Monthly Archives: April 2017

Confederation DoL

Unity, in different shapes and forms, whether it be promoting for, waging a war on, or being brought to light, transcends the tests of time and is something ubiquitous throughout Confederation. I mean, you’ve got John A. Macdonald, the father of Confederation, pushing for provincial rights, and the Maritime provinces creating unions to be heard. My character, Harriet Tubman, wanted freedom, equality, and equity for her people. Confederation, patriotic in connotation, had many different groups of people pushing for different things: central governments, federal-based decision making, a voice, — but overall, unity was one of the key themes that I picked up from our study of Confederation. After all, what says unity more than individual provinces coming together to form a country? So a question I have is, how was unity achieved and ignored in Confederation? What is unity in diversity? And how did unity in diversity tie into Confederation and the creation of a nation?

“While everyone conceded in the 1860’s that the object of the Fathers of Confederation was to produce the bases of one political entity, no one anticipated that this task would be performed by imposing uniformity on the diverse peoples and regions of British North America.” (source)

We all know, having read numerous papers highlighting both the good and bad of Confederation, about the exclusion that occurred. The First Nations, and even the Maritimes were ignored, and truthfully speaking, it seems regressive to create a country for the people without even including the people. We know about the attempts to assimilate Aboriginal people and the erasure of their culture, through residential schools, immersion, and abuse. When seeing these on paper, it becomes difficult to think that Canada is something built on the basis of unity.

However, we also need to realize that things were very different back then. This may sound really privileged and condescending, but from an outsider’s POV, I think that the divides that were put up increased the chances of stronger, permanent unity between different groups, because the drive to overcome them was so much stronger.

In conclusion, this document of learning was a way of creating a summary of the concepts we learned about during Confederation, using history and facts while also forming our own viewpoints on this interesting and pivotal act in Canada’s history. Do I believe that Confederation was an all-inclusive concept? Superficially yes, but digging deeper we can see that that is not always the case. However, the struggles that minorities and other groups went through and the beginning steps of compensation for such actions are what I believe has made the country stronger, because its attempts at at inclusiveness remind us what Confederation was meant to achieve.

In-Depth: #6

More than half way!

With adventure trip, year-end, in-depth and other projects coming up, it’s hard to choose a single focus when APRILMAYJUNE hits. I have been working on choosing a different solo piece, due to the fact that, after discussion with my mentor, this piece may prove to be a little too difficult for me. I will try to film a first version of it this weekend, if I’m able to learn the choreography properly.

I realize that I have been so obsessed with learning the moves down to the last detail, I haven’t really considered how to make the moves look visually appealing. Just because the moves are textbook doesn’t mean they look good, which is the whole purpose of performance. The concept of visual appeal was brought up by Kaleigh. After watching the video with us in class, she pointed out that for me specifically, my moves looked good (she was pleasantly surprised), but I needed to work on two things, which looking back on now, make me realize are HUGE elements to the performance aspects of dance: facial expressions and clothing adjustment. Throughout the dance, I only had two expressions: annoyed, and overly happy. I need to learn to maintain a neutral expression during the dance. I also constantly pulled down the edges of the sweater I was wearing (borrowed from Katrina), so note to self: wear a longer shirt next time. Another idea that I noticed while watching the video was that I need to work on my posture and angle with the camera. A lot of times, I was looking anywhere BUT that camera, giving me a paranoid appearance because I keep changing viewpoints. By “spotting”, I need to choose a single point to focus on while performing, something that I haven’t been doing. (Something else we need to work on is film quality, in terms of the resolution of the clips and finding a proper tripod and camera to film with to get a consistent angle.)

Sunny brought up the concept of synchronicity. In our previous dance video, there were two specific areas where we could have focused more on this: making sure the music was matched properly with the visuals (when layering the sound track over the original clips, we need to spend more time on the editing process, because that was extremely rushed last time). Additionally, you may notice that at 1:00, we are all doing completely different moves. Instead of trying to alter the move to fit all our physical capabilities, we tried to follow the move exactly (and failed in doing so). The “point” move in the dance, which appears several times as a recurring move, was also executed differently by all of us. Although I have already subscribed to the 1MILLION school of thought (accuracy is important, but dancing is, above all, an expression of ones’ creative and physical abilities and therefore, it is okay and even good to add your own elements to the choreography) I am going to apply their teaching styles more to group dances, as I have mostly been applying to it to my solo dances.

At the moment, Sunny has been giving me advice on choosing a different dance: ideas to keep in mind include 1. It’s okay to use a KPOP song, that’s the point of the project and 2. Ultimately, no one is going to care if you use a flashy, difficult dance that you can’t execute, so choosing an easier dance and doing it well is much better. Kaleigh has offered to help me work on technical aspects of the dance (as her 11 years of expertise is much more than my 11 weeks). I have many resources, including the internet, that I can turn to, so I am looking to keep my options open.

In-Depth: #5


Our first video is up!

(you can also watch the video here)


-I was impressed at how we were able to make up for the empty space left in the choreography, especially since we have 3 members instead of the 13 the choreography calls for.

Wishes (for next recording of this dance):

Location: The ground of the film site was not suitable for the sliding moves in the beginning of the dance. The gritty pavement resulted in limited mobility and scraped knees. Ouch. The background and lighting was fine, but next time, I would like to use a smoother floor, such as a gym, or even smoother cement.

Synchronicity: Because I finished teaching Katrina and Franny elements of the dance right up until the moment we recorded, we did not work on dancing alike. Often times, we were not matched up, either ahead of or behind each other.

Mastery: Again, it was difficult to schedule practice sessions, so it is easy to tell that there are some gaps to fill in terms of proper execution of dance moves.

Goals for next dance choreography (In-Depth Night):

Unfortunately, we still do not have a proper venue to practice in, so securing a practice space is my first priority. Although we still need to make our second recording of ‘Adore U’, we will be discussing possible group pieces sometime soon. For now, I will be focusing on learning the choreography for my solo piece, ‘Work‘ (choreographed by Sori Na from 1MILLION dance studio).

Additionally, learning the moves quickly, properly, and similarly (as in we dance with similar movements and are all in sync) is a huge goal. This can only come with proper practice. Although I can practice and learn the dance on my own, it is difficult making sure everyone is on the same page. We originally aimed to have 3 group dances, but gauging from how long it takes us to properly learn a dance with timing and proper moves, we limited it to 2 dances, and will film 2 versions of each to show progress between recordings.

For our next dance, a huge goal is being able to meet up at least once a week. With the upcoming adventure trips and such, we may have to meet during the week instead of weekends in order to accommodate everyone’s schedules. In terms of individual practice for my solo piece, I have no doubts that I will be able to learn and present a first ‘draft’ version of it maximum 2 weeks from now. Using videos alone, I know that I will be able to pick up the dance, and hopefully meet with my mentor to fine tune it.


De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats

In consideration of De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats, here is a conversation I had with Sunny (my mentor), a while back in February, after a practice session where had she helped us develop some of the trickier parts of the dance (where we had to compensate for the lack of members in our group, 3 instead of the expected 13). [Unnecessary pauses and filler words have been removed; M = Mimi; S = Sunny]

M: Hi Sunny, thanks for meeting up with today and letting us use the clubhouse, haha.

S: No problem, I really enjoyed it!

M: I was just wondering, I’m not really sure which piece I should choose for my solo on In-Depth. I’ve narrowed it down, but I feel like there are too many things to choose from, and there’s still a lot of time. [Green]

S: So… what are your choices?

M: I can send you the links, but I know for sure I want to use choreography from 1Million. I’m not totally sure if I can execute the dances, but they have choreography that I know for sure I can handle. Like, I know that I can’t do the crazy whacking and popping and locking, but I have the physical capability to do some moves.  I don’t know… I just really like the choreography. [White, Red]

S: That’s ok, I like it too, haha. I know you mentioned that you learned something before from there, so that’s good to think about while moving ahead. Just keep in mind that you want to choose something you can learn in a short period of time because you can’t be unrealistic about the dances.  [Yellow, Black]

M: I was thinking of doing ‘All I Wanna Do’, or ‘Half Moon’. Haha, I just mostly like the songs, but the dances are challenging– but not too challenging, if that makes sense.  [Red]

S: Well, I’ve seen snippets of the videos already, and I think that ‘Half Moon’ might be kind of difficult, but you’ll probably be able to do it. ‘All I Wanna Do’ would be more fun but you don’t have a partner. I think you should keep looking, because you still have some time.  [White, Red, Blue]

M: Ok, well I want to thank you again SO MUCH for helping us today! I’m sorry I keep saying this but thanks for being patient and helping us with the… iffy parts of the dance.

S: No don’t worry about it, actually I have fun doing it! Message me anytime you want and I’ll see if I can make it to your practices.

M: Thank you!!!

S: Bye!