The photograph above was NOT shown or discussed in class. It was however, a subject Jeremy and I had on our list of things we had wanted to share with you. In this photograph are dancers Alexandre Hammoudi and Misty Copeland in a production of Swan Lake, by the NYC Dance Project! in 2014. Swan Lake was choreographed to music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, in 1875–76. The original (first ever) choreography of Swan Lake was by Václav Reisinger. It was produced by the Bolshoi Ballet, in March, 1877, at the Bolshoi Theatre, in Moscow, Russia. Photograph: Copyright © 2016 NYC Dance Project, All rights reserved.
I will post an update to his blogpost soon, about the above photograph. Because it was not discussed in class, please do NOT write about in in this post. You will have another opportunity or place to comment on it soon, and on the historic role Copeland has played to date, in the world of ballet.
Prof. Jeremy Blair of the WMU Department of Dance was our guest artist/teacher yesterday, Wednesday, January 29. Class with Jeremy zeroed in on a number of key topics, including:
1) When and why we dance. This included analysis by the class on the purpose and functions of the many kinds of dance examined.
2) The connections between material Jeremy Blair presented about dance, and connections with content presented and discussed previously this semester.
3) Images of dance that the class deconstructed (see deconstruction in the DEARTS Glossary) in order to be better able to discern the exercise of power and control in dance.
4) The last major subject revolved around the world-famous ballet, Swan Lake. Perhaps it is more accurate for me to say that in the last portion of class, the topics centered on power, religion, politics, and of course, gender. Prof. Blair utilized Swan Lake as the ‘entry point’ (or example), with which we could rapidly ‘unpack’ these issues, while continuously referencing this extraordinary ballet. Jeremy and you all itemized differences between traditional productions of Swan Lake, that date back to 1877, and Matthew Bourne’s production, first staged in London, capital of England and the UK, in 1995. In the PM class, we found time to squeeze in a brief demonstration/exercise of some dance moves as well.
5) In conclusion, much of the class, with guidance from Jeremy Blair, Melissa Sparks, and I, seemed to come to a consensus that, (to paraphrase Jeremy), ‘Art is a political act when it expresses or provides commentary on an issue.’ Also, that art tends to challenge the status quo, even as it, and this is very important – simultaneously affords the artist opportunities to express their feelings.
Please choose ONE of the above topics or areas of interest, #1 - 5.
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