Tagshowcase

Solotude 3 – Video!

You have seen the pictures, heard the rumours, and now you can watch the video!

Solotude 3 was such an amazing event! The feedback that has been flowing in about my routine has been wonderful. Thank you to all my followers and supporters, in real life and online. It has been wonderful to have such regular dance opportunities to grow as a performer.

This routine had been in the works for about six months. I usually work with a quicker timeline, however I think the overall performance benefited from my sustained practice. The extra time also offered me more space to reflect on the movements and how they related to the story and my intentions.

I like to work with narratives and pole drama, so this routine was based on the story of the Gemini constellation. Driven by the narrative of Pollux and Castor’s tragedy, I invited the audience to engage with elements of loss, connection, reunion, and shared identities. I love working with props, and the mask was a simple way to help the audience engage with and follow the story.

Photos of the night were captured by Lioness Photography and Ash King. I love how they used close ups and unique angles to compliment my performance, not just capturing my tricks.

If you like my performance, feel free to share it online! I am also available for choreography workshops, for studios and classes, or to help you with your own solo.

Send me an email at mel@melnutter.com and let’s start dancing!

Every Artist Was First An Amateur

Next week, I will walk on stage at The Vanguard for the fourth time – fifth if you count being pole monkey for another show.

December 2011- Art of Pole Christmas Showcase

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April 2015 – Glam Rock Cabaret (Pole Monkey)

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June 2015 – Solotude

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November 2015 – Solotude 2

Solotude 2 - The Vanguard, Newtown - November 2015

June 2016 – Solotude 3

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I have been incredibly lucky to have had so many opportunities to refine my performance skills. Over so many years, of course my tricks have improved, but I have also been able to work on my stage presence and fluidity, and forge out my own style. Looking back at photos from 2011 I am blown away by how much pole dancing has shaped my growth as a person as well as a performer.

Ralph Waldo Emerson is famous for saying,

“Every artist was first an amateur.”

The journey from amateur to artist requires the support of a strong community. It requires determination, persistence, and passion. It also requires space to grow and evolve. In the case of a dancer, it also means a space to perform and people to watch.

I am so grateful for Solotude and the Vanguard for providing that space. And I am grateful to you for being that audience.

Come along to the show next weekend and support the rising stars! Find me in the crowd after my show and say hi and let me thank you in person for supporting all of the amateurs who are growing an artist within.

Tickets available here.

Solotude 3!

solotude 3 poster

The team at Sydney Pole are at it again! Solotude 3 will hit the Vanguard on June 19th!

This night is an opportunity for amateur and semi-pro dancers to perform in a more public space than the studio. The last two Solotude events were an absolute blast and I am so excited to have been invited to perform once again!

You can see my first Solotude performance here. And there are shots of my Solotude 2 performance in the gallery.

Come along to see a fabulous night of pole story telling and performance art in the grand venue of the Vanguard!

 

Tickets available here!

 

Stage Presence

Stage PresenceThe X Factor. Engaging the audience. Capturing the crowd. Having “It”.

There are some dancers that just seem to own it. From the moment they step onto the stage you are drawn in. It might be a walk, a look, their costume. The dancer might not have even moved yet, or be on stage, but their choice of music and/or pose has you mesmerized by their mystery.

These are the shows I want to talk about. The ones that stick in your brain for years to come. The performers that you can watch again and again. They are the shows that make your dinner go cold as you sit there frozen, moth agape, unable to turn away.

A few years ago I joined a small group to train with Jamilla Deville as part of her Extend Yourself training program. Over two days we learned some great pole tricks and cross training advice but we also talked extensively at this elusive “it” factor.

Like many abstract concepts, it was easier to describe what it wasn’t then to truly grasp what it was. No one could put quite their finger on it.

One thing was for sure, however, we knew what it was when we saw it!

If you are seeking to understand stage presence and begin to learn how to capture it yourself, my advice is this,

1) Start studying dancers who you see have it.
Short Instagram videos are great for mini tutorials and finding new tricks, but you are going to have to watch entire performances to begin to understand stage presence. You can find many full clips on YouTube of pole competitions and showcases. Pole Ranking offer live streams of the larger comps too. Add your favourites to a short list so you can return to them again and again.

2) Go and see a live performance.
It doesn’t even need to be a pole performance. Check out some local plays, or head to a burlesque night out on the town. Small intimate venues will let you be close enough to the action to see their movements and get a feel for how they are putting on the show. Larger venues, like Miss Pole Dance Australia at the Enmore Theatre, will give you the chance to see how great performers can dance in front of 1000s of people while giving the impression that they are solely dancing for you.

3) What elements make these performances the same?
Aside from the fancy pole tricks, sensual body rolls, and legs for days, ask yourself what else are these performers doing.

  • Are they making eye contact with the audience? When? As they walk out on stage, during pole tricks, during floorwork?
  • Are they telling a story? Contemporary and lyrical pole performances can be particularly enthralling when done well.
  • Are they using props that help you understand the story? Your narrative is only worthwhile if the audience knows what is going on.
  • Do you notice the soundtrack or is the music working seamlessly with the choreography? Everything doesn’t have to be on the beat, but a sense of musicality goes a long way to helping a performance look polished.
  • How long are they holding their poses for? Even with a fast song, a good performer knows how to draw out their pole poses and floorwork so the audience has time to see and understand what they are watching.

If you can start incorporating these elements into your own routines, you will be well on the way to a brilliant performance. Begin working on these ideas as you are writing your choreography too, then they will be ingrained into the routine just as well as your pole tricks.

For extra tips about feeling confident on stage and developing your performance skills I recommend reading, Feel It, before you try and say it and Everyone is Talking About Sexy Pole. Or if you are on the look out for some inspiration, I have linked to my favourite dancers here.

Choreography Workshop

Choreography intensiveHave you ever dreamed of taking the stage for a solo performance? Do you have a list of songs that you would love to dance to, but don’t know where to start? Would you like to share your vision in a supportive environment with fellow polers who can help you refine your ideas?

Join me for a Choreography Intensive at Sydney Pole on Sunday 27th December!

Learn how to unpack songs, sequence your favourite tricks and combos, and put the finishing touches on your routine!

The workshop will consist of two parts, 45 minutes each. Using a song of your choice, I will lead you though a step by step process that will teach you to listen to and identify thematic and musical elements of a song, and use them to enhance your performance concept.

During the second half of the workshop I will teach you floorwork and pole exercises that will help you connect to your music and ensure your routine is as unique as you are. These techniques will be useful for choreography to any genre of music and will help you find movement and expression in your own body, revealing the dancer within.

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Ok, yes! It’s a shameless plug for my workshop! But I’m so excited to be able to give back and help inspire others to get up and dance! I believe that I have a strong appreciation for musicality, clean lines, and genuine expression, and would like to offer a productive and supportive space to help others bring their performance ideas to the stage.

If you’re in Sydney or know a dancer who might be interested, let them know!

Book in through Sydney Pole

Open to all skill levels and dance experience!

Four years of pole dancing

20151108_200722I have blogged before about my pole journal and how important I believe it is to document and reflect on your dance journey.

I started my journal in 2011, about 6 months after I started dancing, as a way to record my first pole performance.

I still remember the night – The Art of Pole Christmas Party. Held at the Vanguard, Newtown, it was a daunting venue for my first time on stage. The whole night was surreal, sitting in the audience watching the show, then heading backstage to warm up and get into costume, and then in a matter of minutes, resuming my seat to watch the finale. I remember thinking, did I really get up on that stage, that Jamilla Deville is now dancing on? Were the crowd really watching me?

Brad from Vertigo Photography was there and he gave me a few shots from the night, that confirm it wasn’t just a blur of a dream. And they, along with choreography notes are in my journal.

Four years later, I just wrote on the last page in this journal. What a milestone! Over 15 solo routines, countless showcases, 2 Encore! Sydney Pole Shows, and a couple of comps.

Moving into 2016, I’m about to start Book 2. Will it be four years until I reach the last page? In 2020?

What I do know is that I’ll still be dancing 🙂