Monday, June 10, 2013

Homer + Cristina Extreme (Experienced Intermediate Level / Advanced)

Song: Pearl by Cirque du Soleil
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
June 1, 2013, Homer & Cristina Workshops in Hove at Ralli Hall, Denmark Villas

Video Courtesy of Tim Sharp

This workshop was advertised as “Dramatic enrosques, high leg wraps and sustained volcadas. The naga chilli of workshops hot and extreme. You will be challenged.”

Given the complexity of content, maestros asked the students if they wanted to stick with the plan and cover all three subjects or if they just wanted to focus on one or two subjects and focus on refinement of understanding the concepts and deep technique. The class voted to do all three subjects, so we set a 20-minute time limit on each: enrosques, high leg wraps (piernazos), and sustained volcadas.

We started with refining our enrosques, working in partnership in fingertip-to-fingertip hold, doing forward ochos to tight crosses, where our thighs can be open or close.  We were to do the ochos together, going toward the other person’s trailing leg and around each other, having lots of spiral and at the right time, unwinding it. 

To this, we added a weight change, and then a step back. So our footwork became: forward ocho, hook in front, weight change, back ocho step, with dancers staying together on the back step.  We were to hook in front as tightly as possible and step back onto our supporting leg with our opposite foot. 

Cristina showed us the “Secret Garden Enrosque”, where the Follower does a forward enrosque with her free foot tracing a small circle on the floor around an imaginary axis unseen by the Leader (that’s why it’s called the “Secret Garden” Enrosque – because the Leader doesn’t see the axis the Follower is circling).  The Follower needs to decide before she transfers weight to do the enrosque. So she reaches, and as she transfers weight but a little bit before, she shoots out the other foot/leg with a little bit of Captain Morgan, pivots and from her knee down, draws a circle/rulo/lapice/corkscrew with her calf/foot (“stirs the pot”) and then collects with ankles together.  We were to keep this on the floor, and do one or two circles/corkscrews/rulos/lapices, with the Follower keeping her hips close to the Leader.   For the

Next, we built a mini pattern that would include all three elements of our class subjects: the enrosque, high leg wrap, and sustained volcada.

The Leader backs the Follower up into a back ocho step after her forward ocho enrosques. 
As she steps back on her right foot back step to the close side of the embrace, the Leader steps into her and steps around her to get under her with his right foot side step. 
He quickly collects with his left foot and then takes another right foot side step around her as his body spirals and twists up, leading the Follower’s left foot high leg wrap (piernazo) back around his left side.
The Follower’s knee is pointed down during the piernazo.

If the Leader gives the Follower enough real estate and the correct energy, then the wrap should go where he wants/leads it (aiming for his left side waist/back).  The Follower’s leg rides up the thigh with her knee down. “The thighs have eyes” – so the Follower’s leg should always try to find the Leader’s leg.  It is not about how high you can wrap.  The Follower should try to keep a long spine, so she will be able to twist and disassociate more.

In the Piernazo, the Leader steps around the Follower’s axis, he does not push her off axis.  The Leader’s objective is to get close to the Follower, and go around the Follower’s axis, while keeping her on axis.

Exit:  Leader releases Follower into the Funny Volcada, and then into the Sustained Side Volcada with the Leader’s height change during the Sustained Volcada. 

During the Funny Volcada, the Leader walks backward around the Follower in a circle, and then to lead the Sustained Volcada, he walks straight back two steps (usually starting with his right leg) to lead the Follower in a Sustained Volcada.  For the Sustained Volcada, the Leader finds the line of dance and then walks backward straight.  He needs to find his center, and go down a little or a lot as he walks back.

In the Sustained Volcada, the Follower’s hips/legs remain close to the Leader’s, and her weight is perfectly in the middle with both legs straight, not favoring one or the other.

The exit is when the Leader comes back up after he hugs and lifts the Follower.  We zip up our core and push down to get up and pull ourselves out of the swimming pool.  The Leader can bring the Follower back up on her right leg, or move her to bring her back up on her left leg. 

Follower must wait for the lead
When the Leader steps in near the Follower to Capture the Moon on the close side of the embrace, he can either lead a Funny Volcada or a High Leg Wrap (Piernazo).  The Follower has to wait for the lead because the leads for the Funny Volcada and the High Leg Wrap (Piernazo) are slightly different. 

Next, we went back and added the Leader’s Enrosque.

For Leader’s enrosques, the forward enrosques are the most exciting, but the back enrosques are the most elegant. The secret entrance of the Leader’s back enrosque is on the Follower’s side step after her forward step.  Here he can do a Leader’s sacada into a back enrosque.  At the point of the Leader’s enrosque, they are both pivoting, so there is a “we” feeling as we can get lots of pivoting in the same direction for both dancers.  The Leader’s cross behind is tight and deep.  We can do this in close embrace. 

Maestros demo’d enrosques doing ochos with hooks with or without weight changes. 

Maestros concluded with a class quiz and a demo to Cirque du Soleil’s Pearl. 

Notes courtesy of Anne at

No comments: