MOVEMENT ANALYSIS VIDEOS
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Thanks to Kenneth Goldsmith, Eylül Fidan Akıncı, and UbuWeb for their archive.
Each of the works chosen is about one (1) hour and represents a variety of contemporary dance techniques and styles. Many of these choreographers are lesser known than others but have had no less of an impact on their immediate communities. Please only pick one (1) video on which to write but please feel free to watch all of them if you have time. I have linked to each of the choreographer's Wikipedia biographies and provided short summaries of each of the works (c/o of UbuWeb and/or the artists' websites). Feel free to read these and click through the videos to see which ones you want to watch.
Click on the choreographer's image to access the video.
The Centaur And The Animal follows the interaction between man and horse during the process of dressage. The audience is invited to watch as the horse is exposed to a deeper level of knowledge while the man reverts to his animal instincts. Eventually man and animal merge into one being as The Centaur.
The show is co-choreographed by Ko Murobushi, one of Japan’s greatest butoh masters. The collaboration brings together beautiful equestrian movement with the strange and beguiling art of butoh.
Content Warning: live horses are used on stage
by Kyle Abraham
Reimagined as a dance work and now set in Pittsburgh's historically black neighbourhood, Homewood and the Hill District, Pavement aims to create a strong emotional chronology of a culture conflicted with a history plagued by discrimination, genocide, and a constant quest for a lottery ticket weighted in freedom.
Content Warning: scenes insinuating white-on-Black violence
by Jiří Kylián
Kaguyahime is one of Japan’s oldest fairytales. The story of the mysterious Moon Princess inspired Jirí Kylián to create a full-length ballet and to commission a score from the Japanese composer Maki Ishii.
Through its use of western percussion instruments and Japanese drums, the work combines both occidental and oriental elements, its rhythmic vitality providing a musical structure for the poetic tale. Woodwind instruments extend the tonal colour, as does the use of traditional Gagaku music from the Japanese court.
Using Ishii's music combining Western and Eastern sound elements, Kylian focused on the philosophical message behind the Kaguyahime story and created a highly charged performance in which dance, music and theatrical imagery have equal importance.
After meeting the monks of the Shaolin temple in 2007, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui decided to work closely with the temple to develop a common project. He invited Antony Gormley for the set design and Polish composer Szymon Brzóska for the live performed music. Sutra became a common journey of cultural and social exchange. Through translations, negotiations and explanations, they created an artistic universe that found its way to the hearts of the audience. Talking about old and new China, the performance is also a reflection of the meeting between Cherkaoui, choreographic assistant Ali Ben Lotfi Thabet and the monks. It speaks about building and destroying, about transformations and games. The stage is filled with wooden boxes. These can form different constellations; becoming a wall, a bridge, a temple or a graveyard, they create a transformable space to travel through for the performers.
by Lin Hwai-min
Cursive is a lyrical dance with its title and movement ideas inspired by Chinese calligraphy.
Cursive is the result of a long journey into ancient practice of movement and spirituality. Under the direction of choreographer Lin Hwai-min, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan has been exploring traditional Chinese body disciplines.
In 2001, Lin Hwai-min further explored the possibilities of Tai Chi Tao Yin and martial arts, and created Cursive, with its title derived from Chinese calligraphy. After studying Chinese calligraphy masterpieces, Lin found, despite the differences in styles, all the brush works share one common element: the focused energy with which the calligraphers "danced" during writing. The exercise produced unimaginable movements, from subtle slow motions to martial-arts-like attacks with powerful energy.
Fase (Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich) (1982)
Fase, Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich, choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s very first performance, premiered in 1982. Fase comprises three duets and one solo, choreographed to four repetitive compositions by the American minimalist Steve Reich. De Keersmaeker uses the structure of Reich’s music to develop an independent movement idiom that doesn’t merely illustrate the music but also adds a new dimension to it. Both the music and the dance start from the principle of phase shifting through tiny variations: movements that are initially perfectly synchronous gradually start slipping and sliding, resulting in an ingenious play of continuously changing forms and patterns.
The theme of water is dear to Carolyn Carlson and crops up in many of her works, such as Still Waters, Writings on Water and Water Born. This time set to original music by Joby Talbot, the piece immerses into enveloping maternal waters, melancholic dreams, threatening pollution and violent seas. Mysterious and ambiguous, its cloudy reflections let the mind float towards buried thoughts and emotions. Sadness dissolves in it and water becomes tears, eliminating the salt of bitterness - an inseparable part of appreciating happiness. A fundamental element of life, it carries sensuality, desire and purity, sweeping the dancers along with unusual beauty. Alain Fleischer's watery mirrors let the world gaze at its own reflection and make water the eyes of the earth.
An hour-long breathtaking trip through a soundscape created by Coldplay and Massive Attack collaborator, Jon Hopkins, and award-winning composer Joby Talbot (The Divine Comedy), ENTITY is a staggering blend of bodies, lights, technology and film that mark McGregor at the cutting edge of contemporary culture. Technically astonishing, emotionally uncompromising and hard-hitting, McGregor's work breaks boundaries and defies categorisation.