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ATTACK !


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I am excited to get to the keyboard and mention a word that exploded into my consciousness while watching Tiler Peck's very aggressive and authoritative command in a variety of videos presented on YouTube -- for example, Fascinatin' Rhythm, Kennedy Center. What a force of nature she seems ! A fellow ballatomane -- far more conversant with the art form than I -- defined an aspect of Tiler's extraordinarily pleasing approach and command as "attack". My mind immediately raced to that glorious video of Gelsey Kirkland "burning down the house" in Balanchine's Theme and Variations. What a joy ! First, I do hope I am correct in applying the word "attack" to partially describe the exceptional quality of dancing from both of these women? And I am curious as to what other dancer's names might come to mind who are famous for their "attack"?

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It won't be easy to find anyone's definition of "attack", but I think of it as a movement quality word. It tends to be used to describe quick, decisive movement, but I suppose it could have a broader meaning so that the question becomes "what is the manner of movement/attack?" Sudden and decisive, or smooth and lingering/sustained? Dancers who are described as "eating space" tend to be the ones that have sharp attack. But some dancers are obviously quieter and more languid in their movement approach, and less likely to "dance big". It's just a different approach. And the best dancers are capable of either approach depending on the role/variation. Using a sharp attack (or languid movement) for everything just wouldn't be appropriate.

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I've also seen dancers dance with attack, but still dance small, especially if the choreography is small, sharp, quick steps, often in place.  My mind goes to the 4th movement of Symphony in C.

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4 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

I would have to disagree that  "attack" is necessarily synonymous with "dancing big" and "eating space." A dancer with a smooth, sustained quality can certainly eat space, just as it's possible to dance very big in an adage.

Yes, that's possible, given the particular dancer. This is where we really need video examples so people know what we're referring to.  😉
 

3 hours ago, Helene said:

I've also seen dancers dance with attack, but still dance small, especially if the choreography is small, sharp, quick steps, often in place.  My mind goes to the 4th movement of Symphony in C.

Yes, your example works for me. I was just talking about tendencies that I've noticed. But individual roles/choreographies demand particular movement responses.

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Posted (edited)

You are all so amazing as you proffer your wonderful knowledge and patience in addressing my rather primitive questions and ruminations -- even as a shelter in a time of storm 

Edited by altongrimes
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