polyphonyfan

Should kinesthetic "ouch factor" be considered in choreography

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Sometimes particular steps or movements unavoidably make the audience reflexively cringe and think "that's gotta hurt" in spite of the fact that they may at the same time find the movement impressive and/ or beautiful. Is that a problem? Sometimes an abundance of jumps on pointe can produce this reaction, same too with contemporary works when dancers are stepping on top of each other or violently hurdling themselves around the stage. Is a kinesthetic "ouch factor" okay if pain or violence is the theme or intended effect of the piece? Is it only a problem when goes against the spirit of the work? Is it a problem at all? I look forward to hearing your opinions! smile.png

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I think you're in for a rousing chorus of "it depends" with this question -- I've seen performances where dancers made simple things look grueling, and vice-versa. Not to mention danceworks where that kind of challenge was the whole point.

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I would have to agree with sandik, polyphonyfan (and thanks for raising another interesting topic). It all very much depends. I'm reminded of Margot Fonteyn's remark that if people knew how much ballet hurt, no one would watch it except for bullfighting fans and the like. And of course no one was better at making the difficult look easy than she, nor was Fonteyn required to hurl herself about as you describe or perform some of the extreme feats asked of today's dancers.

Other thoughts? examples?

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I confess that the hops-on-point generate an involuntary twinge of "ouch" in my shins. Other than that, I find myself falling quickly into the illusion that dancers are magicians --near weightless and free from the physical limitations that plague us lesser folks.

It's a kind of suspension of disbelief. I guess this is, somehow, built into the nature of the art.

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I know that a lot of things produced and choreographed for dance today to produce the "cringe" among a majority of audience members. However, dance is meant to be exciting and thrilling. Dance is made to push the limits of the human body and that often means that the movements may be scary to watch or even scary to perform but I think that they make the development of dance progress.

An amazing dancer is the one who can perform these choreographic elements without making the "cringe" face themselves and make the move look easy and pain free. Pushing the limits of the human body is essential to this progression.

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An amazing dancer is the one who can perform these choreographic elements without making the "cringe" face themselves and make the move look easy and pain free.

Very true, BocaBallerina. I hate to think of what it may be costing them, though!

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