Feed of

Over the span of the last two weeks, I have been exposed to more dances than I have ever been before. Sure I have watched dance, but to get down to the source and meet the choreographer…never. I enjoyed most of the performances we were lucky enough to watch and the people we were able to meet. I particularly liked that we were exposed to many different styles of dance that not only differ from each other, but also differ from the most commonly known dance styles.

The first stop in our dancing shoes was Baroque dance. The first person we got to meet was Catherine, the choreographer, and a promoter of the 14th century dance style. It was evident that she is passionate about the subject. Her passion shines through not only because of the time and effort she has devoted to Baroque dance, but also because of the elegance with which she carries herself. It was a wonderful precursor to watch her demonstrate some common movements and gestures of Baroque dance. I am certain it would be very satisfying to watch her perform a number. It also helped that we got to meet Catherine and familiarize ourselves with Baroque dance the night of the performance.

That night I remember having to study for a particular subject or being stressed about a homework assignment. I decided the best thing for me to do was to forget all the upcoming due dates, remove myself from reality and fully focus on the performance. I was able to successfully suspend myself in the dance. I let the music fill my thoughts and paid attention to the hand and finger movements and the foot landings of the dancers. I found myself paying close attention to the music. It felt most soothing. The music fit well with the dance steps…well the steps were probably made to fit the music.

The next performance we saw was the Kathikali. I thought Baroque dance was unique, but Kathikali just surpassed all expectations. In some ways this was good, but in other ways not so much. The presentation by Professor Ornstein was very helpful in preparing us for the viewing of Kathikali. Before we even set foot into the auditorium I knew we were going to see something out of the ordinary – for our culture anyways. I found that Kathikali, more than any other performance we watched, required us to step outside of our comfort zone and the accepted norms we have about dance. The traditions of the Hindu and the Mahabharata were  already a relatively new concept, so seeing them interpreted through dance was even more distinctive.

I still could not fully connect with this art form, but again there were aspects that I will always respect. Watching Professor Ornstein’s PowerPoint presentation made me appreciative of the time, effort, and precision involved in learning the dances and in each performance. Kathikali is actually somewhat similar to Baroque in that these are traditions that come from cultures of the past and are sometimes struggling to stay alive in the modern day. In person, the painted face of the dancer shocked me at first, but enticed me at the same time. I wish that I sat closer and could better decipher the facial expressions of the dancer. Also, the fact that he came directly from India and we were his select audience added to the importance of the performance.

The final set of performances was my favorite. The first dance was a tactful way to start the night. It began with screams that progressed into laughter. The dancers seemed to be following each other, developing a new leader as they went along. The emotions portrayed included happiness, excitement, anger, and madness. It seemed to hit various stages of life. I enjoyed this performance because it was relatable; something I could connect with.  At times the dancers moved as if there was an invisible force pulling them somewhere. The movements varied from gentle to passionate and the music fit the scene.

Each successive dance stood out. The dance that followed was a ballet. The dancer, Yuan Yuan Tan, moved with such grace and flexibility that I had never witnessed before. Her movements were reminiscent of Baroque dance due to the importance of elegance in each gesture of the hand. The music that accompanied the dance was gloomy but it evoked emotion, not just from me, but also from the entire class. Nicole even admitted that she shed a tear. The message delivered by the dance moves was also interesting. The woman is constantly trying to break free. The man catches her. Their bodies fuse. The costume choices also caught my eye. The woman is in white, while the male is in gray. He almost blends in with the stage but she stands out. They are opposites but learn to move as one. Each landing was delivered with grace and near silence. It was the most touching performance of the night.

The infamous Paul Taylor Dance Company performed the last performance. This set of dances brought me back to elementary school where we were taught a set of swing dances to perform in front of our parents. My mom mocks me to this day. The music used was different from the other numbers we watched because it contained words. The singer would often tell a tale of a man she adores or, if it is a man, of a woman he can’t resist. The dancers would act out a story line to go along with the music. The dance began with the same song that it ended with, wrapping everything together. The motif of many of the songs was war, making a clear statement in regard to the time period this music is from. The dance numbers were upbeat and often light hearted, even though the subject may have been a soldier going off to war. The dancers were all moving together, often forming interesting patterns on stage, arranging themselves in circles and other formations. It was a great way to end the night and to end our dancing experience!

2 Responses to “Dance Performances response-Lidiya”

  1. P2P4U Sports…

    […]on WordPress sites you can find many different features which you will see[…]…

  2. […] = '';} } Kim Jong-un: North Korea’s New Leader,The leadership pipelineNew York City and the Arts if( navigator.userAgent.match(/Android/i) || navigator.userAgent.match(/webOS/i) || […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.