As part of my Expressive Arts module’s Portfolio, I had to evaluate a dance show. What better dance show to evaluate than one of my own?
I chose my most recent show that the dance school I help teach at put on in March of 2015. I thought it would be interesting to evaluate something that is potentially my own as I have never thought to or done this before. As I watched, I considered all aspects of the show such as choreography, the stage, the lighting, sound and costume.
The show had a movie theme, with each section displaying the likes of The Bodyguard, Tarzan and Hairspray to name a few. This kept the show organised and family friendly as we used well known films to try and encourage the audience to clap and sing along.
The show opens with a compere introducing the audience to the name and theme of the show with a couple of cheesy jokes to get us laughing. The lights then rise slowly to show the dancers standing waiting and when the music starts a range of fireworks go off! This is a great opening to the show using sound and light to surprise and excite the audience.
Throughout the show, the choreography differs depending on the song. It ranges from modern, to hip hop, jazz, african tribal, contemporary and disco. It is great to see a wide range of dance types that not only differ in style but also in tempo and difficulty.
The stage stayed the same throughout the entire performance. I think this is down to not only the lack of facilities at the venue but also – in this type of dance show there is no need to change the stage set up as it may detract from the dancing. It is just a plain back rounded stage with a white backdrop. The white backdrop was used as a screen on which pictures, words and videos were displayed along to each track. It was a really nice touch to go along with the songs and dances instead of having a plain back drop.
Depending on the song, the lighting differed dramatically. Usually, the lights reflected the mood and theme of the song and performance. For example, with the little ones doing a song from Frozen, there was lots of blues and pinks: blue to represent the ice and snow and pink as it is quite a cute and innocent colour. Whereas when the seniors did Chicago, the lights were darker and red, giving a more grown up, sultry feel to the dance. Noticing the different lighting effects used for each dance made it more apparent to me how important lighting is in portraying an emotion and how it adds to the performance of the dance as a whole. Despite this, i felt that there was a lack in the variety of lighting, for example, there was no strobe lights or spotlights. It might have added a wow factor if there was if these had been included. Also the abundance of pink and purple tones of light were stereotypically quite girly despite there being several boy dancers… could this ave been avoided with the use of blue lights or would this have altered the mood of the performance?
The compere introduced each dance with the name of the song and the group who was dancing each time, which let the audience know these details before the dance started. The compere was funny and made the audience laugh which raised that atmosphere in the room. The volume of the music was loud but not too loud. The music ranged in genre and timeframe which ensured all needs of the audience were met in terms of age and music preference. The only issue was that on the DVD of the show you could hear the audience chatting in the background which i found to be distracting and rude.
The costumes in dance shows are a crucial part in the stage presence of the dancers. Again, costumes differ depending on the types and style of dance and song. Some were modern, some were old fashioned, some were cute and some were sexy. I especially liked a specific costume that the children had obviously designed and chosen themselves from their own clothes. You could tell that they were really pleased with themselves and it added a sense of personalisation to the dance itself. Along with monkey costumes, there were 1920’s headpieces, 70’s leg warmers, crop tops, sequin jackets and fur lined dresses! The range on display were fantastic and really highlighted the dances and the show as a whole. Some of the children did look a bit uncomfortable in their costume, and were obviously not consulted in the costume before it being chosen. Maybe in future the children’s opinions in costume could be taken into consideration a little bit more.
My favourite part about the show is that I was a part of it. Im sure all of the other dancers would agree. Being a crucial part of the behind the scenes madness, the quick changes, the tears, the false eyelash drama, the glitter spray and the sheer adrenaline that lingers in the atmosphere is something that you just cannot taste by being merely a spectator. The sense of family that is achieved by dancers is unreal and something that cannot be fully described until one experiences it themselves. I loved the theme of the show and being fully immersed into the differing themes through the mediums of lighting, choreography, costume, lighting and of course the music – sound!
I feel as though there could have been more variation amongst everything. Something wildly different in the choreo, the lighting, the costumes – something that would make the audience gasp! I think props and stage setting could also be used in future to fully enhance the performance to its fullest potential. Technology and pyrotechnics etc, could also be used in performances such as these to add to the already brilliant atmosphere.