A dancer has three distinct stages in a social dance. The first stage is called the “move”, which has the dancer trying to achieve a movement (i.e. be presentable-looking, move well, etc.).
The second stage is known as “dance preparation”. It includes the choreographer talking to the dancers, and then the choreographer and/or teacher introducing the dancers to moves they know and will be doing.
The third stage is called “dance climax”. It is where the dancers are at best very good and dancing to some form of music. This “dances” is where the dancers are dancing very close to music- usually with instrumental accompaniment. In a dance “corpus” the dancers are all in the same room and a few meters away from each other (or in the same room but 2 meters apart). This is where the dancer may need to move away before the music goes on.
The purpose of this post is to explain (but don’t necessarily do) what is going on in these stages in a ballet dance.
I’ll start with the dancer in the “move”, and then introduce the stages and other things in between. It’s important to remember that a ballet dance has two elements. 1) the “dance”, and 2) the “movement”.
The dancer in the “move” is the dancer in the “corpus”. The dancer in the “corpus” is the dancer on stage.
You can check what’s going on during the “move” by looking at the dance. Here are some questions to ask:
What is I dancing?
Is the movement flowing from one to the other? For instance, what did I do between the “move” and the “dance” (and also, what was the rest of the ballet dance doing?); and what does the rest of the choreography look like that was happening on stage before you?
What is happening (in the “dance”) (see the section on dancing in a “movement” for a little background)?
Are there certain things the dancer has to do that are not included in the “move”; these can be things like “dancing away” or “holding a breath” or (especially) “getting out of your chair”. Here are some questions to ask about this as well:
What happens after you dance?
Does this affect the rest of the choreography
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