Friday, September 30, 2016

Free Your Head with AHHA Dance.

Rokaya Mikhailenko was kind enough to let me sketch a late night  rehearsal of Free Your Head. This is her first effort choreographing as AHHADance. It is a joint effort with the Coby Dance Project with a guest artist from Afro-Latin Project. The rehearsal started at 9:15 at The Center for Contemporary Dance on Aloma. I went to a mindful meditation at 7pm to slow down and clear my head. When I arrived at the dance studio they were just about to get started. 

The show has a play for 60s vibe mixed wit some surreal Alice in Wonderland trippiness. Cool aid will be served along with M&Ms in pill bottles. The choreography is hip and modern with underlying expressive story lines. In one routine, thin dancer walked up to me and politely suggest that I should read more. Now that I don't have a TV that is a very reasonable goal. I do read myself to sleep some nights. 

Some choreography is playful an joyful. A song about sweet pink elephants had the dancers gesturing toward each other with doll-like mechanical movements. As usually happens with me, I began to follow one dancer's movements. Though dancers might move in sync, there is often some subtle magic that makes a dancer's movement purely expressive. There is a mindfulness and purity of intention. That purity manages to shine through even in a rehearsal at the end of a long exhausting day. That is what I like about rehearsals, dancers can fall without ever being concerned about how they will look when they hit the ground. There isn't the concern of showing off to an audience, there is just the joy of moving in the moment. 

AHHA Dance presents their first full evening of modern dance, with a playful nod to 60's counterculture. Aliens, go-go dancers, a rabbit named Lady and more! Expand your mind to free your head.  Pre-show at 8 featuring Fat Martha and the Mamalukes
Ages 18+

Free your Head will be performed September 30, 2016 in the Orange Studio, 1121 N Mills Ave, Orlando, Florida 32803. Tickets are $12.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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