Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Watching Dance


It is remarkable what we miss when watching dance.  Some simple tips for dance audiences:

1.  Look at their feet.  In most forms of dance a lot of the work and technique is in the feet so make a point of looking down.

2.  Read the program notes.  Story lines, influences, history, imagery and motivation are all often articulated in program notes and can be important to understanding or relating to the work.

3. Appreciate the challenge of synchronicity.  Dancers often achieve amazing feats of sameness without notice of or recognition by the audience.  Being able to dance is one thing, being able to do it exactly like ten or twenty other people is a different story.  Appreciate the work of the corps de ballet as well as the soloists.

4. Listen.  Much of the work and mechanics of dance are revealed in the footfalls and breathing patterns of the dancers, if you are close enough, try to listen to the dancers as well as watch them.

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