Tuesday, December 13, 2011
A drum and bugle corps, also known as a drum corps, is a musical marching unit (similar to a marching band) consisting of brass instruments, percussion instruments, and color guard. Typically operating as independent non-profit organizations, drum corps perform in competitions, parades, festivals, and other civic functions. Participants of all ages are represented within the drum and bugle corps activity, but the majority are between the ages of 13 and 22.
Competitive corps participate in summer touring circuits, like Drum Corps International (DCI) and Drum Corps Associates (DCA). Corps prepare a new show each year, approximately 8–12 minutes in length, and refine it throughout the summer tour. Shows are performed on football fields and are judged in various musical and visual categories, or "captions". Musical repertoires vary widely among corps and include symphonic,jazz, big band, contemporary, rock, wind band, vocal, Broadway, and Latin music, among other genres. Competitive junior corps spend roughly 8–10 weeks on tour, practicing and performing full-time. All-Age and Alumni corps have less demanding schedules, practicing and performing mostly on weekends.
For the corps that remained, longer travel times were necessary to attend the shrinking numbers of contests, further adding to the financial and time demands on the organizations and their individual members. At the same time, costs for the increasingly complex field shows mounted, and creative and instructional demands rose, leading many competitive corps to falter and become inactive. By the late 1990s, only a fraction of the corps that existed in the 60s and 70s remained, although several new corps, some of which have become very successful, did start up along the way.
Also, non-competitive classic-style corps (often and sometimes inaccurately known as "alumni corps") saw a renaissance beginning in the mid-1980s, and they continue to organize in the 21st Century; members often remain vigilant about the traditions and virtues of the drum corps activity before the advent of more modern influences.
Freed from the traditional and more-restrictive judging rules of the late 1960s, corps began making innovative changes such as the use of multi-valve horns, wide-ranging tempos, intricate asymmetric drill formations, elaborate guard costumes and props, and the use of stationary orchestral percussion instruments. A common criticism of drum corps is that it has become too similar to marching band, although in truth the two activities have evolved together over the years. The most apparent difference between the activities is the fact that corps use only bell-front brass instrumentation. Some corps still utilize the traditional G Bugle which is very rarely found in marching band. The competitive season for corps is in the summer rather than fall, with auditions and initial ensemble rehearsals actually beginning as early as late October of the previous year. The top-tier competitive drum corps programs are often far more complex and more professional than marching bands, as members in full-time touring corps have no distractions outside of corps during the season and membership is achieved only through highly competitive auditions.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Country Austria: History of Austria
The Early Days
The area of today’s Austria, that is the fertile Danube Valley and the Alpine valleys, were already settled in the Paleolithic Age (until approx. 8000 BC). Around 400 BC, Celtic peoples from Western Europe settled in the eastern Alps. A Celtic state, Noricum, developed around the region's ironworks in the second century BC. From the 7th century BC onwards one of the main regions of Celtic occupation was in modern-day Austria, centered around Hallstatt, a large prehistoric salt-mining area. The Hallstatt period, 750 - c.450 BC, is named after this region.
The Romans arrived 200 BC and by 15 BC they dominated the entire area. The most important Roman settlement in Austria was Carnuntum (capital of the Roman province of Pannonia in today’s Lower Austria) which became the center of the Roman fortifications along the Danube. Visit the Archaeology Park with a museum and an amphitheater.
From Ostarrichi to Austria
By the latter half of the second century AD, various German tribes were extending their territory making devastating incursions into Roman territories. By the mid-500s, the Bavarians controlled the territory between the eastern Alps and the Wienerwald region. Around 800 Charlemagne, the king of Franks and eventually Holy Roman Emperor, established a territory in the Danube valley known as the Ostmark (Eastern March). In 996 the Ostmark was first referred to as "Ostarrichi", a clear forerunner of the modern German word "Österreich".
Between 976, when Leopold von Babenberg became the margrave of the Ostmark, and 1246, the Duchy of Austria was one of extensive feudal possessions of the Babenberg family. The dynasty established their first residence in Pöchlarn before moving it to Melk in the scenic Wachau region. In the 12th century Henry II moved his residence to Vienna which has remained the capital of the country ever since. Also in the 12th century the Cathedral of Saint Stephan was completed, which became a visible landmark of the city, showing its prominence. Henry II also founded the Schottenstift monastaryin Vienna, in the courtyard of which there is a statue of him to this day.
Beginning of the Habsburg Rule
Some 100 years later Rudolf I emerged with the crown, beginning six centuries of Habsburg rule in Austria. The centerpiece of their realm was the Imperial Palace in Vienna, today accommodating several museums (Treasury, Sisi Museum) providing a good overview of the Habsburgs.
The Habsburgs increased their influence and power through strategic alliances ratified by marriages. Owing to premature deaths and/or childless marriages within the Burgundian and Spanish dynasties into which his grandfather, Maximilian I (1493-1519), and his father had married, Emperor Charles V (1519-56) inherited not only the Hereditary Lands but also the Franche-Comté and the Netherlands (both of which were French fiefs) and Spain and its empire in the Americas.
The Turkish threat, which included unsuccessful sieges of Vienna in 1529 and in 1683, prompted Poland, Venice, and Russia to join the Habsburg Empire in repelling the Turks. In the late 1690s, command of the imperial forces was entrusted to Prince Eugene of Savoy. Under his leadership, Habsburg forces won control of all but a small portion of Hungary by 1699.
With the end of the Turkish threat, the arts and culture experienced a surge. Splendid edifices such as Schloss Schönbrunn (World Cultural Heritage) or the Salzburger Dom were built; architects like Johann Fischer v. Erlach, Lukas v. Hildebrandt, Jakob Prandtauer, Daniel Gran, Paul Troger, Franz Anton Maulbertsch created exceptional monuments. Under the rule of Empress Maria Theresia (1717-1780) the Habsburg holdings were reformed and united. Following Maria Theresa's death in 1780, her son Joseph II, one of the so-called enlightened monarchs, continued the reforms along the lines pursued by his mother.
From Biedermeier to Jugendstil (Art Nouveau)
The French revolution in 1789 and the rise of Napoleon, who secured French possession of many Austrian territories, proved to be a major threat to the Habsburgs. During the Congress of Vienna (1814/15), held with the purpose of redrawing the continent's political map after Napolen’s defeat, Austrian Chancellor Metternich tried to reconsolidate Austrian power. In 1848 the French philosophy of middle-class revolution reached Austria, but the rebellion was promptly squashed, and Emperor Franz I and Metternich responded by cutting down civil liberties and introducing a strict censorship. As a result the people retreated to their houses, concentrated on the domestic and the non-political; social life came to a halt. The second part of the Biedermeier period was marked by a growing urbanization and industrialization that lead to a new urban middle class. People started to meet again, and the arts were cherished. Artists of this time include painters like Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller and Friedrich Gauermann, the composer Franz Schubert, and the poets Adalbert Stifter, Ferdinand Raimund and Franz Grillparzer.
In the end the Emperor Ferdinand I was eventually pressured to abdicate in favor of his nephew Emperor Franz Joseph I, whose 68-year reign was one of Austria’s longest. Together with his wife Elisabeth, the legendary "Sisi", he shaped the image of the Austrian imperial rule. Under his rule Vienna became of the Europe’s most important metropolises and the center of a multinational state extending from Hungary to North Italy and deep into southern Europe.
Johann Strauß, the King of Waltz, was celebrated all over the world for his wonderful musical compositions. Sigmund Freud was the founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychology, a movement that popularized the theory that unconscious motives control much behavior. Around 1900 the Vienna Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) peaked during which forward-looking artists and designers seceded from the mainstream salon exhibitions, to exhibit on their own in more congenial surroundings. Noted Jugendstil artists include the painters Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, and the architects Otto Wagner and Adolf Loos. A walk along the Vienna Ringstraße boulevard with its splendid buildings, a visit to the Sisi or Sigmund Freud Museum or the Österreichischen Galerie Belvedere provide a good overview of this epoch.
The 20th Century
Brimming with ethnic tensions and locked into a rigid system of alliances from the 19th century wars, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy was a catastrophe waiting to happen. The necessary spark was the assassination of the Austrian archduke and heir to the throne, Franz Ferdinand in June 1914 in Sarajevo. Austria’s declaration of war against Serbia marked the beginning of World War I. Emperor Franz Joseph dies in 1916 and after the end of the war in 1918 the first Republic of Austria was established, ending the 640-year old Habsburg dynasty. The young republic suffered massive inflation, unemployment, and near economic collapse. In 1933, the weak coalition government between the Christian-Social and the Social-Democratic parties gave way when Engelbert Dollfuss became Chancellor in 1932 as head of a right-wing coalition government, designed to tackle the problems caused by the Depression. In May 1934 Doffluss declared martial law in order to protect Austria from Hitler. In July Dollfuss was shot and killed by Nazis in an attempted coup.
On March 12, 1938, German troops marched into Austria and the country was incorporated into the German Reich ruled by Adolf Hitler. After the end of World War II in 1945, Austria was restored to its 1937 frontiers and occupied by the victorious allies – the USA, the Soviet Union, the UK, and France – for a decade.
The 21st Century
On May 15, 1955, the Austrian State Treaty was ratified, with Austria declaring its permanent neutrality. Thanks to its location near the “Iron Curtain”, Austria soon developed into a nerve center between the West and the East. After the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and the 1968 Prague Spring Invasion, Austria grants asylum to the refugees. Austria is also host country of many international organizations (UNO, OPEC) as well as host of many important conference and summit meetings. The Iron Curtain fell in 1989/90; in 1995 Austria becomes a member of the European Union.
Leave a few minutes early for your dance lessons and give yourself some time to warm up your body before class if its cold outside. Dance injuries happen usually due to the muscles not being warm before using them. It happens more easily then you think! Wear a sweater or light jacket to start the class off and take it off after you have warmed up.
Should you buy dance shoes?
If you are thinking about buying dance shoes, there are a couple of things you might want to consider first. Are you sure you are going to be taking lessons on a regular basis? If you are just starting lessons you might want to wait and make sure you like dancing first and then go out and buy a pair.
If you are already dancing regularly at lessons and socials, you may want purchase some. Depending on what dances you are taking, will determine what type of shoes you should buy. For instance, if you are thinking of competing in Country and Western or you mostly go to social country dances, you may want to get "dance boots". One brand is called "Evening Star". If you want dance shoes that are good for any kind of couples dancing, you may want to consider "ballroom practice shoes". Be careful though, there is a good $20 dollar price difference between shops for the exact same shoes. You can't return or exchange any shoes after you have worn them. Some shops have no returns at all!
Social Dance Etiquette #1
Do not teach or criticize your social dance partners while you're out on the social dance floor. Remember, you are out there for fun and your partner is too. It is embarrassing for the person being told how to dance. It accomplishes nothing for anyone to go home at the end of an evening of dancing and feel bad about themselves and their dance technique. I don't criticize anyone about their dancing technique, even if they ask me to, on the social floor. Its inappropriate! Lighten up and have some fun! Let their teachers instruct them in group class or in a private lesson.
"Practice makes perfect"
Well, I don't know about perfect but it sure helps the memory out. Even going through what you learned in class for 5 minutes ago, when you get home makes a big difference in remembering for the following week's lesson or social. Several times I have heard "well we can't seem to find the time together to practice during the week with our busy schedules". My response is "practice yourself." It's amazing how going over pivot turns by yourself or thinking about where you prep to lead a turn really improves your own dancing. Then in class you can practice together. And secondly, attend some dances, if you don't already, that's where you can have fun socially with everyone from your group class plus get some floor time in. Who cares if you mess up, that's why everyone else is there too, for the practice!!
"Should I be warming up before my dance lesson?"
Yes of course you should stretch before any kind of dance class or social. Muscles can be cold and tight and injured easily if your not careful. Five minutes to stretch your body a little should do the trick for social dancing.
It is very easy to hurt shoulder joints for both the ladies and the gentlemen when leading turns and following them. Even knees and hip joints due to rotating incorrectly or the wrong kind of shoes that stick to the floor.
Be careful with your body, it only takes leaving a few minutes earlier for class to give yourself enough time to stretch and warm up.
Ideas for stretching include: rolling your head around to loosen up neck joints, rolling shoulders in a backward and forward rotation as well as pushing them down and back for a feeling of proper dance posture, moving arms up above your head and behind you, circling ankles in and outwards so you don't twist them, moving legs from the hip joint forward and back to loosen those joints up as well.
Footwork is one of the cornerstones of good ballroom dancing - but it doesn't mean only learning the steps, it's also where your feet go and in what manner. One of the coolest things appearance-wise to learn, is to dance with one's feet together instead of apart. Your feet should actually lightly brush against one another as they move. This means you have to develop a good sense of balance, because - let's face it - it's always easier to balance standing and moving with your feet apart. GFV
Kicksteps - whatever dance you're doing, try not to kick with your toes up. This is good if you're doing Country Western dancing, but for Ballroom, try to point your toes down and to the outside. It looks better. GFV
"Line dancing" is a great way to work on body and foot technique. I still hear how many people can't stand line dancing and I think it is because they haven't tried it recently. No longer is it danced just to country music, line dancing is danced to every kind of music from swing to top 40 pop. Its fun and it teaches us coordination. This is how some dancers learn to syncopate for west coast swing or cha cha, its a chance to work on feet instead of lead and follow. Its great exercise and challenging to say the least. Line dancing has come a long way in the past 10 years or so. It may not be the greatest thing to sit and watch but it sure is fun to participate. Give it a try, work on foot positions, foot placements, arm styling, Cuban motion, etc. and you will find it improves your couples dancing as well.
Gentlemen: When starting a dance take your time finding the correct beat of music to begin on. Sometimes it helps to tap it out with your foot on the floor and start on the "1" count. It is usually the easiest beat to find in the music.
Break on 2,3
Make sure if you are dancing Cha Cha that you are breaking on the "2,3", it will feel better if you are dancing on the correct beat.
Try to have patience and wait for the gentlemen to get the dance started, remember he is leading.
The term "grounding" is used in dancing, but many dancers still have a hard time understanding this word. Basically if you can picture yourself walking across an ice rink, most people will try to walk across the ice so that they don't slip and fall. When dancing, you want to place your feet on the dance floor like you don't want to let them slip. Accomplishing this requires pressing your center into the ground over top your feet. Your feet must be placed in which ever position that is correct and no movement or adjustments after the placement. This grounding technique will make your footwork cleaner and your balance more solid.
Try using the "cup and pin" technique for the connection of hands while spinning or turning. This is done by the leader making a pin with his third and fourth fingers (preferably) and connecting the pads of those fingers to the followers hand which is cupped slightly with the thumb tucked to her forefinger (out of the way of getting caught during the turns). It is important that the follower keep her palm and wrist facing away from her and to connect to the leaders hand gently. The leader can then easily rotate her because her fingers and palm (cup) will rotate with his fingers (pin) as she turns. In order for this to work, the follower has to have a soft tone in her arm, especially the shoulder and not push her hand above her head where she can't see it. If this happens, it is impossible for the leader to tell you how many spins he wants and makes it difficult to bring the followers hand down to stop the rotation. All of this is important for good lead and follow technique.
Proper dance technique
Lots of dancers say to me when taking lessons, both group and private, that they just want to be good social dancers and not competitors, so why do they have to learn proper dance technique. I reply with this explanation, "without using good dance technique you don't become a great social dancer". If your not using the correct foot positions, or the proper posture it causes balance problems and lead and follow problems as well. Usually when a move doesn't work, it is because of an incorrect body position or some other dance technique problem. I think that some people confuse technique with showmanship, that the competitors are trying to achieve. Learning proper technique makes you more enjoyable to dance with, whether you are a leader or a follower in couples' dance. Good technique makes a dancer look smoother and helps the general flow of the dance executed.
While dancing West Coast Swing be careful not to coaster on your anchors, anchor in place and wait for the forward lead on the next pattern.
While dancing West Coast Swing allow the ladies to finish their anchor before leading them into your next pattern.
Beginner Dancer's Tip
Try never to refuse a dance with someone who is asking you. It doesn't feel very good to be rejected. This tip is for the ladies and the gentlemen, and a reminder to the Intermediate/Advanced dancers as well. This is how we learn to be better dancers; by dancing with lots of different partners and dancers of all levels.
Patience while learning moves in group class, the gentlemen have lots more to think about then the ladies, focus in on your following skills and most importantly the connection you are giving to your partner, rather then back leading the pattern for yourself.
When taking a partner on the floor to dance, try warming her up by some nice easy basics first. Then gradually move up the level of patterns after determining whether your dance partner is ready to follow the more advanced moves. Remember your job is to make her look good and in return, you will look good as well.
Make sure you have strong basics in any dance you are learning, before moving up a level or learning new patterns. It will make the next level a lot more frustrating if you don't know your basics well enough. We all started at the beginning and repeated the first level a few times before moving up. Sometimes as intermediate or advanced dancers, its a good idea to refresh our memories by taking a basic class again, as a reminder of a few things we have forgotten about.
If you want to be cool dancing the Swing, posture and attitude are important and go hand-in-hand (no pun intended). Whereas one's back is arched slightly backward in closed-position ballroom dances such as the Fox Trot, savvy Swing dancers are actually bent forward a little bit. This - along with slightly flexed knees - allows for quicker movements which is important since Swing features several reversal of directions moves. (Courtesy Fox Tales newsletter)
Dance instructors - If you would like to share your dance tips, please email the webmaster.
Dance Fitness Sports www.Centralhome.com
Monday, December 5, 2011
A very attractive rose with a good perfume, Dancing Queen produces large, beautifully shaped blooms of bright pink continuously through the summer. The foliage is disease resistant and are an attractive dark, glossy green
Rose Bushes are sold bareroot in winter and pot-grown during the rest of the year. You can buy everything from old heritage roses to the newest modern garden varieties.
Link from: ashridgetrees
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Gunfighter link: Gunfighter
Gunfighter , is a 20th century word, used in cinema or literature, referring to men in the American Old West who had gained a reputation as being dangerous with a gun. The term used for these individuals in the 19th century was more commonly "gunman."
History of Santa Clause Link from:http://www.the-north-pole.com/history/
In looking for the historical roots of Santa Claus, one must go very deep in the past. One discovers that Santa Claus as we know him is a combination of many different legends and mythical creatures.
The basis for the Christian-era Santa Claus is Bishop Nicholas of Smyrna (Izmir), in what is now Turkey. Nicholas lived in the 4th century A.D. He was very rich, generous, and loving toward children. Often he gave joy to poor children by throwing gifts in through their windows.
The Orthodox Church later raised St. Nicholas, miracle worker, to a position of great esteem. It was in his honor that Russia's oldest church, for example, was built. For its part, the Roman Catholic Church honored Nicholas as one who helped children and the poor. St. Nicholas became the patron saint of children and seafarers. His name day is December 6th.
In the Protestant areas of central and northern Germany, St. Nicholas later became known as der Weinachtsmann. In England he came to be called Father Christmas. St. Nicholas made his way to the United States with Dutch immigrants, and began to be referred to as Santa Claus.
In North American poetry and illustrations, Santa Claus, in his white beard, red jacket and pompom-topped cap, would sally forth on the night before Christmas in his sleigh, pulled by eight reindeer, and climb down chimneys to leave his Christmas gifts in stockings children set out on the fireplace's mantelpiece.
Children naturally wanted to know where Santa Claus actually came from. Where did he live when he wasn't delivering presents? Those questions gave rise to the legend that Santa Claus lived at the North Pole, where his Christmas-gift workshop was also located.
In 1925, since grazing reindeer would not be possible at the North Pole, newspapers revealed that Santa Claus in fact lived in Finnish Lapland. "Uncle Markus", Markus Rautio, who compared the popular "Children's hour" on Finnish public radio, revealed the great secret for the first time in 1927: Santa Claus lives on Lapland's Korvatunturi - "Ear Fell"
The fell, which is situated directly on Finland's eastern frontier, somewhat resembles a hare's ears - which are in fact Santa Claus's ears, with which he listens to hear if the world's children are being nice. Santa has the assistance of a busy group of elves, who have quite their own history in Scandinanvian legend.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
image from: Vilma Victoria Morales Wespl
This Is Vilma Victoria Morales Wespl
she loves singing and recently she compose a nice song
for her group in VILMA´S PLANETROPIA ( FB TREASURED FRIENDS).
if you like to see her singing just click the Vilma's Planetropia.
She is Ladymerz Falconne in our Taga Labason Ka Kung a group of Labasonians which most of the social networker fan are common to visit this site, just to update their friends and relatives especially to those who are far from their families and love once.
Are We IN or OUT comment nah....