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Queer Lip Syncing

Queer Lip Syncing

The queer community has a long love affair with lip syncing. For some of us, lip syncing has been about gender expression, for some it’s a tongue-in-cheek perversion of mainstream culture. It’s an ordinary and somewhat expected sight at our festivals and parades. And it’s not just the men dressed up as women or the women dressed up as women, or those of us who express androgyny, it’s the women dressed up as men. Drag King style. It shocks me when someone hasn’t heard of Drag Kings before.

This photo is from a Drag King Battle that was held in Melbourne and hosted by the notoriously handsome, Rocco D’Amore. Through the sheer power of crowd persuasion, I won the battle and left with $100 and a trophy in my hand. My song? Set it Off by our own, Timomatic.

I always wanted to do live drag – where I actually sing. Laurie Anderson style. Performance art has a long love affair with gender.

Do You Remember?

Do You Remember?

I’m thrilled to share this collaborative piece with you – a work of art with Garth Ernstzen. The presence of art, beauty and movement breathes life into the world. May this art find wings and visit you wherever you are, leaving you moved and perhaps a little more alive. If you have words for what you experience, I would love to hear them.

Featuring & Choreography – Danica Lani
Hair & Makeup – Katrina Villegas
Creative Direction, Direction & Editing – Garth Ernstzen, Garth Ernstzen Photography and Media

Song credit – Jarryd James – Do You Remember

Love Danica

 

Teaser

Teaser

I’m in the mood for teasing. On my last trip to Melbourne, I met up with a photographer friend, Garth Ernstzen. Two years ago he started making a jacket that he’d asked me to model. Being someone who likes to create multiple intentions and fulfil on multiple outcomes, I asked him if he would also be willing to film a new dance routine I’ve been working on. He said yes!

When I first heard this song, it touched my soul immediately. Check out this next sentence: S’ra and I were in our uber and this song came on the radio so I reached for my iphone and shazam’d it then downloaded it straight away onto my itunes. I mean seriously, 10 years ago I would never have said that sentence. I digress.

Do you remember is by Brissie boy, Jarryd James. His voice is so soulful. I immediately wanted to choreograph movement and to create a lyrical style piece to his song. I’m super excited to be viewing the video edits for this at the moment with Garth.

And looking forward to sharing with you…

Love

Danica

Ask for what you want

Ask for what you want

I stumbled across this delicious demonstration of asking for what you want today. I was first introduced to Jillian Meyers a number of years ago when Ali Shirley and I attended a Masterclass with the Janet Jackson dancers who were out on tour. Jilly stood out as unique, holding her own and with a presence that exceeded most in the room.

In this first video, she makes a proposal to a band she loves – Hozier. Her proposal is to collaborate together using her choreography and concept for their film clip. The second clip is the final result. So inspiring.

What could you ask for that you haven’t yet?

Body Electric: The dance phenomenon

Body Electric: The dance phenomenon

Body Electric is an underground dance phenomenon in Melbourne created by choreographer Jade Duffy. After graduating from VCA Dance, Jade started teaching her friends jazz dance routines to 80s music. They made costumes and put on performances for their friends and family. As far as I can tell, Body Electric has always attracted show ponies. What I loved about these concerts is seeing adults who are not trained in dance, being fully self-expressed through dance and costume.

I was introduced to Body Electric by dancer, Alison Shirley who got me a limited ticket into the exclusive 400-person sold out Thornbury Theatre Concert. The dance that got me and won my heart was Wuthering Heights where 20 or so dancers ran onto stage – the women in white flowing nighties, the men impeccably dressed in period costumes looking dashingly handsome. As the music started and Kate Bush started singing, I watched these people moving and I was moved – to tears. It was raw, authentic and beautiful.

Several years later, Body Electric Concerts had expanded to sell-out crowds of about 1500 filling the Palace on Bourke St. Eleven dance groups performed and then the whole thing turned into a dance party with the dancers and the audience. Genius.

Jade continues to expand her business making dance available for adults of all persuasions.

See if you can spot me in this video of Sexy and I Know It, the tongue-in-check poke at our inner Hipster.

Hint **shiny gold sequined underwear**

Love

Danica

Lounge room dancing

Lounge room dancing

We’ve all done it – put on a song and danced in our lounge rooms.

Here’s an unedited view into mine.

 

Love

Danica

Living a Great Life

Living a Great Life

What is it that gets expressed through the body and movement that can’t be articulated in words? Last night at a Biodanza class with Kate and Claudio, I met a man in his 50s who said, You can go dancing 6 nights of the week in Sydney. I was curious, Do you go dancing 6 days a week? He said, yes I do. Well, most weeks. I looked right into his smiling face and said, you have such a great life!

I was curious about what kind of dancing this man with the open heart and incredible skin was practicing. We’re talking biodanza, Nia, 5 Rhythms, Dancing Freedom and I hear No Lights No Lyrca is also happening here.

Anyone else think it’s wild that we can design our lives in a way that gives us joy and pleasure and fulfils on what matters to us?

What is:

Biodanza (neologism from the Greek bio (life) and the Spanish danza (dance), literally the dance of life) is a system of self-development that uses music, movement and positive feelings to deepen self-awareness. Biodanza

Nia is the art of movement the body’s way. Nia is a cardio-dance workout, a movement practice, and lifestyle based on the intelligent design of the body. nianow.com/about-nia

5Rhythms is a dynamic movement practice—a practice of being in your body—that ignites creativity, connection, and community. www.5rhythms.com

No Lights No Lycra is a casual free-form dance class in the dark for the pure joy of dancing. nolightsnolycra.com

Dancing Freedom is a movement practice to embody your freedom to live, love, create and be who you really are. allevents.in/sydney/dancing-freedom-becoming-whole

Photo credit: Alison Shirley

On being a Professional Fun Starter…

On being a Professional Fun Starter…

A few posts ago, I shared about pretending to be committed to fundraising. Once free of that pretence, I began an inquiry – what kind of commitment could I create that would be worthy of my life? I created that people dance publicly.

The Silver Bullets came to life during this time. My business partner, Ali Shirley and I first met in the lululemon athletica store where I worked. I remember in one of our first conversations we discovered we’d both been to Deakin Rusden and studied Dance. Ali had a vision that people could be free to dance and express themselves in dance companies, no matter what age they were. That it wouldn’t matter if you were not 20 something trained dancer. I was like, hell yeah!

We did a couple of corporate gigs and pulled together a back up dancing routine in 80s lycra for the resplendent Drag King, Rocco D’Amore, and as momentum gained, we landed a full Winter Season on the infamous Melbourne Rooftop Bar teaching dance workouts from film clips and movies.

As you can see, being a Professional Fun Starter is well, a lot of fun. What made it exceptional however was working with the incredibly talented Ali and creating so much synergy, effervescence and a space where people could learn some new moves and be free to express themselves on the dance floor.

Photo credit: Michelle Dunn Photography