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 Post subject: What's more important flexibility or performance?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 6:21 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 28
Location: England
Hello, this is an issue close to me because it effects me greatly. Whats more important, being able to get your leg to your ear, have fabulous turn out e.t.c or have the ability to make people watch you.

I only started to dance when I was 14 but it was more creative than technique. I only really started to learn about technique when I went to university. Although I was always told I was an ecellent performer, I lacked in flexibility. This obviously has put my confidence down

Dance companies look for different qualities but to be honest some of the top and middle and lower companies that I've seen have fantastically trained dancers, though generally they can look the same, cloned. I often can tell where they have trained because of certain characteristics.

Although I tend to envy people with both qualities (well it is nice to look at them).


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 Post subject: Re: What's more important flexibility or performance?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 7:08 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Quote:
Whats more important, being able to get your leg to your ear, have fabulous turn out e.t.c or have the ability to make people watch you.
It depends on why you're dancing.

If you view, as I believe most of us here on criticaldance do, dance as primarily a concert activity, then the answer would be "the ability to make people watch you."

If you're interested in dance primarily as a studio exercise, then the answer would be "being able to get your leg to your ear".

I suspect that whether you're a modern or a ballet dancer affects your answer, too.

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 Post subject: Re: What's more important flexibility or performance?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:23 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1876
Location: New England
Technique isn't just about flexibility; it's about all the things that will make people watch you.


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 Post subject: Re: What's more important flexibility or performance?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2004 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 1
Location: NYC
These are all interesting perspectives, but frankly, it is extremely difficult to gauge raw talent unless all dancers are provided with equal training...

I was in the same class at SAB with Deirdre Carberry years ago and it would be impossible to compare her with other students based on the fact that a. her mother was her personal coach; b. she had guidance and training beyond compare. She was no doubt talented. But more talented than the other little girls who lacked the money and training that she had? I don't honestly know...


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 Post subject: Re: What's more important flexibility or performance?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:00 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Vancouver BC
Hi all,

As someone who was also considered "A good performer, but needs to work on her technique", I think that while technique (strength and flexibility)is something that you can improve with hard work and dedication, creativity and performance ability is much more difficult to learn or to teach. I also felt a big drop in confidence when I was younger and told that my technical ability was beneath that of my peers, but since then I have steadily worked on improving this aspect of my dancing while maintaining my love of performance and the creative compositional side of dance. I also think that the two (technique and performance)are intertwined and diffcult to separate.
I definitely think that having some basic knowledge of proper technique is necessary to be a good dancer. The ratio will vary according to which discipline you are dancing - with ballet, I think you need to have good technical ability to succeed, with creativity and performance ability coming second. In modern dance, technical ability is an asset, but there is more of an emphasis on creativity. In something like musical theatre, there is more of an emphasis on theatricality and performance ability before technique (although in many cases it is still very important). I guess my final rambling thought is that technique should be seen as a primer or base coat upon which you may apply layers of emotion, theatricality and/or narrative structure, somewhat like layers of paint. It is like...technique gives you a sound foundation on which to build your entire performance. It enables you to express yourself clearly and directly, and holds the performance together - gives it some cohesion.

I don't know...I seem to be in a rambling kind of mood today. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: What's more important flexibility or performance?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 24, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 270
Location: Birmingham Uni / UWM Milwaukee
It can depend, i think, on what style of dance you are performing. the more non-literal styles of dances i think require superb technique and in some cases flexibility, but the more literal/narrative types of dances can require the ability to show emotion in your movement as a higher priority than being able to bend in wierd and wonderful ways.


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 Post subject: Re: What's more important flexibility or performance?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I'm pleased this discussion has taken off. However, it would be better placed in our "Students' Questions and Answers", so I will move the discussion to that forum. Click on the link at top left for the new location.


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