hours with me in 2 and a half week span of rehearsals. I split them up in the groups (the kids, the blondes, the dark haired) and each had their own rehearsals. First week, 2 hours. Second week, 2 hours, and finally the day before carnival, we had a 4 hour rehearsal which was the first time ALL the dancers were there and they were able to see what the piece looked like. Glenda and Tarin were able to rehearse with each other, and most importantly I was able to see the piece. I had a optional rehearsal Monday before where some dancers showed up to rehearse extra 2 hours. Overall in such short amount of time, it turned out so succefully. I am proud to say that my dancers had a great time doing my piece, and didnt have to stress out about soooo many rehearsals.
I was very honored to have done the last Carnival ever at Key Club and of 2009, the decade :). I look at it as a mark of what is to come in 2010 of me. Carnival is continuing at a new location starting in 2010.
Moving on to the Telephone choreography, I think I said it on the actual video but I LOVE that choreography, I’ve been sending it around to friends and tweeting about it, and I showed it to my professor… I really do love that performance. Actually my friend put it on her blog. These questions kind of pertain to all your choreography though, how do you begin to choreograph something like this?? Do you start with a basic idea in your head, or do you just go into the studio and move to the music and then from that it’s sort of an organic evolution?? What’s your thought process when you begin to dance?? What inspires you??
Most of the time, choreography is made up on the spot while I’m teaching it, I get inspired by the dancers in the studio. I will have an idea, or base of what the choreography will look like and build on it from there. With Telephone, I actually choreographed it at 5am couple nights prior to teaching it at IDA with a friend of mine , Shiva Ware. We couldn’t sleep and just lived to the music. My biggest inspiration is the music. Once I get a really good song, its a wrap. I won’t leave it alone until I put it in dance form. It’s all about living. You have to live to the music and words to the song. Its not about the 5-6-7-8 anymore. When I teach, I never use counts to teach. You can live to 5-6-7-8?
I was also wondering what all training did you receive before you began to teach?? Also did you continue to take classes after you began to teach?? Can you elaborate on your class experiences??
Even though I teach I STILL continue to take class. As a dancer, I feel as though you should be in the studio at least 5 times a week. If a banker works 5-6 days a week and calls him or herself a banker, then us dancers should be able to be in the studio 5-6 a week so we can truly call ourself dancers.
I saw on that video that you are being sponsored by PointBlank LA(congratulations), so how did that happen?? Also what all does that entail??
PointBlank LA is such an AMAZING clothing line and I am being honored with their sponsorship. Donna Adi Yehuda is the owner and designer of the clothing line. I met her on another dance job, and it just went from there. The sponsorship entitles me to wear their clothing, be a spokesperson for it, and be a part of the company. You will see me now wear one of PointBlank LA’s shirts every week during my classes.
Are there any dancers in the industry right now that inspire you?? That you aspire to be like in a sense, not that you want to steal there style but just obtain something like what they have?? If you could work with one person in the industry dead or alive, who would it be??
There are so many dancers and choreographers that inspire me that I could honestly write a never ending list. There are so many dancers are so unique, and you only see it in LA. Couple choreographers who I really get inspired by is Sonyah Tayeh, Gina Starbuck, Erica Sobol, Shane Sparks, Brian Friedman, Wade Robson, and Matt Cady. One person who i would looove to work for is probably Beyonce, Lady GaGa, or Britney.
If you could wish for one thing for the industry what would it be??
I wish that DANCERS get the respect they deserve, get paid what they should get, and I wish that DANCERS WOULD GET INSURANCE!
If I introduced you to a person straight out of high school who wanted to get into the dance industry, what advice would you give them??
I would day TAKE CLASS. always always always take class. Decide first which area of dance you want to persue and move to either LA or NYC. then take a lot of class and NETWORK. never give up on your dream and dont let anybody tell you are too young, old, short, tall, skinny, fat, white, black, gay, straight, ugly, or anything else. DO YOU and dont let noone stop you.
And now an EXCLUSIVE!
Last but not least some exciting news for you and your blog. You are the first to know.
I will be starting an online class where my subscribers can finally learn to do my choreography. In 2010, I plan to teach people from all over the world via YouTube starting January 7th, 2010. Also, my website will be finished in January 2010 which I am very excited about.
Check his YouTube here
UPDATE: Check out the follow-up here.