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Centre: Waltz Phrase

Form and/or Function

This is a travelling waltz phrase on the diagonal. The aim is for the swing quality of the waltz to connect with a generous and roaming use of the space.  The phrase integrates a number of sequentially ordered score elements combined with specific time and space.

Notes on our approach

This waltz phrase was developed via the waltz catalogue and waltz travel, which was already set on the diagonal with straight and circular pathways. In total there are nine score elements, which were explored and developed for this phrase.

Exploration and Setting:

All the score elements were explored separately and then set in an accumulation process to compose each dancer’s individualised phrase. Also see Glossary notes on setting.

Each movement and score element was defined and explored through improvisation.  An example for this is the fouetté exploration.

Gradually, each dancer selected and developed their most effective or interesting way of performing an element. The score elements were then set in an accumulation process to compose each dancer’s individual phrase.

The timing and space use of the phrase are closely set. The dancers aim to use momentum to push through space and observe what their maximum spatial range is with this phrase.

Score Elements:

  • 2/3 On the diagonal, shift forward, reach high
  • 2/3 Shift back, reach high
  • 2/3 (Subdivided) travel straight
  • 2/3 (Subdivided) travel in an upstage circle
  • 2/3 Body part swing forward and back
  • 2/3  Body part swing into fouetté, swing fouetté
  • 2/3 Travel shift far-near/chassé, repeat
  • 2/3 Reach high, Turn (renversé)

The elements in parentheses are optional specifications, as they were not equally accessible to all the dancers in this setting (e.g. subdividing the three while travelling in the wheelchair).

The way the movements and score elements are broken down is of course something we can debate. Do we understand the first shift to reach high as one connected element or as two? Do we break down according to musical phrasing or physical connections? In essence, the score elements are chunks of the phrase material that lend themselves to practice in isolation before being composed into the phrase.

Development:

This phrase could be developed further through a drop and join or join and replace process.

Observation Tasks

  • Can you recognise all the score elements?
  • Are there choices that challenge and expand your expectations?
  • What would you want the dancers to continue working on?