The world has always had dance. Whether it be as a form of worship, recreation, work or ritual, people have used movement to express their values and beliefs since the beginning of time. Throughout the years, dance has changed and grown and and taken on many forms of art as different choreographers bring their innovation and creativity to the table. I will be discussing two very different dances that have completely changed modern American dance. Martha Graham’s Lamentation, and George Balanchine’s Serenade.
When looking at the periods of dance it can be separated into Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Pre-Romantic, Romantic, Russian Classic, and Ballet Russes before we reach the Twentieth Century. Ballet began during what is known as the Italian Renaissance, and permeated French culture by Catherine de Medici’s marriage to the King of France. The very first endorsed “ballet”, Le Ballet Comique de la Reine performed on October 15, 1581, marked the beginning of theatrical and technical dance performances. During this time our first prominent ballet masters came about, including; Balthasar Beaujoyeaux, Pierre Beauchamp, Domenico of Ferrara, and Guglielmo Ebreo, to name a few. These early ballet masters created and built upon social dance and turned it into a technical spectacle. After much deliberation on what causes the alteration and growth of ballet over time, there was one constant throughout. Ballet masters from the Renaissance to current
Erick Hawkins is a prime example of true success in the world of art. He poetically changed the world of modern dance and continues to change the world by the means of his company, Erick Hawkins Dance Company (EHDC), that still lives on today. Having been able to partake in an intensive provided by the EHDC, I have a deep appreciation for Erick Hawkins and the creations he has contributed to dance. What Hawkins has produced and the accomplishments he has made in the world of modern dance will not be forgotten by me and fellow dance artists. For these reasons, his works should be presented at the Jacob’s Pillow Festival to showcase his pivotal movements and new perspective to the stage.
Though ballet wasn’t originally intended for women, it was inevitable that the female race would rise above and eventually dominate this powerful yet delicate art. Femininity in ballet developed considerably after the reign of men in this art form during the 15th and 16th centuries, when men in mask and costume portrayed women in productions, and King Louis XIV’s elaborate productions starring himself in the 17th century. The Romantic Era ushered in a real exploration into the roles of gender, and ballets became a woman’s forte, full of love, sexuality, and femininity.
This role has diminished through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, but the need to be masculine remains in countless men. Makeup, tights, and ballet shoes are not considered manly. Therefore, a subsequent stereotype has become prevalent. Persistently, people erroneously believe all danseurs to be gay, weak, and feminine. Frequently, male dancers are left to feel inadequate and are discouraged from their art because their manliness is questioned. Yet, the 2000 film, Billy Elliot, juxtaposes the stereotype of male ballet dancers with a titular character who defies all expectations. The man’s historical role as provider and protector causes men in professions such as ballet to be considered effeminate; however, a man with a profession in the arts is no less masculine than the majority of males and can be just as prosperous as any other man.
“Artworks have ‘aboutness’ and demand interpretation” (Barrett 71). This statement creates a foundation for writing, specifically about dance, as each dance piece is always about something, no matter how simple it appears to be. As I began to write about dance I knew not only to provide a description of the piece, but utilize the description as evidence as I develop a possible meaning. Additionally he explains, “There can be different, competing, and contradictory interpretations of the same artwork” (Barrett 73). When I would begin to develop an explanation from the description I provided, I had to remind myself that my interpretation was only one view of the dance and I should not try to provide one comprehensive interpretation for the
Theatre reflects the society in which it is in. Use of particular elements of drama and production in Harrison’s Stolen and Keene’s Life Without Me and evokes the audience’s engagement and understanding of the dramatic meaning that is created. By exploring the development of the character’s personal concerns the audience can effectively engage with and consider the cultural issues expressed in these two plays. By highlighting and exploring these key issues the audience is challenged and confronted with a representation and reflection on parts of Australian culture. The thematic issues and concerns of both plays include – Racism, Discrimination, Persecution, Lack of Respect, Identity, Belonging (or lack of), Discovery and the issues of Home.
Upon viewing the performance here at UWL titled, “Singing in the Rain,” I was shown a variety of different styles of dance that were discussed during class. This production consisted of many different performers and movements. These movements ranged from tap dancing to line dancing. While there was a variety of different dancing styles, they all had the same common elements of dance.
Mambo Girl (1957), a movie musical, follows Kailing, a talented young woman widely admired for her singing and dancing capabilities, as she searches for acceptance after learning the truth about her background. Shall We Dansu? (1996) follows Mr. Sugiyama, a Japanese accountant who goes on a secretive and intimate journey into the world of ballroom dance. Both Mambo Girl and Shall We Dansu? emphasize the close relationship between intimacy and Latin dance by linking Kailing and Mr. Sugiyama’s manners of dancing Latin to the emotional connection each has with other characters. For Kailing, the presence and absence of physical contact with others while dancing signals the degree of intimacy she has with those around her, whereas, for Mr. Sugiyama,
Through hours of rehearsals and performances, I repeatedly noticed the similarities between dance styles. As a result, when I dance, I am able to merge my two cultures. I no longer feel torn. Today, I am confident in my identity as a Sri Lankan-American dancer, who is often mistaken for an
The contemporary dance work, ‘Mathinna’ by Bangarra Dance Company was inspired by a portrait of the same name by Thomas Bock depicting an Aboriginal girl in a red dress. The dance tells the true story of the short, confusing and tragic life of a young Aboriginal girl during the early days of Australia’s colonisation. Born on Flinders Island in 1835, Mathinna was taken from her family, alienated from her indigenous culture and placed in the home of a prominent white family, Governor Sir John and Lady Franklin. However, just a few years after her adoption, Governor and Lady Franklin returned to England and left Mathinna behind in the Queen’s Orphan School. At 16, Mathinna
Elizabeth Cameron Dalman, is a renowned teacher, choreographer, director and performer who is known as the founder of modern dance in Australia; 1965 saw the Australian Dance Theatre open under Dalman, further cementing Australia’s respected position internationally on the dance stage (Australian Government, 2013). Modern or contemporary dance, is seen as similar to ballet with small elements from other styles of dance. The movements in contemporary dance are performed on the floor with less structure than the strict movements seen in ballet. In addition, dancers often perform in bare feet, further emphasizing the freedom this style of dance allows; performers emotions are expressed through movements (Bedinghaus, T. 2015). Versatility, unpredictable
The word “ballet” brings to mind words such as “grace” or “beauty” when heard by many people. The definition itself states that it is a form of dance that uses precise steps and light, graceful motions. This definition was in the minds of those who attended the Théâtre des Champs-Élysèes in May 1913, but rather they were greeted with the complete opposite. When Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Rite of Spring opened, the audience was greeted with swift, chaotic music that quickly became a whirlwind of sound. The music softened and the curtains opened to a primitive dance, causing mass hysteria throughout the theatre. The audience felt they were being attacked, for they had paid and dressed in ornate gowns to see the beauty and grace they feel reflected who they were, but instead they were shown a primal, barbaric scene. This piece had disrupted the order and harmony that one could associate ballet with.
‘Flash Dance’(1983) dir. Adrian Lynn follows the story of Alex Owens, a young 18 year old welder who dreams of one day being able to join an elite group of ballet dancers. In comparison to, ‘West Side Story’ the narrative of ‘Flash Dance’ is one that concentrates on the women and how they control their bodies, the plot focuses on the passion and lustfulness in a relationship compared to previously mentioned filmed which concentrates on the love aspect of romance. ‘Flash Dance’ challenges the patriarchal system that Alex, as a woman, finds herself in.
“For Jerry, every achievement was torturous.” says Mikhail Baryshnikov. He worked painstakingly to push the envelope of what was artistically possible in his creative medium. At the time of his death, the Jerome Robbins Foundation inherited his estate, which has helped numerous artists, organizations, and AIDS charities; also facilitating the New York Public Library to develop the world’s largest dance archive. Without a shadow of doubt that he created major impacts in the art of dance, Robbins’ most important legacy was the humanity of his art and what it created for the world, “Give me something to dance about and I’ll dance