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Where do you look?

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#16 sissonne



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Posted 01 June 2003 - 03:45 PM

I have to say, I tend to watch feet and legs mostly, but there have been specific performances where port de bras has caught my eye first. Especially if they tend to be particularly fluid. I find some dancers' facial expressions distracting (i.e. those who dance with their mouth open and eyebrows raised...not as though there's any expression behind it, but more like their face is permanently fixed). However, in some ballets, I agree....facial expressions are critical. Especially in drama. With the corps, I do tend to watch upper body more.

Interesting thread....the more I thought about it, I realized I'm not just a legs and feet girl!!;)

#17 Alexandra


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Posted 01 June 2003 - 03:48 PM

I watched the whole body, but especially upper bodies, first for years. I've found that when I'm trying to figure out why people I know and trust are raving about a dancer I can't stand, I'll watch the legs and feet and consciously block out the upper body and face. I'll usually find that they're right -- great dancer, in the sense of clear execution of steps. But to me, dancing isn't just feet.

Where do you focus on stage is another good question. It takes a long time to be able to take in the whole stage, I think, and to watch what's going on at the side of the stage, and to focus on the corps, or non-leading dancers, when the leads are on stage. Another good reason for repeated viewings!

#18 BW


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Posted 01 June 2003 - 04:06 PM

Last night I had the pleasure of attending The School of American Ballet's Workshop performance...and today NYCB's matinee. Both performances were excellent.

Now, where did I look and did I look at the two in different ways?

At the student performance there were two dancers who I "knew" (very loosely speaking!) so I did tend to dwell on them...though it wasn't difficult as they both had leads. I admit to checking out the student dancers' feet on occasion...but generally speaking I was taken in or taken away by the performances as a whole.

Today's matinee, in the New York State Theater, I did, on occasion, use my binoculars to get that close up - to see the dancers faces and their bodies up close. But the real "awakening" for me was having to sit behind a rather "tall in the saddle" audience member :( which was really difficult as I couldn't see the front and center dancers' feet in "Concerto Barocco"! By "feet" I don't mean only their feet but their legs! If you haven't seen this, JRB, it would probably be one you'd enjoy seeing from slightly above... Next came "Sonatas and Interludes" which consisted of only two dancers - Maria Kowroski and Jock Soto..the choreography for these two lent it self to my view of the stage so I was able to watch both of them most of the time. Luckily, I was able to switch seats during intermission with someone...and, yes, I was able then to immerse myself in the rest of the program...which both proved to be very much "big picture" ballets: "In the Night" and "Vienna Waltzes" ... So, to me, I guess much of where one "looks" has to do with what sort of ballet one is watching..and where one is sitting. However, KateB, generally speaking I'll be in in the moment, with you and, probably, most of the audience. ;)

P.S. I missed Sissone's and Alexandra's posts...but want to add that "repeated" viewings do make quite a big difference - if only I were able to do it more often! :D

#19 Guest_Elisa_*

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 11:43 AM

It actually depends on what kind of dance I'm watching. If watching a classical performance I tend to look at feet first, then line and the body as a unity, if it's a contemporary performance I just sit back and enjoy the aesthetic value (simply love Mats Ek's 'Lightbeings' because of the aesthetical aspect).
For jazz and funk I tend to look at the whole body, but for Irish I definately only look at the feet.

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