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Shot of Scotch Newsletter: Autumn

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Summer 2016

Shot of Scotch New York City

Making Highland Dance Modern

A guest post by Shot of Shot NYC Choreographer: Emily Ritter

Traditional Scottish Highland dance evokes images of men in kilts dancing over swords as they prepare for battle, bagpipes blaring in the distance. It’s an art form that has been around for centuries and is steeped in tradition. But rarely do people think of Highland dance as a modern art form.

This was my challenge for Shot of Scotch’s August performance at Dixon Place in New York City. The performance, “8 in Show,” was established to showcase emerging and established choreographers of all dance forms. As Shot of Scotch NYC’s Choreographer, I wanted to engage a modern audience in new ways for this performance, mixing traditional Highland dance with a modern look.

To do this, I spent nearly a year putting this piece, titled “Dance Upon My Tomb” together. First came the music, the inspiration for the title and feel of the dance. This tune was paired with a traditional Scottish chant to create the feel of the mystic Scottish Highlands. Once this haunting feel was established, the dance began to take shape as I molded traditional Scottish dance moves in new and different ways. Highcuts were done from the floor while entrechats were done with our hands. To symbolize breaking out of the traditional rigidity of Highland dance, our arm movements started out stilted and grew more fluid throughout the piece. The ending is a burst of traditional movements across the stage, as we ultimately embrace the long and glorious history of Highland dance.

Once the choreography was established, our final challenge in creating a compelling feel was choosing the right costumes and set. A mysterious stone henge formation was chosen as the backdrop to bring the Scottish Highlands to the stage. Struggling to find existing costumes that fit the feel of the dance, I sewed the skirts myself, combining a traditional tartan with a more modern look.

Creating “Dance Upon My Tomb” was a challenging and rewarding experience. It inspired me and the other performers to look beyond the traditional vision of Highland dance. I hope to use this experience in the future with more choreographies for Shot of Scotch NYC.

Watch a video of the choreography here!
"Dance Upon My Tomb" performed by Anna Fitzgerald, Annelise MacLeod, Libby Maylen, and Emily Ritter

Shot of Scotch Vancouver

Seaforth Highlanders of Canada: Highland Homecoming Tattoo
 
It's every highland dancer's dream to be part of a Tattoo and we had the great honour to be part of the Seaforth Highlanders homecoming to their newly renovated Armoury on Sep. 24. The 80 year old building had undergone many upgrades over the past 4 years and the Highland Homecoming marked the official return of the Seaforths to their home station. The Tattoo portion of the day included stellar performances by the Seaforth Highlanders Pipes and Drums, The Vancouver Police Pipe Band, The Band of the 15h Field Regiment, Chor Leoni Men's Choir and of course Shot of Scotch Vancouver! 

We were represented not only by SoS company members that danced a set of dances with the Seaforth Pipes and Drums, but also by a handful of our adult students! As part of the finale, 6 Shot of Scotch Vancouver students, 4 company members and 6 Seaforth regiment members danced a Broadsword that stole the show. The Seaforths, having never done any highland dance before, had only four rehearsals to learn and perfect this dance. They did an amazing job! With an estimated 1000 people in the audience, including our Minister of National Defence, Harjit Singh Sajjan, it was a thrill to be part of this event!


See a glimpse of our Broadsword performance HERE!
 

NEW YORK

Lessons: 

 
Mondays and Wednesdays 7:00-8:30 PM
Garment District , NYC


Monthly sign up required.  Classes are available for every level of dance experience.
*Classes offerings subject to change due to class enrollment

Youth Lessons & Private Lessons available as well


Member Rehearsals: 

Monday evenings 7:00-8:00 PM 
York Live Arts and Ripley Grier Studios
Accepting new members who have reached the premier level of dance.

Sign up here!

VANCOUVER

Lessons:

Sundays 10:00-11:30 AM Novice/Int/Premier Levels (Minimum of 1 year dance experience)

Sundays 11:30-1:00 PM Absolute Beginner Level (No dance experience necessary! Newcomers welcome!)

Broadway Ballroom (1050 West Broadway)

Fall Session #2 - Nov 6, 13, 20 & 27, Dec 4, 11 & 18; 7 classes, $175, Max. 8 students

Winter Session - Starts Jan 2017

Pre-registration and full session commitment required. 

Member Rehearsals: 

Wednesdays 8:00-9:30 PM
Scotiabank Dance Centre
Accepting new members who have reached the premier level of dance.

Sign up here!
Quote of the season:
 

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”

- Friedrich Nietzsche

Follow New York!

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Follow Vancouver!

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Shot of Scotch New York Upcoming Events!


Public Event - Nov 28: Winter's Eve Festival, Lincoln Square, New York City, NY

Public Event - Dec 3: Sinterklaas Festival & Parade, Rhinebeck, NY

Shot of Scotch Vancouver Upcoming Events!


Public Event - Oct 17-23: International Body Music Festival, Paris, France

Public Event - Nov 12 : Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra Ceilidh, Highlands United Church, 3255 Edgemont Blvd, North Vancouver, BC

Public Event - Nov 19 : St. Andrew's Ball 2016, Diamond Ballroom, 1495 West 8th Avenue, Top Floor, Vancouver BC
Copyright © Shot of Scotch 2016, All rights reserved.

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We’re Going to Paris!

Shot of Scotch Vancouver has been invited to present original choreography at the International Body Music Festival (IBMF) in Paris France! This is a gathering of world-class artists from across the globe, taking place in Oct 2016. The IBMF specifically presents artists who create music using their bodies alone. This includes vocalists, dancers and body percussionists. This year’s line up includes artists from France, Brazil, Turkey, USA, Greece, Spain, Austria, Cuba, Columbia, Denmark, and South Africa to name a few! Shot of Scotch Vancouver will be one of only three Canadian company attending this year’s festival. At the IBMF, we will present our ground breaking original Shot of Scotch Body Music Suite, something unique and unseen before. This is the creation of our Artistic Director Susan Nase, also a professional tap dancer and vocalist.  In addition to performing, we will teach a master class of Scottish highland dances.

The suite shares a strong demonstration of our traditional roots and then strays from those roots to play in the world of body music. Traditionally, highland dance is accompanied by bagpipe music making it a primarily visual art form. The delicate sounds of the brushing of the feet, the stomp of the jig shoe, the slide of the foot along the leg, are left for rehearsal rooms only. It was these “unheard” sounds that inspired director Susan Nase to create the Shot of Scotch Body Music Suite. What would happen if highland dance was composed based on the rhythms made by our footwork? The suite explores this idea and also expands to the idea of accompanying the visual highland dance with vocals, body percussion and traditional Scottish songs.

We are thrilled to be part of this festival because the IBMF provides us the opportunity to represent and promote Canada and Scottish Highland dancing at an international artistic event. Not only will we be able to showcase our culture, our passions and our roots, but we will also have the opportunity to collaborate, network, exchange, and learn from internationally renowned artists. The open mic night, various workshops and events allow us to exchange in a unique and rare way, which could lead to future collaborative projects at the international level.

We see this invitation as a clear indication that Shot of Scotch Vancouver has increasing success and growth, and that we are gaining international attention and exposure. Stay tuned for updates on our preparations for this festival! Sponsorship opportunities are available so please contact us if interested in helping us get to Paris.  Thank you for your continued support!!  See you in Paris!!

 

Shot of Scotch Newsletter: Summer 2016

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Summer 2016

Shot of Scotch Vancouver

We’re Going to Paris!

Shot of Scotch Vancouver has been invited to present original choreography at the International Body Music Festival (IBMF) in Paris France! This is a gathering of world-class artists from across the globe, taking place in Oct 2016. The IBMF specifically presents artists who create music using their bodies alone. This includes vocalists, dancers and body percussionists. This year’s line up includes artists from France, Brazil, Turkey, USA, Greece, Spain, Austria, Cuba, Columbia, Denmark, and South Africa to name a few! Shot of Scotch Vancouver will be one of only three Canadian companies attending this year’s festival. At the IBMF, we will present our ground breaking original Shot of Scotch Body Music Suite, something unique and unseen before. This is the creation of our Artistic Director Susan Nase, also a professional tap dancer and vocalist. In addition to performing, we will teach a master class of Scottish highland dances.

The suite shares a strong demonstration of our traditional roots and then strays from those roots to play in the world of body music. Traditionally, highland dance is accompanied by bagpipe music making it a primarily visual art form. The delicate sounds of the brushing of the feet, the stomp of the jig shoe, the slide of the foot along the leg, are left for rehearsal rooms only. It was these “unheard” sounds that inspired director Susan Nase to create the Shot of Scotch Body Music Suite. What would happen if highland dance was composed based on the rhythms made by our footwork? The suite explores this idea and also expands to the idea of accompanying the visual highland dance with vocals, body percussion and traditional Scottish songs.

We are thrilled to be part of this festival because the IBMF provides us the opportunity to represent and promote Canada and Scottish Highland dancing at an International artistic event. Not only will we be able to showcase our culture, our passions and our roots, but we will also have the opportunity to collaborate, mingle, exchange, and learn from internationally renowned artists. The open mic night, various workshops and events allow us to exchange in a unique and rare way, which could lead to future collaborative projects at the international level.

We see this invitation as a clear indication that Shot of Scotch Vancouver has increasing success and growth, and that we are gaining international attention and exposure. Stay tuned for updates on our preparations for this festival! Sponsorship opportunities are available so please contact us if interested in helping us get to Paris. Thank you for your continued support!! See you in Paris!!

YouTube Video

Shot of Scotch New York City

Our Competition Memories

The summer is in full swing and for highland dancers that can only mean one thing, Competition Season! We practice all year round and finally put all our hard work on display at Highland Games and competitions all over the world. Our choreographer, Emily Ritter, has fond memories of traveling all the way to Scotland with her family to compete. She even got her picture in a local Scottish newspaper! Kendra Monroe, Shot of Scotch co-founder and creative director, traveled with her sister and dance friends to the 1994 Southeast Regional competition in Savannah, GA. She walked away with awesome memories of goofing off on River Street with her fellow dancers as well as a trophy, which qualified her for Nationals!

While competition days are always full of fun, they don’t always go smoothly. Unpredictable weather and injuries can put a damper on any dancer’s day. Anna Fitzgerald, our performance coordinator, was competing in the Fling at 10 or 11 years old and landed on a tac. It went right through her ghillie into her foot, she explains, “after several painful hops on it, I stopped dancing, started crying, and ran/hobbled off the stage.” Luckily an understanding judge let her give it a second try!

Whether the day is full of laughter or tears, competition days are always memorable! We are excited to congratulate Shot of Scotch Dancer, Marjorie Stewart, who competed last month at the Rhode Island Scottish Highland Festival at age 46 and plans to continue competing. We can’t wait to hear about all of the stories she and her fellow Shot of Scotch members make in the years to come!

(Upper left going clockwise: Emily Ritter in a Scotland newspaper, Anna Fitzgerald in North Carolina, Kendra Monroe in Savannah, GA and Marjorie Stewart in Richmond, RI

NEW YORK

Lessons:


July, August, September
Wednesday (beginner adult) 7-8 pm*
Thursday (intermediate adult) 7-8:30 pm*

Monthly sign up required. Classes are available for every level of dance experience.
*Classes offerings subject to change due to class enrollment

Youth Lessons & Private Lessons available as well


Member Rehearsals:

Monday evenings 7-8pm at New York Live Arts and Ripley Grier Studios
Accepting new members who have reached the premier level of dance.

Sign up here!

VANCOUVER

Lessons:

Thursdays 7:00 PM-9:00 PM OPEN LEVEL CLASS

Scotiabank Dance Centre (677 Davie St, "Zagar" Studio on 7th floor)

Summer Session Dates - July 7, 14, 21 & 28, Aug 4, 11, 18 & 25

5-class card available to allow more summer flexibility!

Regular Sunday classes (including Absolute Beginners) to start again in Sept.

Member Rehearsals:

Wednesday evenings 8:00-9:30 PM at Scotiabank Dance Centre
Accepting new members who have reached the premier level of dance.

Sign up here!
Quote of the month:

"You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive.”

Merce Cunningham

Follow New York!

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube

Follow Vancouver!

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube

UPCOMING EVENTS

Shot of Scotch New York Upcoming Events!


Public Event - Aug 27: Long Island Highland Games, Old Westbury Gardens, Old Westbury NY

Public Event - Aug 31: 8 In Show, Dixon Place Theater, 161A Chrystie Street, New York, NY


Public Event - Sept 18: Fort Tryon Medieval Festival, 99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY

Shot of Scotch Vancouver Upcoming Events!


Public Event - Aug 1: Tsawwassen Sun Festival, Winskill Park, 5575 9 Avenue, Delta, BC, ~12:30 pm

Public Event - Sept 24: Highland Homecoming Tattoo, Seaforth Armoury, 1650
Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, ~2:30 pm (TBC)

Public Event - Oct 17-23: International Body Music Festival, Paris, France

Public Event - Nov 12 : Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra Ceilidh, Highlands United Church, 3255 Edgemont Blvd, North Vancouver, BC
Copyright © Shot of Scotch 2016, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
info@shotofscotch.org

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