Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Pretty Two-Step

After the quartet, the trio of couples stroll back in. Now Abby and Pali take center stage and the other couples echo them to the tune of The Strenuous Life.

Their dance takes advantage of Abby's delicacy and clean positions. She has a very crisp, clear, piquant style which makes her a joy to watch because her dancing is so "legible."

"Presentation" is a quality that dancers must always be aware of. It doesn't mean that a dancer must be constantly mugging at the audience. But a dancer must always be aware of the effect they are making to an audience.

Are they presenting (communicating) the dance in such a way that the audience "gets" it? Otherwise, you might as well just be dancing in your living room alone. Which is great too, but why go onstage if you don't have something to "say."

So unlike the previous couples dance, there isn't any drama in this piece. It features the girls using their legs very much like scissors. Tight and straight. As they switch from position to position, they are manipulated by the guys to change direction as well.

There wasn't anything particularly difficult about setting this pas. The only thing of note was that a step had to be changed after the piece had been staged.

When you are setting something, you tend to do so in stops and starts. Towards the end of the dance, there was a diagonal of releve's for Abby that weren't a problem when we did it in pieces.

Abby looked very nice doing it.

But when we put it in the framework of the entire dance, it was just too much for her ankle at the end of four minutes of dancing. We kept it in for awhile, to see if it was a matter of endurance, but it wasn't. Given that there are so many other steps that could easily take its place, we changed it to an off balance releve into 4th, that was equally pretty. And more fun to perform.

Here we have another example of "presentation." Even though Abby is facing back (this is actually a turning lift), her arms and legs are still making a clearly legible line to the audience.



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