The Choreographic Interests of the Postmodernists
What are some of the choreographic interests of the postmodernists?
The period of postmodern choreography is characterized by emerging experimental dance forms. Postmodernists often used improvisation and spontaneous movements in their performance. They could engage non-professional dancers and use physically complicated movements. Experiments also included an unusual environment and accompaniment (for example, spoken word or sounds). Many dancers made the themes of their performances more profound; they could express serious common issues and their own stories through dance. In general, individualism is an important feature of postmodern choreography. Attention was given to self-expression, the diversity of dancers’ appearance, and costumes. The trend of unisex in dance and the combination of choreography and technologies also characterize the postmodern movement.
Describe the work of an American-born choreographer you feel was/is influential in the development of American ballet
Robert Joffrey was an American choreographer whose brave and groundbreaking ideas made his career significantly in the history of American ballet. He started his work with the establishment of a small dance school in New York, which later became his own company. The distinctive feature of his choreographic art is that he reconstructed 19th-century ballets, for example, Bournonville’s. The first “psychedelic” performance Astarte is another innovative idea belonging to Joffrey. The choreographer made it his goal to attract the young audience to the art of dance. He and his followers used a wide range of dance styles and worked on both new and reconstructed projects.
Did you like “The Apartment”? Explain
“The Apartment” is a touching story that keeps the viewer’s attention until the end. The performance is an example of how a six-minute dance can be simple and profound at the same time. In the everyday setting of an apartment, the dancers managed to express the full range of feelings: loneliness, hope, tenderness, and love. What I liked the most was the tension between dancers and their outstanding choreographic skills that managed to render the different shades of their passion. Moving melody, expressive moves, minimalistic setting, and full emotional engagement of the dancers allowed them to recapture drama between two ordinary people in an average-looking apartment.
What is the message or theme of peace in your opinion?
“The Apartment” is an example of how serious issues can be expressed in the ordinary setting. The piece that I have watched is a story about two people who share the same feeling of loneliness. In the beginning, it is possible to see the indecisiveness and sadness of the characters that are shown as simple and vulnerable. However, their non-synchronic choreography is substituted by more harmonic and broad movements closer to the end of the story. Therefore, the message of the performance is that even behind the veil of everyday routine in the usual apartment, people can experience the full range of feelings, struggles, and passion.
What is the difference between postmodern dance and contemporary dance?
Although postmodern and contemporary genres have certain common features, they are still different by nature. Postmodern dance is mostly connected with experiment and self-expression; it encourages individual understanding of the performance by the viewer, depending on the feelings that it evokes. Contemporary dance is closer to the standards; it is a combination of traditional and new techniques (for example, modern dance and classical ballet). It is primarily focused on depicting serious up-to-date issues, unlike postmodern dance, which is often based on individual stories of the dancers. There is also less diversity of expression in contemporary dance than in restriction-free postmodern performances.
Did the music, props, dancers’ abilities, lighting, and costuming work with the piece?
The distinctive feature of the performance is that its minimalism keeps viewers’ attention on the movements and emotions of the dancers. The stage is not well-lit, which creates an atmosphere of frustration and loneliness. The dancers barely interact with the old-looking inventory of the apartment, as all the focus is on their inner turmoil; their casual clothes also emphasize the ordinary setting of the story. At the same time, their moves differ from simple to physically difficult, rendering their inner struggle. It is necessary to mention the wise choice of music, as its both tender and rhythmical melody contribute to the ambiguousness of the whole performance.