In 2020 I watched an online college performance. The event started with a sped up version of dance rehearsals. This made the performance more interesting because it showed what the students had been working on previously and helped to give an insight into the preparation that had gone into the event. Dramatic music was played throughout these clips. This created suspense because the audience is awaiting the main performance. It helps build to the main performance by developing an atmosphere of anticipation.
The main performance begins with a use of lighting to create an atmosphere. The light slowly turns on to indicate to the audience that the event is about to start. Music begins playing for a few seconds whilst the performers are still. This creates a dramatic effect through which we are unaware of what is going to happen next. The lighting is used once more to bring the performers into view and make them the main focus. There is a use of a smoke machine which again creates suspense and an atmosphere because it creates a sense of foreboding which helps to tell a story within the dance.
The dancers begin to move when the dynamics of the music changes. The individuals begin on the floor as if in a sleeping postion before rising to their feet again when the music changes. They are staggered in the way they rise to their feet, with three of the performers standing before the rest. This makes the performance more interesting because the dancers don’t move in the way we would expect them to. In the way that they begin dancing in a staggered way, they then come together before separating once more as the dynamics change within the song. Lighting is used to brighten up the stage and draw a focus on the dancers. At points the stage darkens when the dancers separate to perform in solo groups so that it can enhance the group performance when they perform altogether. The dance uses more full body movements as the first song’s dynamics increase towards the end. As the song draws to a close, these movements become slower.
Lighting is used throughout the entire performance to tell a story, enhance specific parts of the performance and draw attention to the dancers involved.
I enjoyed the use of rehearsal clips before hand which helped to build into the main performance and develop a relationship between the audience and dancers because they are aware of the amount of work put into the overall event. The use of lighting had been well-thought out and helped to develop each and every piece of the performance. It built an atmosphere and helped to enhance the movements by the dancers. Every movement was well-thought out and created a story. For example, the first dance used costumes to show hint at the animalistic qualities they were given, but without the costumes the movements carried out clearly showed this. Along with a dance later on, the music was tense and dramatic and the almost chaotic full body movements clearly showed what the music was trying to portray. I liked how they had reflected the feel of the songs within each dance which helped capture the overall atmosphere within the music.
At times, the dancers could’ve been more in sync with one another. Some movements didn’t entirely line up but this was roughly accurate. The lighting could’ve been used only at specific points to make it even more dramatic and really enhance the parts that were important but overall this was used where appropriate.
The overall performance was well thought out and clearly showed the amount of work that had been put into it. I have watched some dance performances but not similar to this one. This one was smaller scale with students as the performers.
From this art event I have learned ways in which lighting could be implemented in my future music performances to create a dramatic effect and how I could use suspense before the performance itself to build anticipation.