Duration Of Dance: Explanation of Stimulus Idea

My stimulus is a painting called ‘The weeping Woman’ by Pablo Picasso& we decided to focus on the emotional and historical basis of the painting - Duration Of Dance: Explanation of Stimulus Idea introduction. It symbolized the grief and suffering of the ones who stay behind in wars waiting for their loved ones to return, so we decided to focus on these feeling and the emotions behind them.

Title & Composer of Accompaniment:

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Description Of Movement Content:

Motifs: Our first motif (fig. one) was based on the suffering within the painting, we start reaching out and then pulling our arms into our chest to show we are desperately wanting our loved ones back with our bodies hunched over and our hands clasped to our chest, we move our bodies up and down to show heavy breathing and our heartache. We then move forward in the same motion to show the upset and suffering within the painting, this signifies my stimulus because we show the desperate expression on her face as if she had been waiting for eternity for her loved one to return. We then do a pivot turn towards the each other using our inside leg to pivot round on tilting the way we are turning with our inside hand across our face as if we were wiping away tears or hiding our grief. We then do a balance, leaning away from each other with Stephs right arm reaching outwards and my left arm hanging down.

Choreographic Devices: We used the development of our movements to show the emotions that are conveyed in the painting, and to show how jumbled cubism is in the way a painter analyzes his object and paints it through different perspectives so we tried to develop it as if we were showing the movements in a different light. We did this by using Mearce Cunningham’s use of chance in a motif to show the way the painting is split up and then forced back together to create a completely different image compared to the original one. We perform the last balance in our motif repeatedly and do it on different levels to gain different perspectives. We also put triple runs into the reaching movement to show that we are searching and cant give up.

Appraisal Of Dance

We started our research by focusing on the reasons behind the meaning of the painting and the reasons as to why it was painted, as it was part of his response to seeing newspaper photographs of the Luftwaffe’s bombing of Guernica on behalf of Franco in the Spanish civil war on April 26, 1937 and the suffering that was caused. We then focused on the way cubist painting are painted and the way that they take an image and analyze it to the point where it becomes something more symbolic and thought provoking. We then decided to watch ghost dances because the dance by the woman in the red dress was very inspiring to our piece as she looked and danced as if she was too searching, reaching and waiting for a loved one.

We then created a motif, which would focus on a specific aspect of the painting and the suffering behind it. My first motif (fig. one) communicated our main dance idea because we used movements which, signified the emotions that were felt not only by the woman in our stimulus but also by all the other women who lost husbands and loved ones during that civil war. To develop our motif, we used changes in direction, and level, we also decided to use a change in turn, in particular we used a drag turn as a variation to the pivot turn. This is because it changed the feeling of the dance, and as one critic described the painting as a punch in the stomach, we tried to reenact that feeling.

In our dance there is a contrast between the floor work and the traveling sequence. We perform the floor work and the traveling sequence at the same time to show that as I search and wait Steph’s tosses and turns in bed then we swap and she searches the way she looks like she feels trapped inside her body or inside the painting and wants to break free. This contrasts to my traveling sequence (fig. three), as it is fast and swift. My music also inspired me with the dynamics and gestures I used. I did a lot of reaching arm gestures in my floor work; this was to represent the lyrics and to reach out into the painting to find emotion and Love. I evaluated my dance as it progressed using mirrors, peer assessment and self-assessment, as well as teacher feedback.

While evaluating the movements, I felt most proud of my traveling step, (fig. three) as this reflects my stimulus really well and is the climax in my dance. If I were making my dance again, I would most likely change my second development to decrease the energy level before I finish to make it more subtle and fluid. I hope my dance successfully communicated what I set out to achieve, I wanted my dance to be individual like Vermeers painting.

If I could change some of the moves I would not do as many turning steps and put some more still moments in to show the peaceful side of the painting.

My second motif (fig. two) is the most successful as it shows the audience the desperation and longing by using my body, it is also successful because the moves are quite fluid like elements of the painting. I did this because the part of the painting I focused my second motif on was her expression, and I made the motif so that they were conveyed through the dance. I feel that my dance was successful in representing my stimulus, and the motif and gestures both worked well together to signify the shapes and my own interpretation of the painting.

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