Dance Comp Essay

Dance Comp Essay - Michael Wang Dance 2500 Speaking of...

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Michael Wang 4/17/11 Dance 2500 Speaking of Dance: Twelve Contemporary Choreographers on Their Craft Summary of Processes used by Choreographers Merce Cunningham (b. 1919) Cunningham’s process of choreography was very much a revolutionary exploration of movement. By using physical stimulations from his sense, he was able to feel the movement in his own body. One important method that he used to choreograph was the revolutionary way in which he would think about the stage or the set. Same pieces performed on different stages had their own life. Some interesting process that he talked about that helped him choreograph were using old pieces in combination, separation of music and movement (using different lengths, tempos etc.), and using chance operation s (as we did inclass). A final process that seemed like an interesting process was his use of technology (LifeForms). By using a computer to transition between movements, his dancers’ movements were stranger than a regular body would perform. Cunningham seemed to offer the advice that one requirement that choreographers should have is the ability to ignore negativity in order to courageously explore one’s own interests. Anna Halprin (b. 1920) Halprin’s starting point seemed to be different from Cunninham in her methods of choreography. Her process began with using basic limits or rules of movements, space, time and force. From there, improvisations could be created. Sometimes context could play an important role in these improvisations and movements /tasks (for example the movement could take place on a street or in an office). She believed that dance should not come from a single person’s mind, but rather it seemed from the external world and other dancers. An important process that seemed central to her choreography was using scoring. Scoring (whether open or closed) allowed for discipline and communication between dancers and their choreographers. This process if open could allow for a lot of creativity and improvisations while when closed would create a very disciplined structure to the piece leaving the level of openness to be set. This also allowed for a step by step process where the score would be open first and then closed to allow for creativity and then structure, and finally when movements were set, the process could be done over again. Similar to Cunningham, she argued that judgmental attitudes could kill creativity.
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This note was uploaded on 11/11/2011 for the course DANCE 2500 taught by Professor Morgenroth during the Spring '08 term at Cornell.

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Dance Comp Essay - Michael Wang Dance 2500 Speaking of...

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