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  1. #1
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    Default Dynamics of using the stage.

    Just wanted to raise this issue about use of the stage during a performance, and dynamics in getting your audience's attention and captivating them during dancing.

    when i first started to do drama studies i learnt about various stage positions as shown in this diagram


    Stage Positions

    is it something that any of the professional dancers on this forum consider when performing on stage?

    I ask this because i have read comments on the forum about being too busy on the stage, as opposed to watching genuine ME dance from egyptians or whoever where the movements are more contained.

    i began to wonder if stage dynamics is considered primarily because i think that a controlled environment such as a stage requires a different set of dynamics than say people performing in a restaurant or even just among friends in a room where the space might be much smaller.

    any comments will be helpful.
    Last edited by kayshier; 08-21-2008 at 01:53 PM.

  2. #2
    Member deelybopper's Avatar
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    kayshier - the diagram isn't showing up for me...

    I use a diagram that was developed by Doris Humphrey (it's in the Art of Making Dances) to help me think about placement on the stage - I've looked for an online example, but I can't find one!

    In terms of dynamics - I absolutely agree that performance dynamics for the stage have to differ from other venue such as restaurants. But I interpret this as perhaps making movements larger so they are more visible at a distance. I would interpret 'busy' as using too many movements full stop.

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Stage, etc.

    Dear Kayshier,
    First, I think it is important to say that western dancers usually have a different idea of utilizing horizontal space than do Middle Eastern dancers. I think western dance lends itself better to western style blocking because horizontal space is often a very important element in the dance itself. It tends to be a sort of secondary element in belly dance in most cases. The pattern and trend in covering space in Egyptian belly dance, for example, is to stand rather in the middle of the stage and do a lot of vertical movement that uses very little horizontal space. Then, when the music dictates, the dance will often cover horizontal space at the same time as doing something vertical with they body as well. For example the dancer will walk a circle around the stage starting movement across the front of the stage to her right, traveling to the back of the stage, on to the left front side and back to center. this circle is used by almost all Egyptians dancers. In fact, I can't think of one who does not use horizontal space in this way at some time or other during her dance. Now, in addition to walking around the stage, the dance is usually layering her walk with drops, locks, shimmies, circles or slides or some other device so that there is vertical movement in the body as well as horizontal movement around the floor.
    I remember one of my first impressions of Fifi. She broke this pattern and moved straight across the front of the stage and this surprised me a lot since I had not really seen any other dancers use space that way to that point.
    Even Randa often moves in the circle pattern and she takes up a lot more horizontal space than many.
    Your diagram did not come through, but I am wondering if it seems like it would be applicable?
    Regards,
    A'isha

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Hi Kayshier, I picked up a few tips while sudying Keti Sharif's instructional series. In which she describes a 'sacred floor plan'. Well there's nothing sacred about it really..just identifying certain shapes on the floor in which the dancer may want to follow.
    In reality, they are basic geometric shapes-circles, line, triangles etc. The point is to create symmetry within the dance especially while traveling. I think it's ingrained within Western dancers to think of stage space as something to fill up. I don't think there's nothing wrong with it....considering that more and more Oriental dance is taking place in theatrical venues,in which the audience seating patterns may vary.

    Within, restaurant style entertainment.. dance space is at a premium! Often the dancer uses circular and horizontal linear patterns in which to face the audience.
    Yasmine

  5. #5
    Senior Member Marya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deelybopper View Post
    kayshier - the diagram isn't showing up for me...

    I use a diagram that was developed by Doris Humphrey (it's in the Art of Making Dances) to help me think about placement on the stage - I've looked for an online example, but I can't find one!
    I can't remember if it was Doris Humphrey's book or some other book on Choreography I found, but there is also a theory about the emotional impact different parts of the stage will have on the audience that I think is very important for any dancer to know regardless of style if they are going to be performing on a stage. The center is considered the most powerful place and the edges and to the back can have a feeling of weakness, sadness, etc. My books are in boxes right now so I can't check.


    When I have to perform belly dance on a stage I prefer the apron so I can be as close to the audience as possible.

    Marya

  6. #6
    Member deelybopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marya View Post
    I can't remember if it was Doris Humphrey's book or some other book on Choreography I found, but there is also a theory about the emotional impact different parts of the stage will have on the audience that I think is very important for any dancer to know regardless of style if they are going to be performing on a stage. The center is considered the most powerful place and the edges and to the back can have a feeling of weakness, sadness, etc. My books are in boxes right now so I can't check.
    That sounds like the Doris Humphrey one!

    Kayshier - thanks for the link - I've had a look at the diagram now, and I've seen it before. I think it is useful to bear in mind if performing on a traditional proscenium arch stage. It's useful for developing choreography and also for giving instructions to the lighting folk! If developing choreography I would also try and use it in conjunction with the Doris Humphrey diagram (just had another hunt for it online, but still can't find it!).

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