DRA 42A Beginning Ballet
Performance Observation and Reflection
Basic Ideas and Guidelines for your Essay
2 pages, double spaced, 12 font
Final Essay #2
Review a Professional Production of a Ballet, Contemporary Ballet, or Modern Dance and include when it was performed
- Identify the Work/Title, the Company, Theatre or Performance Venue, and the Choreographer(s)
- Note if the performance was a story ballet or abstract piece of choreography and the date it was originally choreographed
- With your overview, describe what you saw on stage. Theatrical effects, lighting, sets, scenery or costumes
- What was the setting/location? What was the period? For instance Current, Victorian or Medieval
- Was there a plot or choreographic theme repeated throughout the work?
- Could you follow the story through the choreography or did you need to reference the summary or synopsis
- Was there a particular dancer(s) that interested you? Was the choreography well suited to his or her technique or acting skill?
- Did the company or group work well together? Musically, were the dancers well-rehearsed?
- Did the choreography fit the musical phrases or did the steps seem unsuited to the music?
- Did the choreography allow you to understand the musical composition more clearly?
- Was the choreography new, unusual, and interesting, or was it predictable, dry, and unmoving?
- Did the choreography address topics such as the human spirit and temperament, or was the choreography used to make a broad social commentary?
- Observe the different choreographic patterns and the way dancers are moved on and offstage. Could you recognize lines, diagonals, groups in a swirling manner or curl?
- Emotionally, did the choreography and story ‘speak’ to you.
- Explain how you felt watching the piece and how you felt when it was finished. Were you joyful or sad? Were you uneasy, disturbed, uplifted, or optimistic?
- Did you have a favorite scene or Act? Why?
- If you watched a repertoire evening, (several pieces in the same performance), mention your favorite(s). Were the pieces well chosen to complement each other choreographically and musically?
- If a choreographic concept was not well understood, what would have made it more accessible to an audience?
- A brief description of the plot is sufficient. If you chose to write about a classical ballet (Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, etc.) or other well known work, I’m familiar with most of the storylines. If you wrote about a Modern piece for the midterm, try another style. Perhaps Contemporary or Classical.
These are a few broadly defined ideas or questions to ask and write about. It’s not necessary to critic or analyze corrections to technique and artistry.
Requirements: Analytical Review | 2 pages, Double spaced