Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Lyrical Dance


Recommended Posts

Lyrical Dance — A combining of the lyrical beauty and style of the classical with the natural.

It has the dreamlike quality that one can associate with Swan Lake, Giselle and even Far Eastern Classical. It’s a direction that I’d really like to see more developed.

Here’s one nice example.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIKo7HqHdRs

It’s an area that Christopher Wheeldon moves in and out of with some very good results, this one being perhaps one of the finest works in all of dance.

“After The Rain”   (Start at 14:10)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D316-KMBU8

It’s a style used by some choreographers that in group presentations can take on an orchestral dimension. Here’s one example from Lar Lubovitch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gk-6cmpoMs

Stylistically, here’s a more high energy one from Lar Lubovitch that I like very much. Although it might be largely contemporary, even Broadway, there is a sense of classical and artistic composition and refinement.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmGJh0LfGiQ

(all videos were already officially posted)

Coming at this from the non-classical side, Fred Astaire might be considered an early influence. A collaboration between him and George Balanchine, which George Balanchine might have loved since he considered Fred Astaire to be the finest male dancer, could have produced some fascinating and highly significant results.

 

Link to comment

In what I think of as Lyrical Dance, that can vary from Swan Lake-like refinement to jazziness, this delightful ‘influence’ exudes an aura in between that I enjoy very much. 

Swing Time ('36): “Pick Yourself Up”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06RlwN0nddQ

You want more refinement ?  I like this one a lot. It’s by Jerome Robbins, whose effect on Christopher Wheeldon’s lyrically beautiful duets I think can be seen.

New York City Ballet MOVES: Dances At A Gathering

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoigxYt5Hgk

Added: And if you want to see it as good as it gets, take a look at Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers -- "Let's Face the Music and Dance."

 

Edited by Buddy
Link to comment

Excuse my jumping in here -- I haven't really been participating in the board for awhile so don't know if this is a part of a longer essay or a stand-alone.  Since this is posted in the "Modern, Contemporary, and Other" section, I think you might want to separate your above description of "lyrical" dance from the general category of "Lyrical" which is a big part of jazz and contemporary dance styles, especially when practiced in the commercial world.  While lyricism in general is a quality that has been identified in dance for many, many years (as some of your examples above show), the label "Lyrical" started to be applied to a particular strain of jazz dance in the middle 1970s.

Link to comment
On 12/3/2022 at 9:57 PM, sandik said:

Excuse my jumping in here -- I haven't really been participating in the board for awhile so don't know if this is a part of a longer essay or a stand-alone.  Since this is posted in the "Modern, Contemporary, and Other" section, I think you might want to separate your above description of "lyrical" dance from the general category of "Lyrical" which is a big part of jazz and contemporary dance styles, especially when practiced in the commercial world.  While lyricism in general is a quality that has been identified in dance for many, many years (as some of your examples above show), the label "Lyrical" started to be applied to a particular strain of jazz dance in the middle 1970s.

Welcome back, Sandik.

I’m not that familiar with the exact names and definitions, but I essentially agree with what you have written and believe that I’ve maintained the distinction between “lyrical,” the timeless quality, and “Lyrical Dance,” an essentially ‘modern’ style. My definition does have a personal emphasis, but not enough of one for me to search for a new name. My first sentence attempts to define this.

“Lyrical Dance — A combining of the lyrical beauty and style of the classical with the natural.”

To be more specific, I’d like to see the aesthetic, feel and some of the technique (especially upper body technique) of ballet essentially, to be preserved and combined with a more natural form of physicality.

Something else that’s occurred to me, is perhaps totally personal. All my examples and suggestions have a definite desire for positivity and pleasure in them. I hope that this helps. I’ll keep thinking about it and try to clarify as I go along. And I hope that you enjoy this, because that’s part of my intent.

 

Link to comment
On 12/3/2022 at 9:57 PM, sandik said:

 ...."Lyrical" started to be applied to a particular strain of jazz dance in the middle 1970s.

This is probably what is generally considered “Lyrical Dance” or “Lyrical Jazz.” This would be a somewhat less gymnastic version and there are things here that I do like.

Lyrical Jazz - Sia "Chandeliar" -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERreyw5_AVs&t=3s

Still, with my personalised definition, I’d tend to go in a more artistic direction.

"The Legend of Ten” by Lar Lubovitch -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gk-6cmpoMs

 

Edited by Buddy
Link to comment
On 12/4/2022 at 6:42 PM, Buddy said:

This is probably what is generally considered “Lyrical Dance” or “Lyrical Jazz.” This would be a somewhat less gymnastic version and there are things here that I do like.

Lyrical Jazz - Sia "Chandeliar" -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERreyw5_AVs&t=3s

The example here, which uses the song associated with a different music video, is indeed close what is identified as Lyrical Jazz today.  I find it kind of ironic that it's so different from the music video choreography.

What you seem to be interested in is a lyric quality -- that's something that we see in several of the examples you post here (Robbins' "Dances at a Gathering" and the Astaire/Charisse duet "Dancing in the Dark" from "The Bandwagon" have some key things in common, for all that they're using different vocabulary in different genres.).  Interestingly, there are big aspects of Lyric Jazz that don't share that fluidity.

Link to comment
On 12/6/2022 at 11:26 PM, sandik said:

What you seem to be interested in is a lyric quality -- that's something that we see in several of the examples you post here (Robbins' "Dances at a Gathering" and the Astaire/Charisse duet "Dancing in the Dark" from "The Bandwagon" have some key things in common, for all that they're using different vocabulary in different genres.).  Interestingly, there are big aspects of Lyric Jazz that don't share that fluidity.

This would be essentially correct, but for me, “fluidity,” or flow, seem to be a basic part of what’s generally called Lyrical Jazz or Lyrical Dance as well.

Hi again, Sandik, and thanks for your comments and interest.

For the moment, I’ve taken to using quotation marks — “Lyrical Dance” — because it’s a somewhat personal idea, I guess, and perhaps likely to become more so. I’ve used the term for ages without actually looking up any exact definitions. I’ve always thought, that in one way or another, that my use also fell into the general category of what’s called Lyrical Dance. One thing that seems to appear in many definitions is this kind of wording….

**  “Ballet combined with….”  **

This would be consistent with much of my thinking.  Maybe the video examples that I’ve been referring to and posting explain it best. For one thing, an essential part does seem to be….

** Graceful Flow **

And again, a totally personal element perhaps, is a sense of pleasure, even joy. So, “Keep Dancing!" and maybe even do it “Lyrically.”  😊

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmGJh0LfGiQ

 

Edited by Buddy
Link to comment

From ballet itself, I find this to be a rather charming example related to what I could call “Lyrical Dance.” I might even go as far as to say that I see some Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers here, although these performers probably had no knowledge of each other and very little of the technique of the others’ dance form.

Raisa Struchkova (1964)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUkFbFFTqYs

 

 

 

Edited by Buddy
Link to comment

This is a performance by a young dancer. It’s her own choreography, but it’s typical American Lyrical Jazz or Lyrical Dance. It’s much more athletic than what I’ve been thinking about as “Lyrical Dance,” but it does really captivate me. And I happen to love the song. For me, she expresses it beautifully.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvHpfsfRtN8

It also makes a very interesting contrast to the Raisa Struchkova video from my previous post.

 

 

Link to comment

Some more about Fred Astaire and ballet from The New York Times.

“He was also a paragon among his professional peers. George Balanchine, the artistic director of the New York City Ballet and a man whose supreme standards rarely allowed for superlatives, called him, simply, ''the greatest dancer in the world.''

“Anna Kisselgoff, dance critic of The New York Times, gave this description of the Astaire genius: ''At its most basic, Mr. Astaire's technique has three elements - tap, ballet and ballroom dancing. The ballet training, by his account, was brief but came at a crucial, early age.”

https://www.nytimes.com/1987/06/23/obituaries/fred-astaire-the-ultimate-dancer-dies.html

And getting back to the overall idea of “Lyrical” (‘ballet related’) for a moment, for me, Christopher Wheeldon’s “After The Rain” remains very significant.

Link to comment

With all his admiration for Fred Astaire, did George Balanchine ever wish for a collaboration ?  I believe that I read that he did.  Well, if he wasn’t able to get Fred Astaire, how about Suzanne Farrell ?

Take a look at her performance in Der Rosenkavalier from his Vienna Waltzes. A female Fred Astaire, at least in the eyes of George Balanchine ?

A tribute to Fred Astaire ?  Intended or not, this dazzlingly beautiful creation certainly could be one.

 

Edited by Buddy
typo correction
Link to comment

Could I offer some more ideas, perhaps a sort of outline ?

“Lyrical”

Here are some definitions of the adjective “lyrical”  that I like.   (an * represents one that I particularly like).

*songlike lyric *melodic *musical *melodious rhapsodic *poetic   (of literature, art, or music) expressing the writer's emotions in an imaginative and *beautiful way.  the poet's combination of lyrical and descriptive power       (Oxford Languages)

“Lyrical” — as a dance style.

It would contain lyrical qualities with the addition perhaps of charm, pleasantness, joyfulness....     High Art     <     >    Entertainment

High Art

As dance it might also contain grace, flow, dreaminess, refinement….  An example….

“After The Rain” (Christopher Wheeldon)— as close to ballet as you can get without actually being ballet.   .

Entertainment

An example….

“Let's Face the Music and Dance”  (Fred Astaire (with Ginger Rogers))   Entertainment of High Art quality

 

Christopher Wheeldon and Lar Lubovitch are two creators that, for me, are quite interesting when they work in this area.

 

Edited by Buddy
Link to comment

A Possible ‘Lyrical’ Program on Video

 

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers  —  “Let’s Face The Music And Dance”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UY1seXdnIc&t=278s

 

Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse — “Dancing in the Dark”

(not officially posted)

 

Christopher Wheeldon — “After The Rain”

(Start at 14:10) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D316-KMBU8

 

Twyla Tharp — “Waiting at The Station” (excerpt or something similar)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgDkxoJCVd0

 

Mikhail Fokine — “The Swan” (on half pointe?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bf9AqDajr_0&t=39s

 

George Balanchine — “Der Rosenkavalier” from “Vienna Waltzes”

(not officially posted)

 

Edited by Buddy
Link to comment

I think that this performance is quite fine and very artistically interesting. The video has 400k views in twelve years.

This first viewer comment below the video by B gives some insight.

“Chinese Classical dance is, undoubtedly, a kind of reconstructive dance which was established during 20th century. It employs the body training method of ballet. Most  of the  movements come from Kongfu and Chinese Opera, as well as some historical artwork….

(This is not an ‘official’ posting but since the Taoli World Dance Competition, China does post these (this is an old one) I’ll post it as well)

I like this one also.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Oq86KJ6_9A&t=59s

(posted by Taoli World Dance Competition, China)

Link to comment

As an aside, in regard to what’s called “Lyrical Jazz,” which I consider somewhat a teenage girl phenomenon, and not ‘Lyrical,’ as I’m trying to define it, I do find these two “Lyrical Jazz” type performances to be a very charming comparison. In a way they could almost be the same person.

From the United States

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvHpfsfRtN8

From China

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fny9canjUWE

(the person posting this seems to have free access to film these classes and performances, so I will post this)

Edited by Buddy
Link to comment

This one I would consider to be ‘Lyrical’ and I like it very much. It’s much less athletic, without the extreme body motions of “Lyrical Jazz” and has a very lovely, gentle, almost ballet-like feeling.

Added: 

For me, in style of dance, it has a resemblance to what Ruth St. Denis was doing over a hundred years ago. This would be a much more culturally accurate example.

Edited by Buddy
Link to comment

Here’s another very lovely one. It does have athleticism, but it’s much more restrained than in many similar performances. I think that it’s a very beautiful effort at fusion of styles with some elegant lines and motions. The pleasant white background also helps a lot. It makes a nice comparison to the previously posted video, where the dancer has, perhaps, a more tangible inner expression and sense of poetic restraint.

 

 

Link to comment

Interestingly, I see some very fine resemblances, between Oxana Skorik’s “The Swan” performance and a ‘Lyrical’-“Lyrical Jazz” performance from China that I’ve found. Mikhail Fokine’s “The Swan” is probably one of the most beautiful works in all of ballet, perhaps in all of dance. It’s also a somewhat transitional work. The dance from China, on the other hand, is performed by a student of the Beijing Dance Academy, to a perhaps rather unknown contemporary piece. Yet, for me, there are beautiful qualities of flow and motion in both of them that somehow connect them and make them ‘Lyrical.’ They might also illustrate how similarly beautiful elements can appear in different styles and different cultures.

“The Swan”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIOCxhEsWZk

“Chinese Classical Dance - Qie Kan Xing Yun”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fny9canjUWE

and maybe this one again from China….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwBmNPB0BxA

 

Link to comment

Fittingly, I believe, the dance video from China that I like so much is called “Qie Kan Xing Yun (且看行云), Watching the Motion of the Clouds,” which seems like a perfect title. Created in 2012, the dance is now part of the repertoire for the important Tao Li Dance Competition and for entry exams for admission into various dance conservatories in China. (Thanks to Enya from China at Dansomanie for this information) It’s essentially a lyrically beautiful piece, a quality so important in ballet as well, with a certain amount of animated, Lyrical Jazz type, dancing, which, for me, does work here in combination.

As implied by this title, much dance from China has a love of nature and the beauty that can be found in simple, day-to-day life as its theme. This gives it a more natural context which translates very well into lyrically poetic and lovely dance interpretations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fny9canjUWE

 

 

Link to comment
Posted (edited)

This is another lyrically lovely ‘modern-classical’ work from China that I like very much, in particular the first ten minutes up to when the lights darken. It’s a nicely sensitive, artistically fine and sophisticated mixing of styles, which maintains a charming Chinese traditional feeling. I think that it’s a world class work and performance by the students of the Beijing Dance Academy that I’d like to see much more of.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPy2HZf2QKY

Edited by Buddy
last sentence added
Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...