WMU Department of Dance students rehearsing Fire Dance by Loie Fuller. Photo by Katie Fournier.
This post opened at 8:30 Wednesday night. The post will remain open until 10 pm on Sunday. You are welcome to comment TWICE: First about class on Wednesday; and second about the concert itself. The NEW questions about the concert are now immediately below these words. (They were posted at 7 pm on Friday.) You will find questions posted earlier this week about Wednesday’s class at the bottom of this page.
Below are eight questions you may want to consider for this post. If you would like to approach writing your comments in a structured way, take advantage of this excellent resource developed at the University of Minnesota. The chart they created about Elements of Dance can be used to increase your observational skills, as we have been doing in class when analyzing images: http://www.elementsofdance.org/begin-here.html
1. In One from the musical A Chorus Line, dancers engulfed the stage performing a precision kickline routine. How did this dance differ from other pieces in the concert? What was unique about this routine?
2. Dipthong, choreographed by Brian Enos, contained significant shapes and gestures. Describe shapes you saw the dancers create with their bodies, and the spatial relationships between the dancers. How did this abstract (see glossary) piece reflect the title and music? How was the dancing dissonant from the music and title? (see the word dissonance in the Glossary)
3. Loie Fuller’s Fire Dance was performed to Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. How did the music and lighting enhance the use of silk in the performance?
4. As described in class, Antony Tudor was known for his psychological ballets. Lilac Garden is a good example of one of his psychological ballets. This dance focuses on storytelling and the emotional struggles of characters, more so than ballet technique, gestures and facial expressions used to convey these struggles. Describe and analyze some of the gestures seen in Lilac Garden. How did they aid in telling the story?
5. The Getting,’ choreographed by MacArthur fellow Kyle Abraham featured civil rights images and a diverse cast, including a female playing a male role. How did the incorporation of these elements enlighten this piece? What moment in this dance stood out most to you, and why?
6. As we saw in a photograph of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., light can be a powerful tool. How did lighting enhance the performances by WMU Alumni in the award-winning dance Foreground?
7. Frank Chaves’ Charanga featured partner, solo, and unison jazz dancing. As discussed in class by Jeremy Blair and others this past week, jazz dance has its own history and elements that are characteristic of this quintessentially American style of dance. What elements of Charanga clearly reflected characteristics of jazz dance?
8. Choose a favorite dance or moment in the concert. What elements stood out most to you? Why was this your favorite?
Previously posted questions:
Please select any ONE of the following topics. Please be sure you label your comment with the appropriate number. (#)
1. After hearing from jazz professor Monique Haley, and guest artist and former prima ballerina from the American Ballet Theatre, Ms. Amanda McKerrow, about the challenges of a professional dancer what surprised you about this lifestyle? Why?
2. The ballet dancers featured in Lilac Garden as well as Amanda McKerrow described the expense and work involved with pointe shoes. Do you have an instrument necessary to accomplish a hobby or activity that takes similar care and effort to prepare for its use? Describe the item and explain your process.
3. Ballet is a dance form created, as you have seen – to exercise power. The originators of modern dance rebelled against the rigidity of ballet and appropriated gestures and movements of ‘regular’ people. These “pedestrian movements” can be found throughout Kyle Abraham’s The Gettin’ and Lauren Edson’s Foreground. Describe a pedestrian movement found in either of these dances that you do in your everyday life. What was its impact in the dance?
4. Describe gestures or body language within Antony Tudor’s work Lilac Garden. Interpret the gestures or body language you observed that may reveal thoughts and emotions of characters in this psychological ballet.
5. According to WMU’s ballet professors as well as guest artist Amanda McKerrow, how does the use of a pointe shoe change the performance of dancers in Antony Tudor’s Lilac Garden? Why function do the pointe shoes perform in this particular ballet? In other words, why might one consider point shoes a necessity in this work?
6. Brian Enos’ Dipthong creates repetitive movements in both unison and individualized performances. What shapes stood out to you? What might the word "dipthong" say to you about this work – one you will see Thursday night?
7. In the late 19th century, many said that Loie Fuller’s “free dance” was not a ‘true’ dance form given the popularity of ballet at that time. However, this “free dance” style was a precursor to modern dance. Imagine you are a dance critic in 1890's Europe defending Loie Fuller's Fire Dance as a legitimate new art form. Based on what you saw of the performers in and out of costume during our class session, what would you have written in Fuller’s time period, to acknowledge the importance of this new kind of dance?
8. Frank Chaves’ Charanga contains Cuban jazz music with dancers in character heels creating ‘vocal’ sounds. How did these elements affect your response to this dance? Compare this dance to any of the other dances. In what way did you notice yourself responding differently – in your body? Emotionally?
9. Jeremy Blair mentioned kinesthetic empathy. When watching the excerpts being rehearsed, was there a moment in which you felt kinesthetic empathy to one of the movements or dances? Describe what happened and how it was that you felt kinesthetically empathetic.
This post opened at 8:30 Wednesday night. The post will remain open until 10 pm on Sunday. You are welcome to comment TWICE: First about class on Wednesday; and second about the concert itself.