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Bittersweet : Amaru

Next Generation of Trainers

Bittersweet : Amaru

By Letizia Accinelli on May 19, 2011

My decision on Butterfly fell very quick and it was based on the connection to Joy of Movement I had by dancing it and on the music.
The first time I danced the routine I have been completely seduced by the music by its moves and by the imagery.

When I decided to adapt Butterfly I first taught the original routine it over and over again for a long time in all classes. Every time I came back from a class I would dance with the dvd and look and sense the anatomy of the moves, using my witness to recall my class, using Zorro to check the position of my bones.
The more I was teaching it the more I was enchanted by the moves , by the choreography, by the music, by the imagery and the more I was regretting my choice. Becoming intimate with the routine showed me the mastery of Butterfly and it became intimidating. But the decision was taken …

I started practicing the katas and I started the FreeDance practice with songs I was associating with Butterfly . Once I had the songs I started orchestating them to the moves and I started barring them , decoding and mapping the music.
Here I had the first surprise: the songs that had the same resonance with the original ones did not work in terms of 8BC counts and in terms of sections.
That was very disappointing for me , but I decided to keep to the guidelines and I decided to look for the same 8BC counts of the original songs and keep the -.3 /+.3.
I had to say goodbye to some of my favorites and get new ones. The journey was long.

All my previous adaptation had been more based on the resonance of the songs, on the sensation of analogy I would receive from a song, on the quality of the music other than on the exact time of the bars and I decided to change this habit and be more “scientific” about the substitution this time.
Many times I had experienced that the resonance I was sensing and that was obvious and working very well for me , was actually very personal and sometimes it would not work at all for other teachers or for the students.
The only criteria I wanted to keep was the genre: world music .
Slowly I gave up the resistance to the changes and I begin working with songs that were in the frame of time of Butterfly. It was a squeezing practice,
I danced the original song followed by the new song, the new song followed by the original , I taught a mix of Butterfly and Amaru, song 1 Butterfly, song 2 Amaru, etc , until the two playlists fused together and I could sense the differences and at the same time dress them with same moves.
My nervous system became slowly familiar with both versions and sometimes even if my body knows how to move to the songs, with one of the songs it always takes me a couple of seconds to “remember” if the song I am dancing belongs to Butterfly or to Amaru.
My love for Butterfly playlist and especially for my favourite songs( Wind From the East, and Cry and Butterfly Heart), has not changed and I still get goosebumps when I listen to them, but I feel the same fascination for Mashehu Katan Ve’ Tov. And the other substitution.
And this is what I was looking for . The same sensation. In Butterfly the music is the wind and the movement are carried by the music smoothly . I wanted the same quality.
The two extremely different first songs give me the same sense of crescendo in the music and the same image of coming out of a cocoon or a bubble and step out into a new world. And the focus came out of this cocoon: yin and yang, male and female, the opposites integrating themselves .

In the moment the decision of the focus came I remembered the feedback of some my few male students: “ We love Butterfly but it is a female routine. We would prefer less wings and more earth. “
It was a great challenge to keep the same beauty of work and add some male energy to it.
I started checking carefully the balance and the interplay of martial arts elements , dance and healing arts of the routine that was being created.
I monitored the use of base, core and upper extremities.
I sensed the effects of some moves on my body’s way, especially on my knees using awareness and tweaking moves that were not good for my body.
The sequence of kicks in Summertime was great but was not good for my knees . I wanted the same Tae Kwon Do quality but I had to tweak it to my body’s way.
I monitored my symbology also by looking at my students .
As I was going along I checked my cosmic salary and noticed that my excitement for the new routine and my work was rewarded by myself and by my students. Everytime I teach Amaru my students are excited about it, curious and in their bodies.

And then the title came from a friend that was reading about a Mexican legend .
The legend of a snake called Amaru. I did not read the legend – I did not want to be influenced ,but I will read it later. I likes the sound of Amrarù. To me it sounded like the integration of the word “amaro”- bitter and “amore “. And to me snakes are a good symbol for yin and yang. Fluid, agile, simple . Amarù.

Apart from Salento, I have chosen songs with vocals like Heli Meli where a man and woman have a vocal duet, nice sound to support the focus.

What I am very proud about is Biba Zoom, played by a friend of mine and his band. I have seen him playing the song in concerts many times. He is the trombonist . I know how he looks like while he is waiting his moment to start, I can visualize the band playing .
The song gives me happiness, lightness, joy and at the same time it is a glimpse into the male ‘s world. It is an inspiring unity of male and female energy. Amarù!