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 Post subject: musicality/timing
PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:03 pm 
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Location: Australia
What is the difference between keeping in time and dancing musically?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:29 pm 
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Hi. I just posted a reply to your earlier question under "rhythm." To me, being "musical" is how much or little we are actually responding to the music -- as opposed, say, to just using it as a time keeper like a metronome. Are we breathing with the music and meshing with it?

I often take class now ("open adult" ballet classes) that has live piano accompaniment and am amazed at just how unmusical some can be. I recognize that in some cases maybe they're struggling with a step or placement issue, but sometimes I just want to stop the class and scream, "Can't you hear where "one" is!?" Or, "Can't you tell that if you keep going the way your going with this combination, you're going be four measures behind and run out of music?!" Clearly, some are better than others at this. Part of the fault (if I can say that this strongly), lies with the teachers who in walking a class through a combination, be specific enough about the counts and then insisting on keeping with these benchmarks, if the students get off the music (which can be easy to do). So if an arabesque is supposed to be struck on count 6, for example, and some get there early or late, they are not called on this, so end up being off the music, and so "unmusical."

And none of this takes into account phrasing, which is a whole other ball of wax! :shock:

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Dean Speer
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 10:31 am 
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I think dancing musically is about how your movements relate to the music, how you phrase the choroegraphy. It is important to keep with the timing of the steps, like hitting a certain step on count 4 for example, but that does not mean you should be a slave to counts. Being musical, to me, means that once you really know the choreography and the music, you find places where you can play with them. You can find what moments can be sustained, and which ones sped up, so that your dancing takes on a more playful quality, more surprising, an interplay with the music rather than a strict and exact copy of it. If you hold one thing longer, then quickly catch up with the music so you end the phrase on the precise count, that is being musical and interesting.
I hope that helps!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 7:20 pm 
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Location: New England
There's more nuance in the rhythm of music than simply keeping time. Consider rap (hip-hop) music, for example. Keeping time there is usally so simple... "1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, ..." But the rhtyms underneath can have infinite complexity. As a dancer, to dance musically, you must be attune to all the musical subtlety in the music, and respond impulsively to it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:42 pm 
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Ah, now we're talking! Breathing with the music, nuance, and dare I say phrasing is what makes it expressive and "in the moment."

Clearly, we have to start with the basics essential to movement and music and when we build on top of these elements that make it artistic, we have...dancing! 8)

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Dean Speer
ballet@u.washington.edu


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:25 am 
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ooops. i realised i posted the replies for this post to another post. please refer to post on musicality/timing.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:58 am 
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silly me. posted it to Rhythm - please read as I am needing to thank you guys for wonderful input. cheers


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