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For my observation paper I will be writing about the Wendell Tyler Cooper efficiency Disembodied on February 11, 2011. What was fascinating was that the whole efficiency he danced alone on phase and was still able to make the show vibrant and continuous. The efficiency included dance, music and video; it likewise had a spiritual sense to it which reminded me of a passage in Black Dance From 1619 to Today by Lynne Emery (Chapter 1, page 2) referring to “religious dance kinds”.
Wendell Cooper also included other elements with video, music, and speaking; it seemed to me as if he was reading poetry or some kind of spoken word.
The motion was extremely grounded and earthy, there were no constraints and he was hardly upright without a curve in the spinal column. Some more qualities that are similar to the motion pointed out previously is the African qualities by Magaretta Bobo Goins that include: bent knees, barefoot, normally movement begins in torso and takes a trip external, rhythms are syncopated, singing and dancing concurrently.
Later I learned from danceblogger. com description of the efficiency Disembodied that Wendell Cooper “used his knowledge of energy-bodywork and meditation to develop a synaesthetic installation/performance environment”, which now I comprehend why I kept getting a sense of spirituality or religion in a few of his motion. The breathing and speaking or spoken word and recurring motion was very reminiscent of a statement in a passage in To Make Our World Anew: A History of African Americans by Colin A.
Palmer, “Religious ideas figured out the timing of important celebrations … the nature of art and dance, and a thousand other elements.” Due to the nature of meditation that Wendell Cooper studied he was able to include that ideal into his choreography and it can check out as spiritual, spiritual, or just made complex choreography and is really relatable to the audience. The music that Wendell Cooper selected was special in that it was not too over powering of the choreography however it was strong enough to communicate a message and to keep the audiences attention.
In Robert Ferris Thompson’s 10 Canons of Fine Form the ideal of the get down quality, looking smart, and coolness were portrayed in the work. The choreography stayed grounded and he had a lot of movement done on the floor that was reminiscent of “B-Boying” style of dance. Wendell Cooper’s costume with the white draped over him incorporated the looking smart idea because white gives a clean look and is also used in religious and spiritual ceremonies.
The coolness came about when he was dancing and he had on a suit and tie with a hat on; the choreography seemed to only move horizontally in space, his movement was very dynamic, and he had some repetition. This section of the work caught my attention the most and I would be best described by Brenda Dixon Gottschild who wrote Digging the Africanist Presence in American Performance: Dance and Other Contexts; she stated that the “Africanist aesthetic values repetition, or more precisely, repetition-as-intensification. (Page 8)
Wendell Cooper had a lot of repetition through out his choreography but each repetitive motion seemed different although it was the same choreography. Brenda Dixon Gottschild also stated that “Africanist dance idioms show a democratic equality of body parts. The spine is just one of many possible movement centers; it rarely remains static” (page 8) and this is reference to his choreography overall. The performance was a learning experience because I have not seen movement like Wendell Cooper’s so I was able to admire it for what it was and to be inspired.
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