Thursday, November 6, 2008

Competition Red light?

I began writing this article in order to compare and contrast the differences between competitive and performance dance. It seemed almost ridiculous because although they are both very similar; performance dance has a much more elaborate and a genuine feel that is composed of a mutualistic relationship. Competition dance becomes almost a parasitic relationship because the beauty of the art is taken away by tricks, and movement with no emotional value. Although, it may be entertaining to watch and observe, the idea of dance evolving into material that utilizes the beauty of movement to illustrate one being superior to another, is a slap in the face to those whom view dance as an eccentric art form. Performance quality dancers utilize emotion, along with technique, to convey a statement in which the choreographer wants to declare to their audience. Where as well developed competitive dancers may apply emotion to their movement, the main idea behind their dancing becomes how much vigorousness and agility they convey. Dancers whom comprise the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, all have extremely fit and robust bodies, but that comes as a bonus to them. Their ideas are not to entertain, or show how much better they are; they want to convey a message to the audience. Oscar Ramos, of the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, states in Project 52, " On stage I feel like a chameleon, I put layers, or skins on and take them off. I try to interpret whatever I feel." Also, Matthew Rich explains, "I want to become the best artist I can possibly be, because before I'd be like, oh i want to be the best dancer i can be... it's not just about the dance, it's not just about executing the steps or the technical ability of the dancer, it's about what they can do with the movement."

Along with emotion, performance dancing reveals a statement the choreographer wants to represent. This is why it is called art rather than entertainment. The dancer's parallel the clay in the choreographer's hands in which he or she molds to create a beautiful piece of art. Rather than in competitive dance, the choreographer creates intricate patterns and fancy tricks to catch the judges eye.

As you can see, the dancers from Ohio State University have amazing technique and can do wonderful turns, and leaps; but they lack the emotion and the interesting qualities performance companies, in turn, embody. After seeing an abundant amount of competition videos i have come to realize they all look exactly the same. The group pieces all engulf straight lines, and big leaps. Companies such as Cedar lake Contemporary Ballet, Battleworks Dance Company, Paul Taylor, and Parsons Dance Company execute emotion and choreography that it is developed around. All in all, competitive dance lacks the drive and feeling of performance dance.

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