Thirteenth Submission: Heather R

Heather found this video from the 2006 Showstopper Dance Competition that kind of sums up every single cliché associated with dance competitions that I could ever imagine, some of which have already been mentioned on this blog. Behold! The group fouetté turns, the heel stretch, the leg turn, the out-of-character hip grind, the super-young girls in triangle bikini tops and bare midriffs. WHAT A WILD, WILD PARTY!

[Ed note: Embedding was mysteriously disabled, so you can access the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RgUmkfUj3A]

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One response to “Thirteenth Submission: Heather R

  1. This discussion about the dance cliché, with verbal descriptions and video examples, tickles the brain. Clearly, dance clichés aren’t any choreographer’s goal — confirmed by the number of videos in the discussion which have been disabled (presumably because it’s not a forum in which anyone would want to find their own work). It strikes me that many of the samples offered can actually be sorted into two categories: the cliché (a predictable and overused move) and bad taste (costumes and moves that are inappropriate in their context).

    And I’d like to speak up in defense of some clichés — in the right context! When I saw them in the video samples, I had to smile: the center stage line-up of dancers behind each other with arms at different angles, the line-up of dancers from left to right for high kicks, the use of a chair as a prop, STOMP-inspired percussion, the worm, the splits…

    I smile because my students have tried them all! As a teacher in a public school, I teach everyone, from kindergarten through 5th grade. Left to their own devices, students will adorn their dances with every cliché they’ve seen. It used to bother me, until I realized they’re too young to recognize clichés — to them it’s a cool move, and they want to try it. And then, some of the most hackneyed moves provide great spacing and timing challenges for young dancers.

    So, the right context? When a young dancer is learning the craft of choreography– sort of like apprentice painters who were trained to imitate the masters.

    And then, there’s always the chance that a young choreographer will veer into surprisingly new territory from what looked to be a predictable move!

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