The dance performance that I watched was by the San Diego Dance Theater, Library Dances. The dance was taken place at the Chula Vista Civic Center Library. There were 3 different dances during the event. The two dances that were choreographed by Jean Isaacs were “Two Forms” and “Water Lilies”. She is also the founder of San Diego Dance Theater. The other dance “Blot” was from a young choreographer’s showcase named Gina Bolles-Soresnsen. The dance occurred at a library, which was very intriguing and exciting. Libraries tend to not have a lot of art displayed.
It was a first and definitely a good change to see dances being performed at a library. There was a very huge crowd watching the dances. I was very surprised and thrilled to see how many people still appreciate art in the form of dance. I saw all different kinds of people, children, old people younger people who watched the performances. It gave me hope that art is not dead and is still alive and thriving amongst all crowds. The audience including me was very welcomed by Jean Isaacs herself. She gave us a brief summary of her experience, her company and her dancers.
It gave me a good idea what to expect and learn from the dance performance I was about to watch. I greatly admired the dancers’ bodies that moved freely and openly to the audience. It felt as if they were trying to send a message across. I was very surprised how different it is watching a dance on YouTube and watching it live. I can feel the dancers’ emotions and feelings through live dance that I cannot achieve watching online or on video. All three dances were very unique and had its own meaning and feeling to it. As each dance was performed, I saw myself changing emotions from one dance to another.
The change of moods, gave a very great and energizing performance. Overall, I was very intrigued and amazed with the dance performances that day. It was not easy to depict their meaning but surely I did enjoy their dance a lot. It left me wanting for more. The dance consisted of three dances by order, “Two Forms”, “Blot” and “Water Lilies 1”. I will be discussing two dances, which are “Two Forms” and “Water Lilies 1”. The very first danced that was performed was “Two Forms”, a solo ballet performance by Summer Jones. This dancer was on en pointe almost the whole dance.
She remained a great balance especially having to en pointe for a long time with slow movements. It also consisted of aesthetic ballet terms like vertical, eccentric, symmetrical and use of music. The dancers body was vertical and symmetrical to space. The opening of the arms, which is eccentric, was used throughout the dance. The dancer’s body followed the slow beat of the music. The song that accompanied the dance had changing accent maintaining the excitement feeling of the dance. The beat would change from a low tone to a high tone. It was very mysterious and sounded like a scary movie type of scene.
It made my blood flow pumping. The dancer did not utilize space that much since she was performing on a tiny stage but she did display direction and focus in her dance. The dancer’s direction was going back and forth in a line. While her focus was to her audience. She constantly made eye contact with the audience throughout the performance. The dancer utilized force showing flow and dynamics. The flow of the dance was slow and gradual like the slow music. The dynamics of the dance impacted to the climax when she slowly does en pointe by herself showing her strength.
As to describe the choreography of the dance, unity and variety was utilized throughout the dance. Unity shows that the dance had repetition of the same moves like outwards of the arms, en pointe, and holding onto props. Variety was shown when she was en pointe and was not holding onto props. This shows the contrast of the choreography giving meaning to it. It shows how in the beginning the dancer was struggling to stay on her toes and later on after practicing and staying on her toes for a while, finally let goes of her fear and standing on her own toes. There was dynamic contrast in this dance.
In the beginning where she just laid down on her back, relaxing herself. Then, she stands en pointe, contracting her muscles. Throughout the dance she stays her muscle contracted, until the end where she lets go and finally releases the tension and relaxes after she hold her en pointe by herself without the help of props. The theme was suite. The ballet was composed of different short dances but is linked to each other. Each movement she made depicted her struggle, which links to each other. The stage had props like a block of wood for sitting, a handle bar, table.
The props were used to hold on to and sit down when she could not stay in her dance position. The lightning was very dark, only enough to see the dancers face. It was more like the shadow of the dancer. This creates a very mysterious atmosphere. The music had high pitch and low pitch and was very slow. This also adds to the mysterious effect. The dancer’s costume was just black leotards and thighs. It was very simple yet very dark and mysterious. Overall, the dance gave a mysterious dark effect that was pulling the dancer down, making her struggle.
But in the end, she finally breaks free from the dark and faces her fear. The last dance is the “Water Lilies 1”, a modern dance. This dance was inspired by Monet’s water lilies. The dance was mostly putting weight on each other and on the wall, supporting each other and not letting the other person fall. Also, it gives a sense of loving, and appreciating things in general. The music was also not really accompanied by the dance. The music was just an added improvisation for the dance to be put together as a whole. The dancers showed a lot of facial expressions so as body movements.
The aesthetic terms that were used in this dance were concentric moves, weighed movements and use music as a secondary source. The dancers were moving more into themselves, inside. The whole dance showed weighed movements. The dancers put on their weight on the other person. The dancers followed their bodies instead of the music. The pace of the choreography was fast movements unlike the first dance it was very gradual and slow. The dancers utilized a lot of their space since they had a bigger stage than the first dance. Their direction was all over the place.
Some were on the side supporting others and a person would be climbing on top of the other person. There are a lot of movements being performed all at once. It was sort of overwhelming at first glance. There were different levels in space. There were dancers in the bottom like a brick, holding one person up. The focus on this choreography was into each other not to the audience. The force in this choreography showed a lot of weight. The dancers laid down, pushed, lean on each other throughout the dance. They had to support themselves and their partners. The flow of the dance was very smooth and organized.
It wasn’t obvious that they were changing their sequence of movements. The choreography of this dance showed unity and variety as a great example. The dancers were unified with the repetition of rhythms of their bodies. They all danced symmetrically and in same rhythms. Also there was variety, where one person was leaning against the wall and the other person was climbing up the wall. Every person was doing their own movement in their own space. The dynamic contrast in this piece was the pulling, pushing and leaning on each other, putting on their weight.
The muscle contracts and relaxes while doing these movements. It’s a combination of both. Most movements were angular floor patterns and the body shapes were combined to increase the tension. The pushing, pulling, leaning kept going on until they reached climax. And literally, one person climbs the bridge of humans. This created the climax of this dance piece. Overall, the choreography’s theme is suite. It is similar to the first dance. There were short dances that are linked together as one. Monet inspired the dance Water Lilies 1, creating a beautiful art piece in painting and in dance.
The dancers were very expressive with their faces and bodies. You can clearly see the emotions they put in this dance. Most of them were giving out the feeling of relaxed and loved. The music also plays as a serene and calm feeing. The whole dance gave a uniting and connected effect to everyone. While watching the dance, I felt very happy and loved. I believe this is what they are portraying, the love of nature and the happiness it gives us. The movements were soft and subtle just like the water lilies. They are very beautiful, delicate and loved.
The setting of the stage was bright with lights and there was a very open space. The setting was very welcoming and inviting. The lights were very bright, it was almost like the sun shinning the dancers. The dancers wore neutral colors that were pleasant to the eyes. Overall, the water lilies 1 is portraying a very inviting and welcoming feeling. It also shows unity between the dancers. They helped each other climb up the wall, shows how water lilies are peaceful and calming. This dance basically depicts the love of nature and calmness that it brings to our lives.
Library Dances by San Diego Dance Theater was a pleasant experience. It is the first library dance held in Chula Vista. I would definitely love to attend another of this successful dance. Each dance that they showcased were different and had variety. “Two Forms” by Jean Isaacs was very inflicting challenges that we faced. “Blot” by Gina Bolles-Sorensen was very mysterious especially with her props and dance techniques. Lastly, “Water Lilies 1” by Jean Isaacs was very calming and peaceful. All three dances had different techniques and meaning to it but overall were great in technique, style and expressiveness.