The Dance of the Dead!

The Dance of the Dead!

It’s October! And you know what that means!

HALLOWEEN!!!!!!

And with all of the excitement surrounding this holiday, it’s a wonderful time to showcase your talents as a dancer by creating routines to some truly haunting music! Here’s our list of our favourite spooky tunes! We’re going to cover everything from classical compositions to horror movies to creepy songs that everyone knows and loves!

Classical... 

  1. Toccata and Fugue by Johann Sebastian Bach
  2. Funeral March by Chopin
  3. Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky

Horror Films...

  1. theme from Dead Silence
  2. opening theme from Psycho
  3. theme from The Shining
  4. theme from Nightmare on Elm Street
  5. theme from The Exorcist
  6. This is Halloween from The Nightmare Before Christmas

Songs Everyone Knows...

  1. Thriller by Michael Jackson
  2. I Put A Spell On You by Jay Hawkins

 

A quick search on YouTube will give you all the help you’ll need!

Happy Choreographing!!

Costumes So On Pointe, It’s Scary!

Costumes So On Pointe, It’s Scary!

Quick History Lesson

As many already know, Halloween was originally a pagan holiday called All Hallow’s Eve; a night in which the spirits of the dead could walk amongst the living. People of the time would dress as ghouls themselves to trick the spirits into leaving them alone and out of harm’s way. The tradition of trick-or-treating began as a peace offering from the living to the dead. Leaving out treats for the spirits and offering treats to those dressed as spirits would show a sign of peace among the two worlds, the world of the living and the world of the dead.

Now for the fun!

To this day, we keep up the tradition of dressing up, although the motivation behind the tradition has changed over the years.

As dancers, we have an ability that most others don’t. We have the ability to move swiftly, gracefully, almost gliding past others with our movements. Some might say that a ballet dancer sometimes looks like they’re floating on air rather than dancing. So, why not take this opportunity to relive the past and really celebrate Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve, the way it was intended. Here are some costume ideas that are so on pointe, it’s scary!

The Lady in White

If you’re a fan of ghost hunting shows like Ghost Adventures, Paranormal State, etc., then you’ve heard countless stories about places being haunted by a lady in white. And no, it’s not the same lady. There ladies in white haunting buildings and sites all over the world. Usually they’re quiet, polite and mostly seen roaming the halls or appearing in doorways or balconies. While many ghosts are known to be scary or spooky, the lady in white is mostly intriguing and mysterious.

With some tulle or other sheer white/off-white fabrics, nude pointe shoes and and some sort of prop (recommended: a candlestick, candelabra or a lantern), you can float around and catch the eye of everyone around you. For some extra effects, use a pale foundation for a “lifeless” face and gray powder for dull, dead eyes. If you’re going to a Halloween party, it’s an even better opportunity to surprise your friends by disappearing around the corners!

The Bride of the Dead

This is another excellent choice if you want to go for something more creepy and mysterious than full-on scary. The bride of the dead, or the black bride is yet another figure in the paranormal that has been seen in many different haunted locations. Sometimes evil, sometimes broken-hearted, the bride of the dead is another character who floats amongst the living and disappears into thin air. Anyone can rock this costume but, especially dancers because of their grace.

Using a long black dress, maybe spray paint an old prom dress you don’t care so much about, black gloves and a black veil to cover your face. If you want to go the extra mile, you can dust some black powder and use any other black makeup to hide your face further. Talk about a dark spirit!

The Grim Reaper

What’s scarier than death itself? Talk about the ultimate creeping, looming figure.

The grim reaper instills fear in everyone it passes, especially on Halloween. This costume is perfect to creep out your friends, fellow party-goers and passerby. The key is to move as smoothly as possible and remain absolutely silent. The one thing the grim reaper is known for is silence, mystery and intimidation. Never answer anyone’s questions and always hover. And when people ask you who’s hiding in that costume (because they definitely will) you will give them no answer. BOOM! Instant fear!

Find a large/over-sized black or gray hooded cloak at a costume shoppe, or creating one on your own, that’s basically your entire costume! For extra spook factor, dust it with a light application of baby powder to give it an aged look. I mean, think about it, have you ever seen an old haunted mansion that isn’t covered in dust? I think not. The final step is to cover your face with dark makeup or find a dark mask to wear. Get a lantern or candelabra or (FAKE) reaper to carry and spook your friends.

And Now, The SCARY One…

The Undead Ballerina!

What’s the perfect costume for a ballerina? A ballerina of course! But, this is Halloween, a time for the dead to walk among the living. So, an undead or zombie ballerina is obviously a perfect fit!

Find some of your old costumes that you don’t use anymore and are allowed to mess up for this costume. Add some dirt, tear it up a little, splash it with fake blood and you’re off to scare the pants off of those trick-or-treaters!  If you can stand wearing costume contact lenses like the ones in this picture, then more power to ya! This is a costume that’s guaranteed to shock friends, disgust family and give party-goers the heeby-geebies!

Well, those are our costume recommendations for you! Do you have any that you’d like to share with us? Leave us a comment! Which one of ours is your favourite? If you’re unsure what to be this year, we hope this helped!

Meet Extensions Dance Company!

Meet Extensions Dance Company!

It’s time, once again, to meet yet another incredibly talented group that will be performing in the Chicago International Dance Forum in TWO DAYS!

Meet the Extensions Dance Company!

Beginning their journey in 2005, Extensions Dance Company has committed themselves to training young dancers to follow their passions, perfect their techniques and tell a story through the art of dance. Their dedicated training has led some of their students to go on to study at some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country.

“The Mission of Extensions Dance Company is to provide a loving and encouraging environment, where young dancers can train fearlessly, discover their potential and through their art, give back to the community.” ~ ExtensionsDance.org

Known for their jaw-dropping performances regardless of the genre, Extensions Dance Company is a must-see at the 7th Annual Chicago International Dance Forum. To learn more about them, follow the link to their website above!

Meet Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater!

Meet Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater!

The 7th Annual Chicago International Dance Forum is THIS WEEKEND! Who’s excited?! Well, get ready to meet yet another incredible dance team that’s sure to stun at the performances!

Meet the Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater!

In 1976, Dame Libby founded the company which today comprises of 40+ dancers, singers, musicians and guests artists from the U.S. and Spain. The company dedicates their work to celebrating Spain in America and bringing the tow cultures together through their art. Not only familiar to the stage, Ensemble Espanol has also appeared on television, opera, festivals, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and many more venues.

“The Company’s mission is the presentation, preservation and promotion of the classical, folkloric, flamenco and contemporary dance and music traditions of Spain.” ~EnsembleEspanol.org

With so much experience and culture behind them, there is no doubt that the 7th Annual Chicago International Dance Forum is in for a spectacular performance! To learn more about the Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater, visit their website (linked above) or follow them on Twitter!

Meet the Bharatham Academy of Dance Arts!

Meet the Bharatham Academy of Dance Arts!

The 7th Annual Chicago International Dance Forum is almost here! Are you ready to meet the next group performing?

Meet the Bharatham Academy of Dance Arts!

“Bharatanatyam is an ancient dance form of India that is thousands of years old, and is preserved as a living tradition.” ~Bharatham.org

Founded by Vanitha Veeravalli, the academy in Naperville teaches this dance which serves as a form of story telling. Bharatham shares their art through performances at various forums including annual showcases, corporate shows, creative workshops, cultural events, and community outreach programs in and around Chicago.

With numerous performances on their resume, the Bharatham Academy of Dance Arts is sure to give a performance that the Chicago International Dance Forum will cherish for years to come.

We can’t wait to see!

Meet the Peruvian Folk Dance Center!

Meet the Peruvian Folk Dance Center!

Yes, it’s time to meet yet another amazing group that will perform at the 7th Annual Chicago International Dance Forum!

Meet the Peruvian Folk Dance Center!

Beginning their journey in 2009, the PFDC began with the mission to help Peruvian-Americans connect and maintain a strong relationship with their Peruvian roots. Through music and dance, they share stories and history of the Peruvian culture. Open to people of all backgrounds, the PFDC has classes and workshops, as well as private lessons, to teach the dances and allow others to understand more about the history and culture of Peru.

Having participated in more than 200 cultural events, they are performing this year at the 7th Annual Chicago International Dance Forum. There’s no doubt that their performance is going to be spectacular! To learn more about them, you can visit their website by clicking on the picture to the left, or you can follow them on Twitter!

Meet Mexican Dance Ensemble!

Meet Mexican Dance Ensemble!

We are very excited to introduce yet another incredible dance group who will perform in the 7th Annual Chicago International Dance Forum! Meet the Mexican Dance Ensemble!

In November 2001, the Mexican Dance Ensemble was founded in Chicago, IL. M.D.E.’s mission is to expose the bright and beautiful traditions of the Mexican culture through the art of dance. Intent on preserving the beauty of Mexican heritage, M.D.E. strives to enrich it with their particular point of view so that they may spread the essence of this magnificent and varied heritage. With a growing audience and fan-base, M.D.E. has performed nationally as well as internationally in such countries as France, Spain, Portugal, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of China, Greece and Turkey!

“Our main objective is to serve as a liaison of Mexican Culture and to offer a Mexican performing platform for emerging artists while expanding the importance and values of the arts and the artist community.” MDEChicago.org

To learn more about the Mexican Dance Ensemble, check out their website linked above or follow them on Twitter!

Meet Movement Revolution Dance Crew!

Meet Movement Revolution Dance Crew!

Who’s ready to meet another group performing at the 7th Annual Chicago International Dance Forum?

Meet the Movement Revolution Dance Crew!

M.R.D.C. was founded by Monternez Rezell in 2010 as a way to integrate street culture into concert dance. Inspired by elements of jazz, lyrical, contemporary and African dance, M.R.D.C. pulls everything together to push the limits of dance, pay tribute to the founders and originators of hip hop, and reach beyond the endless possibilities that dance provides.

Our motto is “Dance is our ART, Movement is our paint brush and the World is our Canvas!” ~MovementRevolutionDanceCrew.com

To learn more about this amazing dance crew, you can visit their website (linked above), or follow them on twitter: @moverevolution2

Meet the Mulhern School of Irish Dance

Meet the Mulhern School of Irish Dance

With an impressive three existing locations in Westmont, Hinsdale and Chicago, the Mulhern School of Irish Dance has expanded by now offering classes in St. Louis Park, Minnesota! They focus on keep the art of dance a passion rather than an exercise which results in a massive student body dedicated to their school. Mulhern is known both nationally and internationally for it’s competitive performances and winning spirit.

“The Mulhern School holds numerous National & Regional Championship titles and have medalled at the prestigious World Championships,  All Ireland Championships, All Scotland Championships, the British National Championships and the Great Britain Championships.” ~MulhernSchoolofIrishDance.com.

Such accomplishments guarantee an amazing performance at the Chicago International Dance Forum. We can’t wait!

To learn more about Mulhern School of Irish Dance, visit their website linked above!

Meet Ballet 5:8!

Meet Ballet 5:8!

Are you ready to meet another group who will be performing at the Chicago International Dance Forum?

Meet Ballet 5:8!

“The mission of Ballet 5:8 is to engage communities in Chicago, the Midwest and across the nation in conversation of life and faith through innovative storytelling and breathtaking dance.” ~Ballet5:8.org

Located in Frankfort, Illinois, Ballet 5:8 performs in downtown Chicago, the city suburbs AND the U.S.! The mission is to reach and relate to audiences from all communities to set all social, cultural and economic differences aside. To bring all people together using dance as their words. In only 5 years and with over 250 students, Ballet 5:8 expands further and further each year. Their performance at the Chicago International Dance Forum will undoubtedly blow this audience away.

To learn even more about Ballet 5:8, you can go to their website (linked above) or follow them on Twitter!