15 terms

Shadows - Dance GCSE

Christopher Bruce
Phoenix Dance Theatre
Date of first performance and duration
26th November 2014 and 12 minutes
Dance Style
Combination of classical ballet and contemporary dance "neo-classical"
Choreographic Approach
He started shadows with the idea of a family unit sitting around the dinner table and knew that the furniture would become an intrinsic part of the choreography. The anxiety of the music also influenced the movement material.
Performance Environment
End Stage
Arvo Part's 'Fratres' for violin and piano. The music evokes images of European history and tradition steeped in over a thousand years of suffering and human experience.
Choreographic Intention
A family coming to terms with deprivation, poverty and the realities of what lies outside their intimate family home.
Number of dancers
4, 2 male and 2 female. Portraying a mother, father, son and daughter.
Structure of dance
Semi - narrative. Including solos, duet, trio and quartet.
Describe the aural setting
The accompaniment is Arvo Part's 'Frantres'. The music has no break in tempo, following the composer's signature style of using broken chords and diatonic scales. The music is in a minor key and is integral to the dark, solemn atmosphere of the piece. There is a clear correlation between the movement vocabulary and accompaniment in terms of speed and dynamics. This is used to introduce each character and their emotional response to he situation.
Describe the costume design
Designed by Christopher Bruce. The costumes are clearly gendered to depict the era of 1930/40s: simple shirts, skirts, trousers and dresses as well as large overcoats worn at the end of the dance. The colours are muted and worn down, symbolising deprivation and poverty.
Lighting designer
John B Read
Describe the lighting design
John B Read used lighting to create an intimate space on stage depicting the feeling of 'a room', as well as to indicate what is waiting for the family outside that they are so reluctant to step into.
Describe the staging and set
Shadows uses a minimal set within a black-box theatre space. The piece includes a table, a bench, two stools, a coat stand and suitcases. All are worn-looking, confirming the notion of hardship within the family. The space created allows the audience to enter the heart of the home, the kitchen.