for anyone interested in dance --the art of designing spaces with the body

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

OK Go - Here It Goes Again

here is the treadmill video

Performance: a gift from the dancer to the audience

Referring to some videos that I saw about the different dance techniques of two great figures in modern dance, Jose Limon and Alwin Nikolais, I felt the need to write about what their thoughts were regarding an audience’s reaction toward a modern dance piece. Knowing that in those times when modern dance was beginning, people did not quite accept modern dance as an art, compared to ballet.
As a lover of modern dance, I couldn’t agreed more when Jose Limon expressed in the video that modern dance it’s a challenge for the audience. He likes the audience to experience that challenge which is a presentation of an artistic idea. Complementing that thought with this one of Nikolais’s, who says that he likes to give the audience the freedom to imagine what they want from his work. He is giving the audience a conceptual gift, an idea that is up to the audience’s criteria to figure it out.
It is impressive how two different artists with different styles think like one person, in reference to modern dance and its effect in the audience. I think that today we still struggle with close minded people to appreciate the beauty of modern dance. And will stay that way until they understand what modern dance is about, overcoming the “challenge” and using the “freedom of imagination” that modern dance artists provide.
Videos: “Jose Limon and Company, with a collaboration of Doris Humphrey" (no specific date) and, "The world of Alwin Nikolais" (1990).

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Treadmills as a new stage

I saw this post by a dancer and choreographer about treadmill dances, and think it was interesting how these dancers used the machine not to exercise, but as an element that is part of the choreography.
From all the videos that Maria, the author, posted on her blog, this one in particular caught my attention for the successful use of the equipment and the way the dancers created original movements incorporating the machine. The treadmill is no longer seen as an exercise machine, but as the technological element that gives life to the whole composition, providing a visual spectacle to the choreography.
It might be seen as foolish how someone can use a treadmill for a dance piece. However, nowadays dancers and artists use technology as part of their creative sense of their work to create new form of arts.
In this case it was a treadmill, but it can also be any other simple object in which someone finds another use for it as a complement for an artistic piece.

*Don't end reading this post without checking the video, above.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

For open minded people only

Everyone is feeling the Christmas spirit coming, and in the dance world a magical Nutcracker completes the season. Everyone is waiting to see The Nutcracker ballet, full of magic and fantasy that makes us all remind of our childhood and enhances the Christmas spirit.
The Nutcracker Rated R, takes a different turn towards what we all expect of the sweetness from the original Nutcracker. This one instead, presents Clara, as a grown up teenager, exploring the world of drugs, sex and other vices. The ballet uses the same concept of the original story but with some arrangements; Clara gets from her uncle an album from an androgynous singer from the 80’s instead of the nutcracker, fells asleep after partying and dream about the fight between rats and soldiers.
After reading this article from the
New York Times, not everyone likes the idea of this dissident version. Indeed, the author of the article states that is not worth watching it. I, as an open minded viewer and dance lover, don’t agree because it is still a dance performance that shows talented dancers. It is a modern ballet dance performance with hours of effort and practice.
If you want to know more about the Nutcracker Rated R
click here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Changes for house of NYC Opera and Ballet

The Lincoln Center in New York City, house of the NYC Opera and Ballet, has been previously working and discussing on making arrangements for the State Theatre of the center, which both entities share.
According to
Robin Pogrebin from the New York Times, the Opera and the Ballet finally came to an agreement. There will not be new building location, which was one of the Opera’s first possibilities discussed. Indeed, arrangements to the theatre itself will be the solution. Adjustments to the acoustics system and the orchestra pit will be proceeding, always taking into account convenient interests for both entities. Any possible changes could not carry on if authorities from both departments could not come to an agreement. Solutions for the State Theatre should focus in benefits for both identities. Until the moment, both departments are positive with the adjustments discussed.
The estimated cost of the project ranges from 30 to 60 million. Overall, all the modifications depend on the approval of the city, which owns the State Theatre. The Opera and Ballet are also seeking for financial support from the city to complete the project successfully.