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Showing posts with label Savoy Ballroom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Savoy Ballroom. Show all posts

Saturday, May 16, 2020

SAVOY BALLROOM: LEARNING TO SWING IN A NEW CENTURY - JOSH (THOMAS1 BELLIC) REPORTING




It happens often.  You go with a dance partner to some swanky ballroom or club in SL, click on the dance HUD, grab some pose balls and it’s off to the races.  You open up your view and see around you, all manner of dance steps going on as couples gyrating this way or that, seemingly oblivious to the music blaring over your headset.  Then you spot them…on the far side of the dance floor…Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers….dancing in their own little world.  While everyone else around you is dancing a Salsa or “Sweet’n Slow 5” to the beat of Count Basie, Fred and Ginger are actually dancing in a way that actually matches the music.  Amazing!  How do they do that?

Matching the dance step to the music being played is not always a matter of dumb luck, which you sorta stumble into.  On the contrary.  It is a skill that can be learned.  And once you do, Dancing in SL (and in RL for that matter) will take on a whole new meaning for you.  And the perfect place to learn those skills?  None other than The Savoy Ballroom.  I caught up with Owner and General Manager of The Savoy School of Dance, Carlyle Chaparral, and he graciously consented an interview about…Art of Dance.

OLD

NEW

Josh Bellic (JB):  When did you first become interested in Dance education?

Carlyle Chaparral (CC):  My wife and I became active dancers in RL around the same time we both left SL in 2010. We learned to enjoy the ‘free dance lessons’ given at the beginning of most RL dances and the fun of helping new dancers learn the basics in those classes. In 2014, I was studying Motor Image Therapies and some of the visualization techniques being used to “imagine” moving limbs that were disconnected due to spinal injury. I thought of the high level of empathy with avatars and the vivid visualization of dancing in SL, and I thought it might be possible to accomplish Motor Image Therapies using SL dancing.

JB:  What is it that inspired you to bring the Savoy back to life here in SL?

Make more dancers. Make better dancers.
CC:  The Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA) was an amazing user-managed group supported by Linden Labs. LEA chose candidates to receive an entire SIM to build artistic creations in, for three months. Free from LL.  As many as dozens of SIMs were involved, I am not sure how many. We got picked to showcase the dancing technology used in our Dance 101 Class. We were well attended and received an extra month as well. At the end of the LEA grant, we moved the Ballroom portion to Creations Park. Later we renamed it Savoy as we took on more and more of that particular ballroom’s persona.
Unfortunately, LEA was dropped by LL and no longer exists.
CC:  Dancing in RL is all about choosing dances that match the tempo and style of the music you are dancing to.  Our classes help dancers in SL recognize the music style and match the dance and tempo to it - so it looks realistic.  If you feel like you really are dancing in SL, you are!
CC:  A small team of four developed Dance 101. Another four-person team developed the LEA grant. We now have over a dozen “imagineers” in our Savoy planning group, working on new exhibits, events, regular shows, monthly parties, decorations, and even choreographed dance performances. All volunteer, all drawn together sharing our passion for dance and the Swing Era.

But nothing beats just coming to Savoy, walking History Hallway, learning about the Swing Era, and dancing at the Home of Happy Feet.
CC:  Learn to choose dances that fit the music, and you will have a lot of fun dancing in SL.

CC:  The Harlem Savoy Ballroom was the epicenter of Swing Dancing world-wide, full of wonderful history and amazing dancers and performers. The Savoy in particular was the one dance hall where black and white dancers could enjoy black and white bands.  The Swing Dancing phenomenon that spread across the globe during WWII was instrumental in desegregation in the United States.  I very much wanted to recreate the experience of Savoy in terms of dance, music, bands, and ambiance. But most of all, I wanted to educate people on the role that Swing Dancing played in worldwide desegregation, especially at Savoy.


JB:  Tell us the purpose of your school here in SecondLife

CC:  We have two missions. From the first 2LDance.org project, our mission was:
The second mission is for Savoy. Here is what it says:
We create the authentic, realistic experience of being at the Harlem Savoy Ballroom during the Swing Era. We teach the music, clubs, bands and especially the dances of this era and their legacies today. We educate our guests about the role swing dancing played in dissolving segregation in the 1940s.
We empower others to creatively achieve our mission and our partner organizations’ missions.

JB:  I understand your initiative was given a Grant a few years ago? Tell us about that please?

CC:  The Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA) was an amazing user-managed group supported by Linden Labs. LEA chose candidates to receive an entire SIM to build artistic creations in, for three months. Free from LL.  As many as dozens of SIMs were involved, I am not sure how many. We got picked to showcase the dancing technology used in our Dance 101 Class. We were well attended and received an extra month as well. At the end of the LEA grant, we moved the Ballroom portion to Creations Park. Later we renamed it Savoy as we took on more and more of that particular ballroom’s persona.

Unfortunately, LEA was dropped by LL and no longer exists.

JB:  So...I thought dancing in SL was just a matter of clicking on a pose ball and hanging on for the ride, but apparently it is more than that? How so?

CC:  Dancing in RL is all about choosing dances that match the tempo and style of the music you are dancing to.  Our classes help dancers in SL recognize the music style and match the dance and tempo to it - so it looks realistic.  If you feel like you really are dancing in SL, you are!


JB:  Where do you get your staff?

CC:  A small team of four developed Dance 101. Another four person team developed the LEA grant. We now have over a dozen “imagineers” in our Savoy planning group, working on new exhibits, events, regular shows, monthly parties, decorations, and even choreographed dance performances. All volunteer, all drawn together sharing our passion for dance and the Swing Era.



JB:  Are you or any of your staff dancers in RL?


CC:  My wife and I are active dancers in RL, although she did not join me in my return to SL for this project. We are especially fond of East Coast Swing, and also do country, ballroom and Latin. Other members of our team are involved in choreography and some dance in RL also.

JB:  Where can our readers go to learn more about Savoy Dance?


CC:  The entire story is on our website, http://SavoyBallroom.org. It is a splendid resource about Savoy and everything we are doing in SL, including the new development, 40’s Street, right outside Savoy. The development of Dance 101 and our stream-driven dance technology is on the website http://2Ldance.org.

JB:  Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?



So…there you have it, folks.  If you’re ready to take your dancing to the next level.  If you really do want to learn a new skill that will serve you well in both SL AND in RL, and you want to have fun doing it, come check out the award-winning Savoy Ballroom, and let their experienced dance instructors help you learn to enjoy life on a whole new level!  - JB


Sunday, May 10, 2020

New Exhibit: HOW BIG WAS "THE TRACK?"



Savoy announces its newest attraction: "How Big Was The Track" is now open and accessible through TP from the Ballroom Foyer.

This exhibit is a SCALE MODEL of the original Savoy floorplan, sized to give SL Avatars the experience of walking in that building.  Big enough to hold 4000 on a busy night, you will be blown away by just how huge it was.  "The Track" was the name given to the dance floor - the biggest and best, where the Lindy Hop was created.

SAVOY Ballroom features weekly themed shows, special events including live singers, DJs, Dance performances, and our monthly "Party in the Past."  Our own SAVOYstream plays 24x7x365 featuring our signature mix of old and new swing, and vintage Latin tunes, along with Old Time Radio ads and Savoy spots.  Check out our MONTHLY EVENTS LIST for details.

Our Savoy Swing Era Museum surrounds the ballroom and presents the history of Swing featuring the bands, songs, and especially dances of that time.  Key dates during the period are also presented.  

Our Savoy Dance 301 Swing Era classroom provides a full-immersion experience of the history, music, and dances of this time.  Class run continuously and you can join in at any time.  We usually have volunteer dance partners present to help you enjoy the class.

Find out more on our website at http://SavoyBallroom.org, or better yet, check it out in SL at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Creations%20Park/33/50/28.

The Swing Never Stops at Savoy.  Step back in time to when Swing was King!



Tuesday, April 30, 2019

A Celebration of the life of Fran Serenade at Savoy Ballroom in Creations Park on Saturday, May 11, 2019, from 11AM to 9PM, featuring some of Second Life’s very best performers.

April 29, 2019  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EVENT DATE:  May 11, 2019



On March 3rd, 2019, Creations Park lost its original inspiration, and Second Life lost its most celebrated senior.  Fran Serenade passed away at 92 after a lifetime of loving and serving others in both of the worlds she lived in. Fran was beloved by all who knew her, including her Linden friends. Her daughter, Barbie Alchemi, and son, AlmostThere Inventor, built Creations Park in Second Life to be a wonderworld to stimulate the mind, specifically for Fran and others with Parkinson’s.   The Draxtor video about Fran and the medical research into Parkinson’s done at Creations Park was called one of the most important ever made about Second Life by Linden Lab’s CEO Ebbe Linden.  

A Celebration of Fran’s life will be held at Savoy Ballroom in Creations Park on Saturday, May 11, 2019, from 11AM to 9PM SLT.  Some of the very best live singers in Second Life will be performing in her honor.  Most knew Fran and some had performed at her 90th birthday party, also at Savoy. All talent will be performing for tips only, and like all events at Creations Park, this will benefit Team Fox for Parkinson’s Research.

By June 1, 2019, a memorial honoring Fran and this celebration will be located in-world at the Savoy Swing Era Museum, and will be available online at SavoyBallroom.org/fran



Shorter Version 3:40m     Fran’s story, with Barbie and scenes of Creations for Parkinson’sParkinson’s patient exploring virtual world
Living in a Modem World  Posted on April 12, 2015 by Inara Pey



ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE

TIME ARTIST AGENT/SL CONTACT
11:00 AM Samm Qendra direct
12:00 PM Putri Solo (putrisolosinger) Jamila.lanley  
1:00 PM Luciano Lionheart Helen (Helendar Bailey)
2:00 PM Phil Setner Alessia Setner (alessia.rodeyn)
3:00 PM Agatha Knowles Troy Nelson (troyjaimes)
4:00 PM Savoy Dance Troupe Jackie Brown (antarctica.ferraris)
5:00 PM Max Kleene Kat Vargas
6:00 PM Ronnie Artano Missy (lilmiss54)
7:00 PM Savoy Stars Showcase Carlyle Chaparral
8:00 PM JaeSands direct

Second Life Official        @SecondLife Mar 7         Replying to @draxtor
  
Our hearts are broken. We will always remember her incredible enthusiasm for life and what a joy she carried with her everywhere.

RESOURCES



VIDEO
  
The Drax Files: World Makers 5:00m [Episode 13: Creations for Parkinson's]
Draxtor  Despres November 1, 2013

Living the dream in Second Life  2:00m   (People with disabilities in a virtual world)
Colorado Public News    July 4, 2013

  
ABOUT FRAN
  
Farewell, Fran       Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World  March 7, 2019

Daniel Voyager   March 8, 2019

Second Life Newser  December 29, 2017

FRAN & PARKINSON’S RESEARCH
  
Wired.com  Backchannel - Kristen French  February 13, 2017

Anthropologist studies Fran in Second Life
UCI School of Social Sciences   John Wescott February 6, 2017

New World News September 10, 2015

Terry Meisenback  September 8, 2014

Virtual Connections - Nancy J Smith  November 7, 2013
The San Diego Union-Tribune - Pam Kragen September 24, 2013

New World News February 13, 2013


CREATIONS PARK
  
Creations Park Blogsite

Creations for Parkinson’s  SLNewser   Deaflegacy February 19, 2018

Eddie Haskell  Saturday, May 25, 2013

New World News  Hamlet Au February 8, 2013

BOOKS
  
An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human
Tom Boellstorff   2009 Princeton University Press

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Step back in time to the birthplace of Swing: The Savoy Ballroom



  Experience the best in classic swing, new swing, and electro swing along with vintage latin big band tunes.  Our extensive collection of dances are grouped by type and tempo to make dancing more realistic and fun. Dance to our SavoyStream 24x7, with volunteer dance partners often available.  Weekly hosted shows and monthly parties. Our Swing Era Museum and full-immersion Dance 301 Classroom brings the Golden Age of swing to life. Visit anytime - the swing never stops at Savoy.   In beautiful Creations Park

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Creations%20Park/33/50/28

 
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