>Space Hootenanny

>It was quite a weekend. Friday I ended up staying home instead of going dancing, and after the workout I got the rest of the weekend I’m glad I did! I needed to save up my dancin’ mojo. Saturday I headed out to my knitting group’s Secret Pal reveal (you secretly send someone else in the group packages for a few months and then make them a handmade gift at the end). I was so focused on finishing my gift and hoping that my pal would like it that I forgot, oh yeah, I get stuff too! I got some super soft nylon yarn and a GORGEOUS beaded hat that I love love love to pieces.

Here’s Zoe with the gifts I gave her and me in my new hat!

Unfortunately about an hour into the reveal Debbie texted me from Adam’s video rehearsal and said, “You should get here as soon as possible. The dance is really complicated.” In case I didn’t mention this before, my roommate Adam was shooting a professional music video at the Franklin Institute planetarium last night, and originally the emails said that the dancing would be really easy and you wouldn’t have to be a very good dancer to do it. Ha! That was not entirely true. So I had to hightail it out of South Philly (and I was so sad I didn’t get to see the rest of everyone’s gifts!) But I got to the Painted Bride for rehearsal just in time to realize, oh gee whiz, this is going to be rather complicated.

The concept of the video is that elements in the universe – like stars, atoms, or people – all move in similar ways, sometimes chaotically, sometimes in elegant patterns, but always in flux. So the band is in the center of the planetarium, the stars are being shown above, and the dancers move in and out of big and small groups, sometimes dancing freely, sometimes in very elegant swirling patterns, and most of it was shot from above on a jib. It was really wild and cool. Everyone had good energy and got into it and fed off of each other.

The song is pretty countrified, a total footstomper, so there was some stylized squaredancing and people clapping and whirling about. At the end you have to look across the room to your partner, run to them, and kiss. I was sadly without partner, so I got paired up with a boy named Ricky at rehearsal. They told us originally that you could be creative, you didn’t have to kiss on the mouth or lips, so there were some people kneeling and kissing hands, and Ricky and I came up with a really cute thing where he held my face in his hands and bent my head down and kissed my forehead. At rehearsal the band thought it was really cute, but the director (our friend) was like “Aww man you’re not kissing her FOREHEAD! I wanna see some action!!” etc, so when we arrived for the shoot on Sunday the choreographer said, “Sorry for the false advertising but you guys do need to kiss now, either on the lips or right next to the lips on the cheek.”

Ahem. But back to that in a bit.

We got all the lighting and stuff set up in the space and the dancers rehearsed (I got some cool pics of the setting up process, I’ll post them on Flickr tonight) and we were just about to shoot and…THE FIRE ALARM GOES OFF. So we all had to stand outside in the sleet for about 20 minutes until we could go back in. We were all worried as the shoot was on a very tight schedule to begin with, but we worked it out. Everyone started off tentatively, and I don’t think there was a single take where we didn’t mess up in some fashion, but I think there was enough good stuff that they can piece it together, and by the end it was MAGICAL, everyone was really hamming it up and having an amazing time despite being super tired.

It was QUITE a workout, square dancing and running from place to place and ending in a kiss, take after take in rapid succession. The people who were making out had an advantage that you could kind of move around, but since Ricky and I went for a stylized kiss (started off on the cheek but we gave up on that quickly for convenience’s sake, no tongue though, I swear!) where we both put our hands behind our backs and kissed like two little kids. Thing was, we had to hold that kiss everytime for nearly a full minute, and after running around for the first five minutes of each take you’re totally out of breath, so you’re kissing and breathing HARD through your nose at each other! It was really funny and a few times it was hard not to burst out laughing. We were strangers at first but I’d say we got to know each other fairly well by the end of the night haha!

When I got home every muscle in my body ached, Adam convinced me to give a good stretch before I went to bed which helped, but I was so full of adrenaline from running around like that all night that I couldn’t fall asleep. My mind raced and raced all night long. So now I am so tired I can barely see straight. But man, that was some of the most fun I’ve had in so long, it was incredible to see all these people, no one getting paid, but everyone just giving it their all over and over again and having fun with each other and bonding and joking. I think the video is going to be so beautiful, I wish we didn’t have to wait a few months to see it because I can’t wait to see how it comes out. Horray!

Edit: Here’s a pic friend and fellow space square dancer Gretchen took during some of the action:

Look at all that makin’ out!

PS I saw BC Camplight at Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday and it was incredible.
PPS My boss just asked me to go to South Beach at the end of April! Awesome.

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