Write based on a beginning lesson of Ballet (see video below)
First paragraph: thesis statement
Here are examples of thesis statements that are specific and would work for this assignment. Please keep in mind that these samples are meant to be models for the types of sentences we are looking for, but not to be copied and used in your paper. The expectation is that you create your thesis on from your own thoughts and experiences as we want to hear what YOUR response is to the assignment: “After participating in the East-Indian dance class, I have a deeper understanding of dance as a spiritual practice, and how creating specific gestures with the body enables one to feel a connection with the divine.” Or “The culture of hip-hop dance values individuality, and I was able to have a physical experience of that by all of the moments in the class that required students to make energetic and dynamic choices in their bodies.”
As opposed to thesis statements that are vague. “After participating in the East-Indian dance class, I have a deeper understanding of how dance is important in that culture.” Or “The culture of hip-hop dance was revealed to me by taking the class.”
Qualities of evidence: The thesis should be based on and supported by TWO sources of evidence: extrinsic research and intrinsic research.
Extrinsic: This is not a research paper, so we do not expect extensive outside research for this assignment. However, the expectation is that students locate and incorporate respectable sources of information, and offer the reader a thoughtful consideration of culture. (note: the research should NOT be on the history of the dance form, but rather on its cultural significance)
Intrinsic: Consider carefully what evidence from movement is most effective in explaining your thesis. For instance, many social dance forms have fairly basic movements, but complex uses of interpersonal space. If your thesis addresses a connection to community or to a partner, your description should focus more on how you shared space than on recounting the steps you learned. Review the Elements of Dance and Compositional Devices, you have to decide and clearly articulate what course concept best illustrates the point you are making. Remember to include 3 component descriptions (body parts + movements + adverb) to add to the specificity about the body.
The following paragraphs should then support your thesis with evidence from your own experience and from outside sources (which must be cited).
Acceleration: to gradually increase the speed with which the movement or movement phrase is done
Deceleration: to gradually decrease the speed with which a movement or movement phrase is executed
Accumulation: a sequence of movements which develops by repeatedly starting at the beginning: 1; 1,2; 1,2,3; 1,2,3,4; etc.
Augmentation: to lengthen time values of some or all movements (TIME); to increase the range of a movement or phrase (SPACE)
Dimunition: to condense the time values of some or all movements (TIME); to reduce the range of the movement or phrase (SPACE)
Development: to carry an aspect or aspects of a phrase to a new choreographic intention
Dynamic variation or transformation: to modify the TIME and ENERGY aspects of the phrase with a view to change its quality or “personality”
Embellishments: to add movements of certain body parts on top of other movements (for example: from a normal walk to a walk with the head shaking violently)
Insertion: to splice new material into a phrase
Inversion: to perform the spatial opposite or counter-direction with the same body part (i.e. The right arm goes from high right side to low left side)
Isolation: to develop one aspect of the phrase (i.e. only performed the upper torso movements, or perform the phrase with no arms, or do only head movements, etc)
Mirroring: to perform a movement on the other side simultaneously; two halves of the body mirror each other; two bodies mirror each other
Repetition: a movement event occurring two or more times; to repeat a phrase or a fragment of a phrase
Retrograde: to go from the end of a phrase or movement to the beginning as in reverse action of the film
Scramble: to change the order of movements within the phrase, or phrases within a dance, or within a section of a dance
Transposition: to change the facing; to change the planal orientation of the movement; to perform the movement of one body part on another part; to change the level of the movement phrase; to change the rotation of body parts
Technical words for dance:
actions of body:
• Weight transference–moving from one foot to the other; or, if you’re on all fours, from one hand and knee to the other. In a handstand, you could move from one hand to the other.
• Locomotion or traveling through space. Think of all the ways that you can travel. For example: Run, jump, leap, crawl, slither, skip, roll, hop…the possibilities are endless.
• Elevation or leaving the ground. Think of basketball, and running up to make a jump shot.
• Falling. We fall a lot in dance, on purpose. And we can find many ways to fall. Throughout this course, you will see dancers intentionally falling to the ground in various ways.
• Stillness. Stillness is one of the most powerful tools in dance. When there has been a rush of movement for a long time and then suddenly, the dancer or dancers become completely still, it can be breathtaking.
• Being on a base of support, which means dancers supporting themselves on legs or hands, sitting, and so on.
We look also at anatomical descriptions, such as rotation, flexion, extension, abduction, and adduction. Humans have an incredible ability to move our bodies in many ways. But in actuality we are moving body parts with either flexion or extension, inward or outward rotation, or abduction (away from the center) or adduction (toward the center). That may sounds over-simplified; but that short list of actual actions allows for infinite possibilities.
Where does the movement initiate or start from:
• Core: the torso or center of the body. If you have taken Pilates or if you do a lot of abdominal work, then you know what the core is.
• Proximal, which means initiating from your shoulders and/or hips
• Mid-limb, means initiating from the knees and/or elbows
• Distal, which means the edges of body–specifically, the hands, feet, head, or tail
How does the movement spread through the body?
• Simultaneous means non-adjacent body parts are moving at the same time. We do this when we walk. If you walk in opposition, your arms and legs are moving at the same time, but they are not next to each other.
• Successional means the overlapping of adjacent body parts (body parts right next to one another), rippling through like a domino effect. It is a chain of action without any breaks in the chain. It can be one long phrase with only one initiation that travels through the body like an electrical current. When you watch a good hip hop dancer ripple from one fingertip, along his arm, through his torso, and down the other arm, that is a beautiful example of successional movement.
• Sequential means overlapping of the initiations of non-adjacent body parts. This is also easy to see in hip hop. A person will lift a shoulder up sharply; and then, right as that is coming to an end, the knee might lift, which triggers the ribcage to move, causing the other foot to kick.
EFFORT: the qualitative dynamics of movement.
In dance, effort is used to create mood, nuance, texture, and states of mind. LMA breaks effort into four frameworks that each contain two “extremes.” Between the two extremes is a continuum.
The weight continuum: We move between Light and Strong on this continuum.
Space effort: We move between Indirect and Direct on this continuum. This refers to the quality of how we explore the space around us. We can be flexible or indirect, or we can be specific and pinpointed or direct.
The time continuum(time effort) We move between Sustained and Quick/Sudden on this continuum. This refers to the speed or pace that a movement is executed with. Are we condensing time, sharp, staccato? That is quick or sudden. Are we indulgent, taking time, legato? That is sustained.
Flow Effort: We move between Free and Bound flow on this continuum. What degree of tension or control do we use to do a given movement? Is it abandoned, uncontrolled, carefree? That is free flow. Is it restricted, tight, cautious, restrained? That is bound flow.
Our use of flow can fall anywhere within the continuum of bound and free.
When we combine the effort elements, we get what LMA refers to as the Basic Effort Actions or action drives.
Punch: strong; direct; quick/sudden
Flick:indirect; light; quick/sudden
SHAPE: what forms the body makes. Laban refers to shape as the baseline for all movement.
SPACE: First, we can refer to how the mover is moving.
personal or Kinesphere: Laban defines the personal space or Kinesphere as “the Sphere around the body whose periphery can be reached by easily extending limbs without stepping away from that place which is the point of support when standing on one foot, which we shall call the ‘stance.’”
Interpersonal space is the changing distances and orientations between or among movers in a space.
General space refers to the actual space where the moving occurs, such as a stage, studio, park, and so on. (Curved or straight paths; angular/circular paths)
Level: This refers to where the movement exists in the vertical space. Is the movement at a low level, a medium level, or a high level?
Unison can be a powerful tool. As you watch the clip by Rennie Harris, observe the power and energy of the men dancing together. They are all individual, with slightly different styles but they are often doing the same thing at the same time.
Canon is a term borrowed from a musical canon form. If you desire, go online to iGoogle to search for more information on the formal musical device. The simplest way to think of a canon is to think of a “round.” When you sing Row Row Row Your Boat with one or more people, you are doing a form of a canon. One leader begins and then the followers begin at intervals, generally after the word “boat.”
Watch the excerpt from Mark Morris’s Gloria to see a clear demonstration of canon. You will see groups of people enter on the left side of the screen in a line and do a swinging movement with their arms as they paddle around from back to front to back with one foot. Then the next group enters, and the next, and so on. Once you familiarize yourself with this tool, you will see it used in almost every dance in a variety of ways, with a multitude of different timings.
Theme and variation is also based on a musical structural form. There are an infinite number of ways to express theme and variation. The general idea is that there is a stated theme or idea. Perhaps a dance begins with a three-minute solo. This is followed by any number of variations of that solo. These can be performed by the same person, another person, two people, five people, or 100.
Transposition: a stated theme can transpose in a number of ways:
plane or level;
rotation of body parts
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