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mrMagenta

Posts: 942
Joined: Oct. 25 2006
From: Sweden

Bulerias time signature 

Which time signature do you think is best for transcribing bulerias?

3/4 with compas beat one on the first beat, like faucher does in the buleriando tab get's a bit messy in my opinion, but then I'm not a trained reader. To me It feels awkward that the 12 is on the last beat of a measure, for solea it makes sense.. but for bulerias?

Would you say it is crucial to have compas 1 on the notated beat 1? I'd like to have 12 on 1, and use either 6/8 or 6/4 as time signature. Things would line up more neatly.

When I transcribe solea, i use 12/4 because most of the time it's full 12's, and exceptions can be handled when they occur, but the basic bulerias unit seems to be the half-compas rather than the full 12.

Anyone for using a compound time signature for any of the palos?

I'd like to hear some of your thoughts.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2009 11:47:49
 
Ricardo

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From: Washington DC

RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to mrMagenta

We talked about and fought about this a lot in the archives. I personally can go different ways on this. I think it depends on how you want to represent the feeling in the music. In that case, the meter must change accordingly, even in mid song....for bulerias I mean.

Ricardo

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2009 14:03:29
 
duende

Posts: 3053
Joined: Dec. 15 2003
From: Sweden

RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to mrMagenta

If i write a buleria in Guitarpro for example i have the first beat as a 12.Its easier to read that way.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2009 10:49:12
 
mrMagenta

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From: Sweden

RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to mrMagenta

Henrik, nice seeing you around. How's it going?

I'll have a dig in the archive and read the discussion, but I think for personal use, I'll go with 12 on the first beat as well.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2009 10:56:31
 
Ricardo

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From: Washington DC

RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to mrMagenta

here was a good one, my post summed up my feelings on this, with a video demo too...

http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=88110&appid=&p=&mpage=1&key=&tmode=&smode=&s=#88176

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2009 6:28:40
 
NormanKliman

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RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to mrMagenta

Hey Mr. Magenta, I agree entirely with what Pimientito and Ricardo have said. It may seem strange, but it doesn't take long to get used to the placement of the bar lines. The only real problem that I can see is that, if you keep the score 12 beats to a staff, a lot of ideas are going to start at the end of one staff and continue on the following staff. But it doesn't take long before you "stop forgetting" that. It may seem a bit strange to insist on using the same format for a different style, but, as Ricardo's pointed out, bulerías is just a faster quarter note. It's also a good way to keep an eye on what's happening at beats 7-8 (or at least, it standardizes everything), insofar as relating it to soleá.

More importantly, and to paraphrase Pimientito, every experienced flamenco you'll ever meet will agree that the first long interval falls on 12, not 1. Unless of course they reject the whole idea of assigning numbers to the beats, which is also pretty common, but I think even in those cases they would end up agreeing that "12 is 12." Changing 12 to 1 makes sense if you look at if from outside the context of flamenco (nothing wrong with that, though). Hope it's understood that I'm NOT trying to say that someone like Agujetas counts.

I rarely count past 10 because it's a hassle taking off my shoes. And please don't ask me to count to 21...

Once I was listening to a cassette tape of Chocolate singing soleá, and wanted to skip ahead to another part. I accidentally fast-forwarded while it was still playing, and a perfect bulerías emerged. Parts of it were more than just similar, they were perfect! Since some of those bulerías cantes come from soleá, I always thought it'd be interesting to experiment with some recordings, speeding them up (without changing pitch) to see how similar the soleás are to their bulería counterparts.

IMO it's as simple as this: If it were supposed to start on 12, that beat would be called 1 instead of 12. Don't know if this has been mentioned, but I would definitely write guajiras etc. starting on the equivalent of beat 12. But not soleá, bulerías, etc, which, IMO, are a sophisticated development of the basic "3+3+2+2+2" thing that you hear in guajiras.

Henrik!!! I heard some excellent toques on your site, and it's got a really cool layout, too!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2009 8:42:22
 
mrMagenta

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RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to mrMagenta

Thanks Ricardo and Norman

Norman, I'm not saying that 12 should be changed to 1 regarding compas counting , that standard runs very deep and I wouldn't mess with that. The compas counting has to be superimposed on the notation wherever you set the measure bars. The question is, is it easier to superimpose on a symmetric shape of two 6/4 measures alt. four 3/4 compared to five 3/4 measures where two of the measures share beats with the previous or next cycle.

I don't want to argue against any form of transcription because having read that thread and what Norman is saying here above I can see both ways have pros and cons.

To me, what Ricardo shows in the video is something I'd call rhythmic modulation, especially when going from bulerias to tangos (very cool btw!), but even the solea escobilla into bulerias shift. I think it would be appropriate to show this in the score by changing time signature. Indicating the compas numbering as a complement isn't overly redundant either imho, could save a lot of confusion at those moments.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2009 11:08:12
 
mrMagenta

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From: Sweden

RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to mrMagenta

.. the more i think of it, the messier it gets in my head. downbeats, accents.. beginnings and cycles within cycles. if one were to indicate the change in downbeat that happens when a solea goes into bulerias.. how? in the measure where it happens, the last 'solea escobilla' measure would loose a beat? that seems a bit awkward too.

.. perhaps this is getting a bit too theoretical. keeping the same signature in a solea that modulates to bulerias makes sense too, the accents are the same, everything keeps ticking.. but the home position changes.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2009 11:20:33
 
KenK

 

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RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to mrMagenta

Thought I'd way in from the "outside".
I read a lot and well.
I work w/ other musicians and that's the way we communicate most efficiently.

I can't get over the "hump" of ignoring barlines.
People say it can be done but I just shake my head and move on...
It renders the score meaningless to me.

Coming from a fusion background, odd times and various sub divisions of the meter are nothing new. To me it's much easier to use barlines to denote the start of a rhythmic cycle. That's what they're for.

I'm not sure, but it seems the only people using the "compas clock" are
guitarists learning flamenco.
Do dancers use this system?

That's my 2¢.

Ken
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2009 12:40:44
 
Stu

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From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to KenK

I also use guitar pro but always have my first bar with 2 rests then the third beat as the 12. Like faucher does. for me if i try the other way it messes me up..suppose its what I'm used to.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2009 13:54:31
 
Ricardo

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From: Washington DC

RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to mrMagenta

quote:

ORIGINAL: mrMagenta

.. in the measure where it happens, the last 'solea escobilla' measure would loose a beat? that seems a bit awkward too.



That is right actually, it can sort of feel that way, but it depends on your foot tap. If you can SEE someone tapping the foot and when they change the way they feel the beat, it would be appropriate to change meter too. In some cases you eat a beat, but not always...

For me most rhythms in flamenco can be simply represented in "3" somehow, where the down beat is very heavy but we often play "off" of it....or around it....

Ricardo

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2009 14:18:32
 
NormanKliman

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RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to mrMagenta

mrMagenta, yeah with just about any system you use, there's going to be something that isn't made perfectly clear on paper, at least without some kind of text explaining the system. It's clear that using four measures of 3/4 doesn't show the accent on 8, for example.

KenK: It's not about ignoring the bar lines, just interpreting them in a different way. Bulerías comes from soleá, and there's a strong sense of one-two-THREE, with something very similar happening if you take it in sixes, tapping your foot on the even beats (12-2-4, 6-8-10). So putting the bar line after 12 indicates the end of a rhythmic cycle, rather than the beginning. It's one of those differences that all the flamencologists point out, that flamenco threes are different from a waltz rhythm (ONE-two-three). But there are several ways to write out bulerías, and they all work. And it's certainly not like any rules have been established, so a different system wouldn't be wrong. I think it's important to remember, though, that 12 isn't always a strong beat.

Ricardo, you must have posted just a second before I did! Probably 3 seconds...

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2009 14:43:36
 
KenK

 

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RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to mrMagenta

Hi Norman-

A couple months ago I had a pretty lengthy discussion about this w/ Ricardo,
We went back and forth a lot, the end result was I understand why people
write this way, to keep the accent structures the same, but it doesn't make it easier to deal with. I just skip bulerias charts written this way, preferring the "other" method.

I'm kind of an old fart and I've been reading music for decades.
Trying to get this barline shift is a little like putting on some weird glasses where one eye is upside down or something. I look at this stuff and I can't make heads or tales of it. But give me the same falseta with conventional barlines, and I'm fine.

The other thing is I would never give a chart like that to a bassist, drummer or horn player. They'd think I was nuts or clueless.

I like to learn and continue to expand my horizons.
A couple years ago I started playing erhu and checked out chinese notation.
Been working on the riq and dumbek and middle eastern rhythms.

So I like new things, but I'm just not able to wrap my head around this alternate barline universe when the conventional method actually works fine.

Thanks though,
Ken
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2009 0:36:53
 
XXX

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RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to KenK

quote:

ORIGINAL: KenK

I'm not sure, but it seems the only people using the "compas clock" are
guitarists learning flamenco.
Do dancers use this system?



Well they dont use notes
I would think almost everybody uses the clock since its the basic way to communicate, learn rythm. Even if they dont count with numbers.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2009 1:07:09
 
NormanKliman

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RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to KenK

Hi Ken,

quote:

the conventional method actually works fine.


Yeah, you're right, it does work fine. In fact, placing the first barline before 12 (using four measures of 3/4) comes a little closer to accurately mapping out the compás with a conventional understanding of sheet music. I think the use of a compound time signature, as mrMagenta has suggested, would probably be the most accurate system, although it would clutter the staff with bar lines. For siguiriyas, I prefer a three-part signature using 2/4, 6/8 and 1/4, with thicker bar lines to separate whole compases. I'd probably use 3/4 and 6/8 for guajiras, but IMO it's misleading to use that same system for bulerías. Hmmm, I think I've mentioned that already, haven't I?



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (1)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2009 1:42:04
 
val

 

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Post has been moved to the Recycle Bin at Nov. 8 2010 13:45:48
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2009 1:46:55
 
NormanKliman

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RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to val

Hi Val,

No, of course not! Didn't mean it to come across that way. I thought I was repeating myself too much, and I suddenly remembered that animated GIF file. A broken record would have made a better metaphor.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2009 5:58:25
 
Ricardo

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From: Washington DC

RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to NormanKliman

quote:

For siguiriyas, I prefer a three-part signature using 2/4, 6/8 and 1/4, with thicker bar lines to separate whole compases.


The one I would use for sig, is 7/8 (2+2+3) alternating with 5/8(3+2).

That captures the feel of the phrasing IMO. 7's like that, and 5's too, are very mediterranean grooves....
But alternating them that way is unique.

This also captures the harmonic rhythm, the Bb harmony in the 7/8, and the A harmony resolution taking up the entire 5/8 bar.

Ricardo

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2009 9:32:52
 
Sr. Martins

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RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to mrMagenta

I know this is an old post and what Iam going to say is a bit off topic..

Iam a begginer and one of the posts gave me a great idea for when Iam counting that I never thought of so it might be useful to somebody else:

5 fingers * 2 hands = 10

10 + 2 feet = 12


Got it? :p
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 11 2012 19:38:01
 
El_Tortuga

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From: Canada

RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to mrMagenta

Soleá is the 'mother' of Alegría and Bulería. As we know, both Soleá and Alegría can finish in Bulería. For this reason, I notate all of them in 3/4 time.

Bulería by itself could be written in 3/8 time, because it is usually fast of course.

The origin of the Seguiriya compás is actually the "hemeola", which is 3/4 + 6/8 happening together, or one after the other:

3/4 counting: 1 an 2 an 3 an 1 an 2 an 3 an (duple meter)
6/8 counting: 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 (triple meter)

If we alternate them, we get the hemeola as introduced by Gaspar Sanz, way back in the day:

1 2 3 4 5 6 1 an 2 an 3 an

(If you don't know who Gaspar Sanz is, look him up!)

For reasons I do not know, Seguiriya compás inverted the hemeola:

1 an 2 an 3 an 1 2 3 4 5 6

And then, again for reasons I do not know, Seguiriya falsetas don't begin on beat 1 of the 3/4, they begin on beat 2.

|| 2 an 3 an 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 an || 2 an 3 an 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 an ||

Since this way of counting is a bit awkward, many prefer just to number the accents:

|| 1 an 2 an 3 an a 4 an a 5 an || 1 an 2 an 3 an a 4 an a 5 an ||

But this does NOT mean Seguirya has 5 beats! It's still a compound meter.

Isn't counting flamenco fun? LOL

A similar thing happens in other palos. Take Fandango de Huelva for example. Many falsetas will begin on beat 11 (if you count your de Huelva in 12 beats), or beat 5 (if you count your de Huelva in 6 beats).

If we take the hemeola rhythms and MERGE them, we can transcribe for Fandango de Huelva and Sevillanas:

Two measures of 3/4 adding up to six beats: || 1 2 3 | 4 5 6 ||
Counting duple meter: || 1 2 3 | 4 5 6 ||
Now counting triple meter: || 1 2 3 | 4 5 6 ||
Now for the merge: || 1 2 3 | 4 5 6 ||

I have a few more things to add, but I'll do that later.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 11 2012 20:05:37
Guest

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 11 2012 21:10:12
 
Sr. Martins

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RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to mrMagenta

Thats nice. Iam glad that now I have the proper device to count the last two beats while Iam listening
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 11 2012 21:33:51
 
rombsix

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RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to El_Tortuga

My head is going to blow up.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 11 2012 22:37:51
 
Estevan

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From: Torontolucía

RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to rombsix

quote:

My head is going to blow up.

Well at least you're a doctor...

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 12 2012 0:54:43
 
El_Tortuga

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RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to rombsix

Yeah, I didn't mean for my reply to get that lengthy, but when I got going I couldn't help it LOL

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 12 2012 1:24:29
 
rombsix

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From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to El_Tortuga

quote:

Well at least you're a doctor...




quote:

Yeah, I didn't mean for my reply to get that lengthy, but when I got going I couldn't help it LOL


No, I wasn't referring to YOUR actual reply, Bob. Just happened to click "reply" to your post. I was referring to this whole discussion of time signatures and all that. Up until now, I've read the threads (not super carefully) but I still wouldn't know what a simple / straightforward answer (if any) I would give to someone should they ask me, "Why do we start counting buleria from 12 and most other 12-beat palos from 1?" Question doesn't involve time signatures or anything - just the way one counts the compas cycles...

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 12 2012 8:31:30
 
Paul Magnussen

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RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to mrMagenta

In my experience, neither starting on 1 nor starting on 12 works for all cases. If the bulería mixes both types of falseta, chances are you’re going to have to tie notes over somewhere.

And of course some falsetas start on beat 9½.

I’ve actually tried writing units of 11 and 13 beats to cater for these transitions. But in my opinion, there's no solution that's entirely satisfactory.

One thing is clear to me though: I hate seeing bars 12 beats long — I keep losing my place in the rhythm.

I have a bulería of Juan Serrano’s that I wrote out both ways (starting on 1 and starting on 12). The second has a lot less ties.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 12 2012 17:45:57
 
El_Tortuga

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RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to rombsix

quote:

ORIGINAL: rombsix

I still wouldn't know what a simple / straightforward answer (if any) I would give to someone should they ask me, "Why do we start counting buleria from 12 and most other 12-beat palos from 1?" Question doesn't involve time signatures or anything - just the way one counts the compas cycles...


My original point was that Soleá is the palo from which Bulería and Alegría originated. So I think that they should be treated the same, even though they differ widely in tempos. The thing about transiting from Soleá to Bulería, or from Alegría to Bulería, is that the feel starts changing when the tempo gets faster. But I don't count it any differently. And because I treat them the same, I'm able to transit to escobillas and back without difficulty too.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 12 2012 17:53:48
 
Ricardo

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From: Washington DC

RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to El_Tortuga

Good point about transition. But if you read link
I posted I also point out that the point
Of notating music rhythmically is to accurately
represent the FEEL. at the point of this change an accurate
transcription should also change meter notation.

Anyway it seems a problem unique to flamenco
and especially for acvompanististas who by
tradition don't read anyway lol

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 12 2012 22:13:13
 
rombsix

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RE: Bulerias time signature (in reply to El_Tortuga

So still, nobody has given me a simple answer to the question I posted a few replies above. Perhaps this is because I'm too thick-headed or that there is NO simple answer.

On a similar note - I went to accompany a dance class today, and the dancer used a loop that accents 7 and 8 to do footwork por solea. He was starting each cycle of footwork patterns on beat 12 instead of 1 even though he said this is solea that he is doing. I usually do Fmaj7 to C to Fmaj7 to E when doing regular compas por solea, and I have accompanied cante por solea before but never baile. I've seen escobillas of solea being played over the same chords I just mentioned and being counted starting from 1. Therefore what this dancer did today threw me off completely. I tried playing those chords like in an escobilla por solea over the loop he had running, but it sounded too weird to me and I couldn't really get the right feel. Plus the footwork he was doing was quite complicated rhythmically with LOTs of golpes and whatnot so I got quite lost. I then started playing the por medio (SpB or Buleria or Solea por medio ) chords because they work in my head when I hear the 7-8 accented loop.

The class ended in a hurry and other students came in for the next and I couldn't get to talk to the dancer for a possible explanation. I'll try to talk to him in a couple of days when I meet him next.

Any tips about this? Has anyone experienced dancers doing this before?

Cheers!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 12 2012 22:29:23
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