Saturday, September 04, 2010

Space + time + energy + form = dance

Regular readers have noticed that my weekend postings offer stray far and wide from hospital and medical matters. For those who enjoy this, I am pleased.

Today's is in that category. My wife and I are fortunate to have two talented daughters, who have managed to teach us lots of things. This weekend, I got a lesson in choreography from Rebecca.

If you are like me, you enjoy dance concerts but don't really have much of an idea of what is going on it. You watch and see wonderful and creative movement and patterns on the stage and mainly wonder how those (mostly young) people can physically do what they do. But there is another participant, the choreographer, who puts together elements of space, time, energy, and form.

Rebecca now teaches this art to others, and one exercise she does to get across the concept of using the space on the stage is to assign the students to design a dance solely with walking, running, and standing still. In others words, no acrobatic movements, lifts, or the like are permitted. Students are often flummoxed by this at first, but then they get the concept.

The ultimate example of such a dance is Paul Taylor's Esplanade. He created the dance through movement pathways -- form and spatial direction -- without the traditional phrasing you have come to expect in a performance. I include the video here.

If you can't see the video, click here.

1 comment:

Jane Sherwin said...

Paul, thank you so much for this. What keeps us going and full of hope are beautiful things like this. And to have a daughter who dances and choreographs! Mine loves to act, so several times a year we are entertained by someone we love (not to mention all the daily fun!).