Archive | March, 2010

Paper Dominance

24 Mar

Paper in some walks of life…equals power. It shows unlimited control of a nation in one of its largest carnations…the bill of rights in America or even further back in time…A book you may know as the bible. Through the mind of an individual a thought is taken then written onto paper and that’s when it becomes a reality. Even with the prefix of fantasy, in some form – it becomes a reality.

That’s one level of power that paper has.

Paper in some walks of life…equals money.  It shows unlimited potential to do what you want, where you want, however you want…sometimes without consequence. It even motivates some to do emotionally self-destructive acts such as feigning emotions for another human being, calling it love and selling the whole bundle to the highest bidder.

That’s one level of power that paper has.

Paper in some walks of life is…An education. It shows after 10 years of sitting and listening to different teachers for different subjects, teaching you different things about the world’s past – how the physicality of objects exist or why the human race was changed by the thoughts or actions of a single person or groups of people on a single day or in the most extreme of cases – 400 years.

That’s one level of power that paper has.

Paper in some walks of life is…A job. It can involve moving big stacks of it from one location to another over a long period of time, or even signing sheets of them to give order and justice to the land. It defines your ability to obtain more paper and delegate to others to distribute. It gives you a place to go everyday and experience a different part of life.

That’s one level of power that paper has.

Paper.

It’s everything and nothing, here and there, yesterday’s mistakes pioneering tomorrow’s successes.

But there’s one thing paper is not…

By Lem Leon

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Take a big dance event by storm

21 Mar

Survive and get the most out of a big dance event! by Aki Schilz

Over the three days Move It Dance is open to the public, Olympia plays host to more than 20,000 dance enthusiasts. It’s a huge venue and it can be quite overwhelming trying to work out how to navigate your way around. To give you a hand, here are my Top Ten Tips to organising your trip (these apply to any big event!):

1. Plan your visit. What are you most interested in seeing? Keep checking in to see when the lineup goes live and once it does, pick the day that most interests you.

2. OK Computer. Check out the Plan Your Visit page and the Move It computer will generate a day for you according to your interests. Simple!

3. Book ahead. Tickets to workshops and masterclasses are available on the day but these are limited, and it is not uncommon for popular classes to sell out well ahead of the event. Book ahead to save money and to avoid disappointment.

4. Who’s exhibiting? Check out the list of exhibitors and make a note of the number of your favourite stalls, so you can plan out a route. Time spent getting lost could be far better spent watching dances and taking part in classes. Don’t forget, these stalls are often run by the company managers and directors themselves, so if you are interested, go and talk to them! See everything as a networking opportunity.

5. Itinerary. With so many classes, workshops and performances going on, it’s easy to get caught up and lose track of time. Make a note of when your favourite group is on stage, or the start time of masterclass you are set on attending. A rough itinerary and an eye on the clock will ensure you make the most of your visit and you don’t miss anything.

6. Get a good spot. If there’s a particular performance you really want to see, get to the stage early. Especially with headliners, people will start milling around even an hour before the show, so keep an eye on the stage. Sometimes, the best place to watch a performance is from the gallery upstairs. Get there early to avoid the crush.

7. Bring cash. Most stalls do not accept payments by card, and anywhere that does often will not accept credit cards. Make sure you bring enough cash along with you. Don’t forget to factor in food (food at events like this can be pricey, so why not bring a packed lunch? There’s plenty of floor space for a picnic).

8. Grab some freebies. At events like Move It, companies often have goodie bags to give away. Keep your eyes peeled for free stickers, pens, badges, even T-shirts. I picked up loads of catalogues, too, which I can browse and order from at home. Bear in mind that you will have to carry everything you get around with you, so be selective!

9. Celeb spotting. Move It is the UK’s largest dance festival. Many big-name companies come not only to perform but to watch other performances, which means a lot of world-class artists in one place. If you know your favourite dancer will be there, why not bring along your favourite image or postcard of them. That way, if you spot them milling around, you can always ask for an autograph.

10. Grab a bargain. Exhibitors offer products at a discounted ‘show’ price. Just remember, stalls will have limited stock; once it’s sold out, it’s gone! If there’s anything you really want (for example, a particular style of dance shoe in a particular size), get it early on in the day. If you’re just on the lookout for a bargain, have a wander around at the end of the day to see if you can get any further reductions on stock that is left to clear.

Move It Dance is an event for dancers and for young people interested in dance. If you’re interested in taking it further and applying to a course, here are a few words of advice from Kevin at Creative Academy on what institutions are looking for:

“What we’re looking for in anyone wanting to apply is a high level of commitment, passion and dedication. We’re really looking for an individual who wants to learn and work within the dance industry; that needs to shine through in how they hold themselves, how they talk, how they behave.

Ultimately if you’re interested in something you should pursue it; if you have that interest you need to nurture that. Right now in particular there are so many groups coming together. Knowing where to look is the hard thing but the information is there.”

Good luck and have fun!

Akiho Schilz

So you think you can dance?

21 Mar

Move It Dance 2010: So you think you can dance?…

Aki Schilz

Officially the UK’s largest dance event, Move It Dance returns for a spectacular 2010 run at Olympia. If you’re interested in dance, this is the place to be. With headliners including Strictly Come Dancing stars Erin Boag and Matthew and Nicole Cutler, Royal Ballet Principal Sarah Lamb and hip-hop dance sensation Flawless, I was excited to check out the performances, as well as browsing the 180+ stalls and sneaking into a few workshops.

Upon arrival, I headed straight to the main stage for Move It Select. Dance bites are performed on the main stage throughout the day, giving members of various dance schools and companies the opportunity to showcase their talent. With scouts, agents and national media in the audience, this is their chance to be spotted.

“[Events like Move It] are massively important, not only for us to see what else is going on in the other colleges but also for networking; the kind of people that are here are just incredible, you won’t get that opportunity anywhere else. Move It Dance is one of a kind.”
Mark Yarrow, 18, Southern Theatre Arts Centre at Northbrook College Sussex

The Select showcase got off to a good start with the Stella Mann College. Later pieces proved stronger, with a polished performance from the Masters Performing Arts College and a refreshingly witty Michael Jackson medley by hip-hop crew Urban Strides. Fleur Estelle was captivating at the head of her professional belly-dancing troupe, and it was refreshing to see women of all shapes and sizes proving what needs to be proved, that dance is inclusive and open to all. Continuing in the same spirit, Larondina performed a classical piece with some moments of good, solid dance technique. Larondina are not simply promoting inclusive dance, they are championing normalising the integration of dancers with physical disabilities who have real dance talent. And talent is what Move It Dance is all about. Take it from world-famous dancer Travis Wall, who shot to fame on the hit TV series So You Think You Can Dance (which he went on to choreograph for). He had these words of advice exclusively for readers of What’s Up:

“If you make the effort and are talented – if you have that It Factor – you don’t need to have the training to be talented. For example, I come from a very poor family; my mother was my dance teacher. People can feel right away if you have something special. Find free classes – money’s a big thing – my heart goes out [to anyone struggling], but if you really believe in it, if it’s supposed to happen, it will.”

If you feel like you have the It Factor, then Move It is the place to hone it at the workshops (classes are held in everything from hip-hop to ballet to musical theatre; there’s even a silent dance class!), or showcase it in performance. Auditions are held throughout the weekend and judges include some of the leading names in the dance world. Alternatively, there’s always the Freestyle Stage, an open space for dancers of all abilities to show the thousands of people who come to Move It what they’re made of. This year’s Freestyle Stage winners were pint-sized protégés The Future, whose breaking skills wowed both audience and judges. The boys worked hard on their routine; I even saw them catching up with Flawless in the Press Office, getting some top tips on how to improve their technique. Pity, then, that the much-touted appearance from the Britain’s Got Talent finalists themselves, though accomplished, was not quite the ‘electrifying’ performance that wowed Piers Morgan. Perhaps it was just from where I was standing…

No matter, I had another performance to look forward to; Sarah Lamb, principal dancer of the Royal Ballet. The strains of Saint-Saën accompanied her as she drifted like an ethereal spirit across the stage. However (and it is a significant however) I couldn’t help but feel that a different piece would have served the purpose of the event better than the notoriously difficult Dance of the Dying Swan – as made famous by Anna Pavlova – which felt out of context and out of sync with the pace of the other pieces. Dance of the Dying Swan is one whose power emerges out of stillness, a stillness that was significantly lacking, making it feel disjointed.  Still, the queue to the Bloch stall where it was announced Lamb would be signing posters following the performance pulled a queue that snaked around the stalls, and she greeted her fans with the same grace and relentless luminosity that makes her dancing so watchable.

For me, the real stars of Move It were the young dancers from companies across the UK who came to perform pieces it was evident they had worked hard at putting together. Particular highlights were Urdang Academy’s dynamic all-boy youth group, Strike, an innovative piece by the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts involving some well-placed trampolines, and a stunningly fluid and graceful rendering of Snow Patrol’s hit ‘Chasing Cars’ by Break the Floor’s Nick Lazzarini.

So, do you think you can dance? Want to take it to the next level? Kate Prince, creative director of Zoonation and choreographer of sell-out street dance sensation Into the Hoods, gives What’s Up readers the inside scoop:
“Go to classes, as many as you can. Let choreographers see you and get as much feedback as you can from them. Join a crew; there are so many out there – Bird Gang, Avant Garde, Boy Blue, Zoonation – start doing shows […] start your own crew, start teaching classes…

Make it your life, do it every day and eventually people will follow you, you will improve, people will see your work. Apply to festivals – that’s what we did, we applied to Revolution at The Place and to Breakin’ Conventions and it’s off the back of that we got asked to do a show; that’s how Into the Hoods happened. It’s about getting out there and getting your work seen.”
Serious about dance? Book a ticket to Move It and get yourself out there.

MOVE IT 2011 will take place from the 10th-13th March at London’s Olympia. Stay in touch with all the latest show developments by signing up for their e-news updates.

The Chain of Evolution

18 Mar

By Iris

So the meal is prepared, a lovely ensemble of grilled turkey steak, drizzled with a fine lemon pepper dressing, served with a generous portion of cous cous mixed with a bean salad…then you realise you’ve forgotten the drink! So with plate in hand you turn and place it while picking up the drink. As your hand is now sufficiently cooled on the drink, you pick up the hot plate with it, and then pick up your glass and…the door….you need to open the door!

It’s at that moment the heat becomes too much and instinctively, your hand lets go and your labour of love becomes a work of modern art on your kitchen floor.

As you stare at it you can’t help but curse Mother Nature for not moving on to the next stage of evolution – why oh why have we as a human race not developed our third arm yet? This is the thought that crossed my mind as I was playing on my PS3 the other day and trying to text at the same time. Even as I am writing this article, I am trying to drink my drink at the same time!

So where would this third arm go you wonder? Most would place it in the middle of the chest or – as seen in popular comics and movies depicting aliens and such – on the back, which in terms of actual everyday use really isn’t a practical place to have it. Then it hit me – the perfect place for this third arm should be in front of the body where nothing is currently situated…

The belly button.

Of course, clothes would have to be remodelled and then there’s the whole getting used to seeing an extra appendage sticking out of us everyday. But this would be the perfect place for it! If you take your right hand and reach it upward as if you are holding an apple, this would be the position of the hand laid directly up the centre of your chest. If you place one hand on top of the other this is what the hand’s finger layout would look like. The dual thumbs would come in handy for carrying extra things (like drinks with you dinner) or keeping hold of the steering wheel whilst changing CDs.

The uses are limitless…

Sex sells and we're buying

8 Mar

“The internet breeds screenagers instead of teenagers and it’s up to us as individuals to keep up or become as incompatible to their world as monophony DJ is to an MP3 J”

Lucid Lem rants about SEX and other stuff

A recent study by the lovely folks at the British home office has suggested that children are being progressively and aggressively sexualised from a young age. Images of impossibly thin women, breasts here and there on adverts suggesting that buying the product ( even if it’s northern tea bags )  will enhance your chances of intercourse.

It’s true it’s true – sex sells and the whole world are buying. Including you right now by reading this article. Sub-consciously, you’ve committed to reading further just from the sheer mention of the word. It’s okay, don’t feel guilty, its human nature.

We as animals are pre-destined to procreate on a regular basis like Katie Price. Some more than others…like Katie Price. and we also wove into the fabric of humanity that we are supposed to be monogamous which most of us adhere too and of course some quite publicly revel in not doing so and seek to reproduce with every partner if possible. Like Katie Price. We as humans even realised the potential of making money from having sex on celluloid and/or putting it on the internet. Like Katie Price.

SEX. Your eye was drawn here automatically. Back to the beginning pervert! In this report the home office also cited videogames as projecting sexual imagery to young children. Now this is what got my back up the most. As an avid gamer, this was a slap in the face and seemingly beating a dead horse.

Videogames are escapism. Videogames are designed to take you to a world other than the one you’re in or in some cases, a different part of the one you’re in. If the BBFC give a classification of 18 guess what that means? If you’re below that age, you probably shouldn’t be playing that game. Games depicting violence against other CPU men (and sometimes women) are fine as long as they don’t have intercourse?!  Like imagine if Master Chief and Solid snake had an onscreen kiss, imagine the uproar then…But homosexuality in videogames is another article for another time.

It’s a personal choice what we as adults choose to allow children to see when in the real world, but as you’re all well aware – the world is changing and we are all but powerless to stop it. The internet breeds screenagers instead of teenagers and it’s up to us as individuals to keep up or become as incompatible to their world as monophony DJ is to an MP3 J.

Bag it up

1 Mar

Discover Young Hackney is in full swing, in fact it’s nearly swung. But was it any good? We had a young writer, Amber, reporting for us.

London College of Fashion ran a week long bag making workshop in their Hackney HQ. Here’s  Amber’s thoughts:

At the London college of fashion we were taught how to transfer our own paintings onto bags by using a printing machine. Everyone there was very friendly and helpful, and I had a great time. It wasn’t exactly what I had expected, but that didn’t stop it from being really fun, and I would definitely recommend this workshop to others.