The type of dance I attended was a mix of ballet and modern. This involved group performances as well as individual performances. For the purpose of this paper I will narrow my observations to an individual performance of both ballet and modern and a group performance of both. Dance has the ability to draw it’s viewer in, by captivating the audience with the amount of grace, coordination and talent it’s dancers display. The lines a dancer created with their body is nothing short of amazing. Almost every type of person could appreciate something about dance.
One of the first dances of the night was a ballet done, by a 9 year old girl. As she entered the dance area, it became very silent in the auditorium. You could almost hear a needle drop. Her costume was simple, dark in color, not shinny, as if not to distract the audience from her performance. Her white tights provided a focal point drawing the audience to watching the delicate moves she was executing with her legs. She started in first position quickly transitioning to 3rd and before you knew it she was spinning around on only one foot, pointing her toe towards the audience.
She had a brief moment where it appeared that she fell out of pose, but immediately pulled herself back together, executing the next pose with perfection. Her face remained unchanged throughout the entire performance. She demonstrated perfect C shaped arms as she held them in the air bringing all her weight from her heels to the tips of her toes. This performance was very impressive for such a young girl. What I sometimes miss it facial expressions, but I suppose by the absence of expression the girl is allowing your mind to go wherever the music takes you.
The next performance came from a 15 year old girl and best fit the description of modern dance. Her costume was bright, shinny, and created the illusion of movement. Many of the movements executed by this performer involved being on the floor, or bending over. Her arm movements were not as precise. It was as if a choreographer told her she could place her arms however she wished, in stark contrast to the ballet dance that required very precise movements. This dance appeared much slower. I did not enjoy this dance as much as I felt the bold costume and music distracted the viewers from the talent behind the dancer.
She too was expressionless when she danced. The way the stage lights reflected off her costume created a glowing effect on the dancer. The group ballet was absolutely beautiful. Some of the dancers started as if they were asleep or dead, all bent over, while other dancers began in the upright position. As the dancers began to move across the stage, the dancers in the downward position began to arise. It created the illusion that the dancers were giving life to an otherwise lifeless creature. They all began dancing in unison across the stage, with pose and grace, up on their toes.
They were always careful to have the correct position with their arms and legs, and toes pointed. They made this type of dancing look effortless, while executing it with such precision. No one fell out of pose during this dance, everyone knew their place and performed with great precision. As the dance ended they all went into a downward pose, creating the illusion that they were all lifeless again. What a brilliant analogy, this dance presented. Many things around us are lifeless, dull and boring, it is the people who occupy the space that gives it life and meaning.
Just like dance gives life and many to those who watch it or perform it. The last dance was the group modern dance. This was my least favorite. I would almost say that it appeared sloppy and ill choreographed. At times I wondered if the girls were supposed to be doing the same movements and some were behind or if it was meant to look like a ripple effect. It did not look like either to me. Through watching these dances it became very obvious to me that I prefer ballet to modern dance. I was uncertain of the reason until the lady seated behind me said,” I loved their modern group dance”.
I thought I miss heard her, but yes that was what she said. She even went on to say that they had won a competition doing that very dance. It was at that point I realized dance is for everyone. While I prefer the more precise movements, other people can enjoy the chaos of modern dance. I tend to be a perfectionist and I had nothing to gage the movements of the modern dance on. But I loved the ballet where you could tell when perfect pose was achieved. So I do believe a dance recital like this should appeal to all types of people, offering a great variety.