When describing a dance, it works well to:
- first saying something you noticed about the choreography in general terms
- followed by specific descriptions of a few seconds of the movement that support those claims that include the 3 component descriptions from Lesson 1.
Here are some examples of this kind of writing, please watch the clips and then read the sample writing:
Notice the paragraphs start with TWO general sentences followed by TWO sentences with specific descriptions of the choreography including 3 component descriptions to support the claims
Swan Lake Pas de Quatre (small swans)
In Swan Lake, the dancers move swiftly from one side of the stage to the other with incredible precision. They almost seem to be one person in the way their movements are so in sync. For example, at one point in the piece, the dancers briskly flick their feet to their ankles while almost gliding from right to left. Because their hands are firmly grasped and their heads bob crisply in perfect unison, their bodies seem to blend into one lovely creature.
Amelia performed by La la la Human steps, choreographed by Édouard Lock:
Amelia is particularly compelling in its combination of quickness and stillness. The dance seems to alternate between the two, and the speed with which the female dancer is able to perform the intricate choreography makes the sudden stillness-es that much more startling. The woman’s hand flicks and dabs abruptly against the mans chest while her directions change quickly as he turns her torso. This is contrasted by the abrupt stop she makes in a broad low lunge by bending crisply at the knee with her arms raised to the position of an L.
Now your turn. For the following clips, you will write a description that contains TWO sentences that are general statements that describe your overall impression of the dance, and TWO sentences that describe a few seconds from the dance that support the general statements you made including 3 component descriptions. (note: each entry should INCLUDE THE TITLE and be ONLY FOUR sentences long as demonstrated above. We are practicing being specific and succinct.)
Label this as part 1
2. D-Man in the Waters, (excerpt) choreographed by Bill T Jones
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZg_q3CDNOM (Links to an external site.)
3. Movin’ Out (excerpt) choreographed by Twyla Tharp
4. Heaven, (excerpt) choreographed by Rennie Harris
6. Appartement (excerpt) choreographed by Mats Ek
7. Meyer (excerpt) choreographed by Alonzo King
9. Desihoppers, World of Dance Finals 2015
We have practiced supporting general claims with movement description. Now we are going to practice creating a specific perspective in the form of a thesis statement by comparing two of the clips to each other.
Below are 3 sample thesis statements that compare two of the video clips to each other. Notice that the statements are saying something really specific about the two pieces.
1. The choreographers for D-Man in the Waters and Water, part 1 both use clear dynamic choices in the movement to reflect the dynamic changes in the music for each piece so that the viewer “sees” the music in the dancers’ bodies.
2. Although both Rich Man’s Frug and Meyer contained many moments when the dancers’ arms unfurled successionally, the movement in Rich Man’s Frug stayed close to the dancers’ kinespheres, while in Meyer, the movement reached far into the space.
3. I noticed that the choreographers for Walklyndon and Movin’ Out created choreography that seamlessly combined athletic solo moments with equally athletic partnering sequences.