Language of Performing Arts Coursework

In performing arts ourfirst section was dance, we choreographed a short dance, which lasted about two minutes, which incorporated different elements of dance. We learnt about each element and how to apply them to dance, during a series of lessons. Firstly through improvisation we started to produce a motif, which would act as our base to expand on. The word motif means "the central movement theme of a dance which is developed, repeated and varied" (Linda Rickett Young, 1996). During our lessons our class learnt that changing the direction, tempo without changing its order could vary a motif.
Motifs can add interest to a simple phrase and give alternative meaning so that repetition does not bore the audience. We developed our motif through rehearsal. For example we repeated certain parts of the motif and with different intensions, we did this by expanding our motif adding an extra gesture then bringing the motif through again this time in a different level, which gave the motif more variation. We also mixed in other motifs at the end of our performance and repeated our original phrase to bring it to a familiar conclusion.
A motif in dance could be likened to the hook line of a musical composition or piece of drama. It could be a simple melody line to which a piece of music is built around and repeated. In our dance we used four beats to a bar, in a two bar phrase we used this because it is even and fits well to perform to.
The basic actions of dance are: elevation, stillness, gestures, turning, and movement, jumping, stepping and travelling. Most of these if not all are used in drama, for example gestures are very important for actors because they can show feelings and expressions in a piece of drama. These can be very powerful in both art forms especially when accompanied with body and facial expressions. Within our piece we used running and turning to simply move from one space