You will receive a piece of writing from your partners in the English 102 class. (You may receive more than one piece if you have more than one partner.) The writing is on the topic of surveillance. You are going to select some aspect of this writing to respond to through a choreographic study. You might choose a feeling that the piece brought up for you, an image, the rhythm of the language, a word that struck you, and so on. You do not have to retell the narrative of the piece; telling narratives is hard to do in dance and has already been done by the writer. Look for something essential about the writing and allow yourself to respond to that through movement. You can use music if you like, but you do not have to.
We will have time to work on these studies in class and to receive feedback from each other. We will be showing these studies on October 16 to the English 102 students.
Please also respond to the writing that you have received via the WIKI page. You are required to write a respectful response to all your partners who posted writing for you. You may be using one or multiple pieces as inspiration for your dance, but you must write something for each writing assignment posted for you in order to acknowledge that you have received it.
Guidelines for Giving Choreographic Feedback
Start with what you see. Can you describe it in terms of the elements of dance—space, time, and movement quality? Can you see the choreographer’s intention—that is, what he/she wanted the piece to do or the effect he/she wanted the work to have? Try to get inside their mind and figure out their intention. Our objective is to help them fully realize their intention. Did the dance suggest any meaning to you beyond pure movement exploration? If so, relate it back to what was happening in movement terms. If you had an emotional response try to relate it back to what was happening choreographically. One of our goals is to deepen our ability to see and articulate what we see. You are trying to help your classmates fully realize their intention by reflecting back what you see in the work.
Things to be cautious about:
Try to not state an unqualified emotional response. (That means an emotional response by itself without explanation.) Explain the emotional response by relating it back to the choreography. An example would be, “It gave me goose bumps.” If it gave you goose bumps try to figure out what the choreographer did that had that effect on you.
Try not to SIMPLY compare it to another work of art. If it reminded you of another work of art, explain why. For example, “It reminded me of Paul Taylor because you respond to the music in such a spatially complex way,” or “It reminded me of Malcolm Low’s piece because the groupings of dancers on stage were constantly changing like jump cuts in a movie.”
If you find yourself wanting to make a suggestion to the choreographer , look for the observation behind the direction. In other words, if you want to tell someone that they should end the piece by walking off stage, try to figure out why that is the choice you think is most fitting: “Because you began by walking on stage, I felt that the ending in which you remained center stage broke up the symmetry of your structure. Was that intentional? It felt jarring to me.” This is the feedback. Maybe their intention was to be jarring; maybe not.
When you are showing share with the audience your title and nothing more besides instructions about when to start the music, and so on. Let the work speak for itself. This is what we want it to do in the theater. If we explain things before we show, we are not letting the work speak for itself.
When you are receiving feedback please refrain from discussion. Again, your comments will color our view of what you are doing. If you feel the need to discuss or ask questions, do so after all the feedback has been given.