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Lip Sync Battle…

Lip Sync Battle…

Whoever put me in charge of our work End of Year function may now be regretting it. I’ve been busting to get my hands on a group of people I can wrangle into doing a Lip Sync Battle. In fact, I’ve been dropping it into conversation and party suggestions for over a year. Finally, after a colleague mildly suggested I do something that gets everyone out of their comfort zones, the opportunity to battle it out while lip syncing to a pre-chosen song became obvious.

How it works:

Each contestant takes turns in lip syncing sections of well-known songs, each one of them trying to lip sync better than the other. No one knows the song the other has picked. Only the person performing knows which song is coming next.

Here’s one of the early Jimmy Fallon battles:

Soul of Sydney

Soul of Sydney

A secret venue only released on the day of, a magic rope that becomes a game of limbo, funk and soul with a sprinkle of disco and a warm, welcoming, non-judgemental, all-colours crowd of dance-lovers – welcome to Soul of Sydney.

I love dancing with people. I love the expression and communication of movement to music. I love the pure joy of being connected to soul. Being invited by another to join them in a wild storm of energy, of sexual expression through dance and of gender play. The crowd parts, a circle is made. The tall muscular man with the ginger beard invites me in. His incredible moves drew the crowd including those hand on the hips Beyonce accents he brings – so wonderful to watch on such a masculine body. I match his every move, my eyes never leaving his, catching, falling, subliming the energy between us. He hugs and thanks me after the final pose with the applause falling around us. Many acknowledgements come my way, but the best comment S’ra tells me, was the man near her who said to his friend as I was dancing, “She’s so hot, she’s making my eyes melt.”

Love

Danica

photo credit: Soul Of Sydney

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

 

Raw Chocolate Blissful Reunion

Raw Chocolate Blissful Reunion

Featuring me, raw chocolate and jazi

My first chocolate after 1.5 years of no chocolate or cacao of any kind. #lifeaftersurgery

One of my Tantra teachers recommended that I not eat chocolate or cacao as it’s a stimulant and could have been contributing to the heavy bleeding I was experiencing. Frankly, I was willing to try anything.

Return to Self

Return to Self

Even the Black Eyed Peas  are telling me to meditate.

“ Madness is what you demonstrate

And that’s exactly how anger works and operates

Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight

Take control of your mind and meditate

Let your soul gravitate to the love, y’all, y’all”

So I sit for 20 minutes in my return to sitting practice. It’s not meditation, it’s simply return to sitting – noticing what takes me away from being present. I took on this practice from the Summer Intensive Wisdom Course Leader training.

Then the Peace Angels cross my path again today. They have just returned from Salt Lake City on a tour to the Parliament of the Worlds Religions. People from all over the world and all religions were moved by their presence. Being in their presence really is a profoundly moving experience.

Just keep swimming

Just keep swimming

When life gets you down, you know what do you gotta do?

Just keep swimming…

Love

Danica

Blue Spring

Blue Spring

When I’m in this much pain, I can’t do very much. Most months it’s been taking me out of the game for 3-4 days. I’m very glad it started after I got home from the Spark Festival. 15 days until surgery. In the meantime, I’ve been playing with my colours. What colours? I got my colours done with stylist, Kaye Ure and I’m a Blue Spring. This means time for a new Pinterest board. Kaye says, think Mediterranean landscapes, citrus fruits, terracotta pots, desert, fresh spring flowers and newly mown green lawns…

 

Artist: Phase III

Artist: Phase III

I love the discoveries that happen when in dialogue – my day began with a mentoring session with my Artist mentor, Sunny Drake. Although I knew what I wanted to talk about today, I had no idea what would open up. Just that things do when being in communication.

Since I’ve started working with Sunny, we distinguished the three phases I’ve been going through. The first phase, which I blogged about previously, I called my Artist Immersion. Three months of dwelling in, pondering about, reconnecting to what is important to me as an Artist – as a singer/dancer/choreographer/model. I emerged from that immersion with some visions and ideas worth pursuing and a deeper connection to what’s important to me as an Artist. Phase two has been a time of action, of actually pursuing some of those things and making them happen. Photoshoots, recording sessions and choreographing routines. I’ve found a Vocal coach, a Creative Director, reconnected with my Music Producer and Body Party partner, Luke, and reached out to my cousin Lisa, who’s a documentary/film maker about our first film clip.

Phase three is about my Creative Tools. I’m calling it Set up to Play. I’m working on getting the resources I need (a laptop with Ableton Live for recording music with Luke), setting up my physical environment to reflect my priorities as a creative being. I’ll be going to work on my budget and actually allocating money to invest in myself as an Artist and looking at, do I need to generate more money? I’ll be asking myself, how much of a working knowledge do I need for technology specific to my art practice, and what things can I ask others to do, using their expertise?

I don’t know if I’ve ever taken myself as an Artist so seriously…

 

Love

Danica

Life as a work of art collage – Danica Lani

A gift to the world

A gift to the world

Today is the anniversary of Alan’s death. I have to admit, today has been a bit of swirl for me. However, 37 years ago today, when Mum was pregnant with me and had 3 kids under the age of 6, Alan died unexpectedly. And while there are some amazing things I inherited from my father – like my hair that naturally quiffs and my eye colour, I was raised by another man, Geoffrey Baker. Not only did he marry my Mum when I was 1 and a half and carry me down the aisle, he took on an instant family – my brother, my two sisters and me. What kind of man does that? A man with a big enough heart. He raised us as his own and got his job done – we all turned out wonderfully. Plus we have the invaluable bonus of a younger sister who also turned out wonderfully. Together we make up the ‘Baker family’.

They say if you are not complete with your parents, you’ll predictably play out the same probable future over and over in your own relationships. I wrote Alan a letter and got to express things I’d never said before – like, how disappointed I was that I never got to look him in the eyes and how mad at him I was that he didn’t bother to stick around and meet me. As if he had a choice!  I had a rocky road with my parents in my early twenties and I’m grateful to say that all of that is now in the past – where it belongs. I only have to think about my Mum or think about my Dad and I’m moved to tears by who they are and how much I love them –and they love me. My family loves me and accepts me as I am and sometimes I forget that. Then I remember and I think, I am so blessed.

I am my father’s legacy and I am also the progeny of those who loved me and raised me. Thank you for my life Mum, Dad and Alan. It took a village.

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