By Gay Morris
Relocating phrases offers an instantaneous line into the main urgent concerns in modern dance scholarship, in addition to insights into ways that dance contributes to and creates tradition. rather than representing a unmarried point of view, the essays during this quantity mirror more than a few views and symbolize the debates swirling inside of dance. The participants confront simple questions of definition and interpretation inside dance experiences, whereas while analyzing broader matters, corresponding to the physique, gender, category, race, nationalism and cross-cultural trade. particular essays tackle such issues because the black male physique in dance, gender and subversions within the dances of Mark Morris, race and nationalism in Martha Graham's 'American Document', and the historical past of oriental dance.
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Extra info for Moving Words: Re-Writing Dance
Concerned with the relationship between notes/moves and meter, these are groupings that begin at or before the bar-line respectively. In the following Ashton example, the effect can be seen of shifting relationships between dance steps and the bar-line and overlapping groupings of music and dance. This is Ashton’s Sarabande solo created in 1968 for the Prince in The Sleeping Beauty (inserted before he sees Aurora in the vision scene). The interaction between grouping and meter is a rhythmic feature often discussed by music analysts—meter shapes the group dynamically—and it is an extremely subtle and important feature of this dance.
There are similar dynamic discrepancies produced by different means in Ashton’s The Dream pas de deux (1964), sharpnesses, as in the sissonnes into arabesque near the end, which create a dangerous restlessness against musical resistance. Here, too, these sharpnesses are in character, suggesting the willfulness and impetuous power of Oberon and Titania. Turning to the issue of establishing a style, my method proved revealing about the various aspects of a choreographer’s musical/choreographic style.
It seems to be in the nature of modern dance to generate close familial units, and for those communities to share not only a practical arrangement for working but a way of thinking about dance and society. Modern dance is by nature utopian, in the sense that it seeks alternatives to dance forms it considers decadent and/or conservative. It is a persistently marginal activity in the culture, and sacrifice has always been an accepted condition of a modern dancer’s life. In return, he or she molds body and soul to the aims of the company, ideals that are often political as well as aesthetic.
Moving Words: Re-Writing Dance by Gay Morris