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Over-dancingIs there a dance equivalent to over-acting?


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#31 leonid

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 01:47 PM

As much as I like Swan Lake, I need more than just some mime interspersed with big dance numbers.


Swan Lake in my experience is today rarely given in performances where the mime passages are complete or, fully integrated in a seamless production.

The greatest exponent if this ideal integration in the role of Odette/Odile was Dame Margot Fonteyn wherein powerful story telling was told quite clearly to everyone, but then only in some of the productions she appeared in and only with some of her partners.

#32 SanderO

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 07:16 AM

I am with Leonid on this... and his view is what is part of the marvel of ballet. It is rather a constrained albeit very difficult technically fabric. When there is too much athleticism or even "virtuoisty" it is like a bright thick thread standing out in a perfect weave.

What is fascinating is how artist find expression in rather controlled techique. They seem to do it in the most sublime and subtle way... to my uneducated eyes. And so whatever "overdancing" may be.. it is like over acting and it turns the performance from art to caricature.

It is truly amazing how dancers can carve out so much individuality and artistry within such a rather restrained set of rules in classical ballet... very much the way musicians can play the same notes and the piece will sound different.

#33 vipa

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 04:50 PM

I think overdancing typically comes with youth -

You want to show your stuff
You want to prove that you can do it - that you are worthy
You don't have the maturity to be nuances or have a developed sense of values.

It's the same with writers, instrumentalists, singers etc. The young ones want to pull everything out of their bag of tricks instead of saving some things!

#34 Andrei

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 03:44 PM

Sorry, vipa, can't agree with you.
I saw in the class Yuri Soloviev in his 30th when he "overdanced" Baryshnikov, who was over 20th at that time. It was normal practice in the Kirov's company in the end of the class to "show off" something special. Everybody understand that this was just for fun, we were laughing at each other, trying to find a new approach to old movements or some strange nuances.
I believe the true artist have to be all his life as a child.

#35 carbro

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 04:35 PM

I don't think classroom overdancing is what we're talking about. The studio is where you try to extend your range so that when you get on stage, your body is capable of handling a movement in any number of ways. So, yes, you're always trying to do more, bigger, faster in class. You want to be able to do a step with delicacy in some roles, and very boldly in others. In performance, though, there is definitely such a thing as overdancing. We don't expect Bournonville's Sylph to do a quintuple pirouette, even if she can, because it violates the style and is out of proportion to the rest of the choreography.

In New York City Ballet, I'm lately seeing some young soloists who seem to think "attack" means punching out every step with strong and equal emphasis, which is not only unmusical, but terribly unattractive. And that is an example of overdancing. Thankfully, only a few carry it to this extreme.

I think vipa's comments are very true. We don't expect our 18 years olds to be great artists (although once in a great while such a dancer comes along), and we do expect them to be especially exuberant.

#36 Mel Johnson

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 05:08 PM

I would agree that we see overdancing in students. I once watched a student do a Taglioni variation from "Pas de Quatre" and with all the epaulement and port de bras, I ended up with a brief twinge of seasickness, she rolled and pitched and yawed so much!


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