Dance Criticism Essay

701 words - 3 pages

In the book Writing Dance in the Age of Postmodernism, Sally Banes offers four examples of dance criticism. Banes says, “a writer must tell what the dancer did, what they communicated, and how remarkable that was” (24). To do so, she reveals a dance critic can perform elements of description, interpretation, evaluation, and contextualization through their reviews.
Interpretation appears to be the most appealing category within dance criticism. Interpretation encompasses what the dance means. Essentially, it is what the choreographer and dancers are trying to communicate with the audience. The category of interpretation can often be the most difficult to determine in dance and for me that ...view middle of the document...

In the review she explains:
“Streams,” to Miloslav Kabelac’s gong-heavy percussion, was the season’s most academic offering, a kind of primer in the fundamentals of Horton technique, the basis of an Ailey education. That style, with its taut balances and sudden lower-spine contractions, can make an overwrought, effortful impression. In her razor-sharp solo, Jacquelin Harris embodied it the most naturally, as if it were her first language (Burke).
Banes had offered a set of fifteen possible combinations of the categories of dance criticism. The combination that best suits this review is number three on the list: contextual, descriptive, non-interpretive, evaluative (35). The review is positive which is apparent by the use of phrases such as “most academic offering” and “overwrought, effortless impression” describing the performance. If I was a dance enthusiast, I may or may not attend this performance. It does appear to be a good show but there is nothing in the review that sparks my total interest. What may the balances and contractions represent? The review makes the performance...

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