public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:06 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: My Country Tin of Ear
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2001 10:16 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
I'm starting this new thread pursuant to Trina's comments in the thread "Keefer case's aftermath" regarding the elements of feet, turnout and extension just getting better with each year's new crop of dancers.<P>It may be moot as to whether musicality falls under technique or artistry, but I feel compelled to comment that what I see lacking in the majority of students at any level is even a basic sense of musicality. Do they not hear the music or do they think it's just a minor, ancillary aspect of dance?<P>I am putting the challenge out there that someone can prove to me other than that we as a country are not up to snuff in musicality. My ethnic troupe had an exchange program with one in the Czech Republic and these dancers put our troupe to shame in their love for and ability to play and sing music. Most of the members of our troupe could not sing from start to finish one American folk or traditional song. <P>The reason I switched ballet teachers five years ago is that my current teacher, like the rest of his ballet classmates at his academy in Serbia, received equal training in music. Having grown up with two musician parents and having pursued a degree in the double major of music and dance, this was highly important to me. I was tired of lackluster combinations that the music was supposed to fit instead of vice versa. My current teacher always mentions the composer, the beat, the form of music (mazurka, etc.),the country of origin, etc. He quizzes the class periodically. He urges the students to imagine Mozart sitting on the bench being moved by their response to his music. He chastises them for disregarding the music and "congratulates" them for managing to be completely off from one another. His barre and center is brand new for each and every class, and he can take any number of counts and instantly set choreography that includes wonderful nuances. If the students don't get the nuances the first time, he will go back and demonstrate (at 69 years old) all of the little subtleties he wants to see. He stresses the most important count being that of "and." He laments that he just can't seem to elicit much musicianship from his students, but tries nonetheless. <P>I don't think that we as a country value musicianship as much as we should. I love to sing every chance I get, but I notice that many are embarrassed, even from a very early age, to lift our voices in song. How many young dancers mention wanting to interpret music as much as they want to lift their foot next to their ear?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: My Country Tin of Ear
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2001 11:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Because I'm not an American (although my maternal Grandfather was) I'm not going to comment on whether there is a lack of musicality in the U.S., but I would like to pose the following question: What is the role of music in dance? <P>Some movement "purists" would like to see music dispensed with all together, feeling that the dance alone should be the focus. You see this a lot in contact improvisation.<P>Many people don't choreograph to music, they simply adjust the choreography later when they decide on the appropriate music for the work. <P>Others, a la Balanchine, work closely with composers. Personally, I like to work with a composer in the creative process, but not everyone has this luxury. <P>Maybe this is a chicken or egg question but I am curious to hear other's points of view!


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: My Country Tin of Ear
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2001 1:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
In another thread I mentioned once being in a ballet which was being set without music - the choreographer said she would find the music later!!! To me it is the music that begins the dance. It doesn't exist either in my body or brain without it. It is the music which is my inspiration.<P>I have had the experience of dancing to a piece of music and being so carried away that I have actually forgotten the steps!! When the pianist is sick and we have class without accompaniment - the dance becomes just exercise. I have to then sing in my head. <P>Music is the heart of the dance for me. Some of what you see, Christina, is perhaps the lack of music in our schools - to say nothing of the lack of the other art forms. But, then, some would say there is a lack of ability to read, spell, or knowledge of history, too.<P>When I was teaching and already an old lady, I began piano lessons. I didn't have that wonderful experience as a child, my parents couldn't afford it. I took piano lessons for a number of reasons:<P>l. If one teaches others - it is always good to be a student at something oneself (does wonders for the immoderatore growth of one's ego). So every day when I sat down at the piano, I was a crass beginner.<P>2. It gave me the ability to talk with some intelligence to the pianist and commuicate as a ballet teacher what I needed from him/her.<P>3. It gave me a structure for my dancing. Up till then I would just "feel" it and sometimes one can use some structure underpining the "feel".<P>After 8 yrs of lessons I can't play a note, but it was worth every struggling moment - I gained other things, I think.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: My Country Tin of Ear
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2001 8:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
We had an interesting discussion on music in the Music and Dance thread.

<small>[ 08-11-2002, 11:23: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group