Dance Performance Review Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 12 July 2017

Dance Performance Review

“Gargoyles” was a dance that distinguishes itself from others because of the subject material involved. This dance began with partnering of three couples in a vertical line on stage right. Each male was holding his female partner in a four limb position, like a gargoyle. One interesting aspect to this line of partners was that the downstage group was using the low level with the male partner kneeling on the floor and the female was sitting on his knee.

The middle couple used the medium level with the male in a lunge and he was lifting the female in the air. The most upstage couple was using the high level and the male was on releve and the female was lifted the highest into the air out of the three couples. The use of low, medium, and high levels allowed you to see all of the dancers in full detail. An interesting movement that was used during the dance was a second position grand plie but it was performed differently in that the feet were in forced arch instead of flat on the ground.

A very complicated movement in the dance was a pivot where the ballerina had her leg a la seconde with her arms up in fifth position and the male partner was lying on the floor, pivoting her with his hands. This movement shows strength as she had to help hold herself up by using her abdominal muscles. The dancers used gargoyle shapes and carved statue-like shapes in space. An important feature throughout this dance was the curling of fingers into claws to portray gargoyles.

Pathways on the floor and in the air were both used and the lines were mostly straight as the dancers weaved in and out. In terms of Laban Movement Analysis, the dancer’s movements initiated in the male partner and their bodies were connected to the female from the males’ arms to the females’ legs. The effort included direct space, strong weight, with timing that varied from quick to sustained, and mostly bound flow. The shapes were monkey-like (gargoyles) with clawed hands.

Dance relationships involved the men supporting the women in lifts. The purpose of the dance was to showcase gargoyles. This was a unique dance in that the choreography needed to portray hideous creatures in a way that was not like in a horror movie and not cartoon-like either. The dance served its purpose in that I felt the creepiness of gargoyles especially with the clawed hands and serious faces of the dancers but the beauty of the movements made it less disturbing.

One particular movement that made me feel the presence of gargoyles was the grand plie in second position with their feet in forced arch because for me, this resembles statues of gargoyles on the ends of buildings. The most compelling feature was the dancers’ use of curled fingers. This showed similarity to actual gargoyles as they also curl their fingers around the edges of buildings. “Gargoyles” was memorable due to the unique subject that was portrayed in the dance.

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 12 July 2017

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