It’s your friend from Canada Jean Marc …and Yes… long time no see, but I never stop talking about you and how much you influence my vision on dancing.
So back to your question: what is rhythm…for me rhythm is a Variation of speed …slow, fast, or extremely slow and so on, its like the rhythm of the traffic, or the Rhythm of a bunch of kids running after a Ball or two Standard dancers follow in Harmony perfectly the rhythm of the music, or Latin Dancers will on purpose creating their own individual Rhythm, for contrast, for levels and impact because of the nature of style.
And why it gets so complicated if you are a dancer, you have to select and channel the right message to the right body parts at the right body speed, because the body Rhythm you chose need to be in harmony with your overall balance and be compatible with “the music”. Some Rhythm are produced Physically and Mechanically together, like a musician and his instrument, other Rhythm are Naturally created or Organically produced , with the human body, sometime premeditated and sometime by accident or aftermath.
Rhythm …It’s basically a punctuation, a modulation on a multiple platforms and Levels. Rhythm could purposely be Flat, and soft or Nonstop and loud and everything in between . Even the absence of Rhythm or noise or movement create Rhythm. Rupture, unevenness, expected and unexpected motions or noises or sounds, mixing all together…with punctuation …it’s call Rhythm.
You can approach Rhythm like musician point of view, it’s either Mathematic (like the musical notes, each step a isolated rhythm, then put together in a sequense) or Artistic (like the melody, making the body speed the rhythm, and let the body lead the steps,) or instinctive ( Natural, improvisation, random, free energy). Every method works But the question is which method suit you learning patterns and your way to understand rhythm, or you capacity to create physical Rhythm. There is many different way of creating rhythm…and sometime it’s our duty as Teacher to use every possible way to guide our student toward controlled, clarity and make the rhythm “Readable“ for them and for us.
One of our first challenge as Human been: identify the correct Rhythm, the conventional, the traditional one and make the demonstration that our body respond to it with the right impulse, intensity and the right reflexes, the synchronisation in-between all the body parts, So the peoples watching and process on their own the Music,will accepte your rhythmical choices, plus give them the sensation, that the rhythm of the body and the rhythm of the music, create the right synergy.
Creation of new Rhythm, making artistic Rhythm without been misunderstood. The basic rhythm of a particular style of Music or Dance style are ruled and regulated for a reason, to give a basic system, a readable alphabet, a musical structure ,but when you control it ,you when to enrich it ,and add to the existing rhythm . Your body is compose and made of many elements, like a orchestra ,so you join in!.
The body like a symphonic Orchestra, each body parts have the capacity to create Rhythm, each body part is a independent like distinct and unique musical instrument, who will produce, noisy or only visual Rhythm with or independently of the others, like a soloist, your arm in latin could be the most active, the loudest, the most noticeable rhythm and still with full body commitment and on the opposite for a standard couple will be moving still with the body , but you will be primary attracted by the rhythm of their legs, because the isolation, and control of the Rhythm of the upper body. The challenge is to find the right conductor, to strike the band. The nerves system have a amazing capacity of distribution of the different impulses and triggered gestures. The goal is to control those impulses and make them desirable reflexes or the desirable Rhythm .
Managing and controlling the freedom, like the sound, the beat coming out of a drum, the wind coming out of a instrument are the actual reaction of a action, you manufacture Rhythm, So imagine the step been the reaction of a Action, so you want to manufacture Rhythm with the combination of Reflexes , and never forget that you want the rhythm to be premeditated like the musician, but nevertheless, Natural and Magical. The dancer want to produce quality and readable rhythms on purpose and create is own signature, for more individuality….
Your Friend from Canada
Jean Marc Genereux