Friday, 22 August 2008

Films, Dance and Music

We went to see a film today at the Ballerina_Ballroom_Cinema_of_Dreams film festival, something very exciting that's been going on locally. We saw a strange little 1957 East German film: 'The Singing, Ringing Tree' (it was apparently on British children's TV as a series, but before my time as I had never seen it). Possibly the weirdest film I have ever seen, but very enjoyable, even to the many children there, who must be used to all the clever digital trickery of todays kids films.

The venue was the old 'Ballerina Ballroom', which had been used as a dancehall and music venue years ago, although I had only ever known it as a bingo hall. It had been decorated beautifully for the festival, a little cafe to one side, and the main room set up with deckchairs and beanbags for the filmshow. (We were quite comfy on the beanbags, but I'm glad it wasn't a long film!). The whole experience was lovely, not a bit like the multiplex!! There was such a friendly atmosphere, more like watching a film with a huge gang of friends, with cheering and clapping, and plenty of laughter. I'm now regretting not booking for more films, but hopefully there will be another festival, there is certainly the demand for it - they had to put the film on again because so many people got turned away for the first showing.
Its wonderful when something like this turns up on your own doorstep!

We have watched a few films at home recently, mostly dance films: Step_Up; Step_Up_2_The_Streets; Save_The_Last_Dance; which have been inspiring A. She did ballet classes from the age of three, but recently gave it up. The classes had become much more geared towards doing the exams, she did her first exam last year but really didn't enjoy the experience and was very clear she didn't want to do any more. Although her teacher said she didn't have to do the exams, the class was all about learning what was needed for it so I think it became quite boring for A. I felt quite sad at her leaving, because she was quite a good little dancer (I know, I'm bound to say that as her Mum!). But she had been saying for quite a while that she wanted to leave, and as the person who paid for the classes and gear (!) there seemed little point in pushing it if she wasn't enjoying it.
She has always loved modern dance too, and used to go to a drama/dance class that my friend ran, which she enjoyed. She doesn't seem keen to join any classes at the moment, but is very happily making up her own routines. She even tries teaching some moves to me (oh dear!).

Another activity she has been doing a lot recently is composing songs on her keyboard, some quite impressive (again - a Mum's view!). My immediate response to all this musical 'talent' is to encourage her to have lessons, and as with her other creative/artistic endeavours she is very unenthusiastic about classes or lessons. I'm not sure how far to push her on this one (if at all), she seems to be very 'musical', and picks things up quite quickly, and I think if I found a good teacher lessons could reveal to A just what she's capable of. But then again, I had piano lessons from the ages of 5 -12, and although I can read music and have a good understanding of the theoretical side of it, I'm certainly no pianist and never play now - I just never had the passion for it. The music exams I did as a kid killed any confidence I might have had as I was so focused on 'not getting it wrong'. I think I'll just let her tinker for a while longer before pushing the idea of lessons.


dawny said...

have you thought of popping a clip of her on here playing? we could all applaude her then :-)

K said...

A likes that idea! Will have to see if I can get hold of a camera I can film her with x