Dance History

Response Paper #3: Concert Critique – San Francisco Dance Film Festival 2020 Digital Season

Access the link for the San Francisco Dance Film Festival 2020 “Digital Season
https://www.sfdancefilmfest.org/digital/

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Once you are on the SFDFF website page, scroll down the page to the heading, ARCHIVE, then continue down the left column to the image titled “Solo Settings”. You will recognize it by the screenshot of a man with arms raised, dressed in a suit and tie and the setting appears to be in a church.

Watch this entire video (about 55 minutes in length) that features 7 short films by a collection of choreographers and filmmakers. Be sure that you also watch the introduction by the curator of the film festival, the Social Media Manager of SFDFF.

Choose two (2) dance film works to write about, one from the dance films presented, 1-4, and the second dance, from dance films 5-7, meaning the first dance film you choose is from the first half of the 7 dance program, and the second dance film you choose is from the second half of the 7 dance presentation. Please do not choose 2 dances in the same half of the program, or you will lose points for not following instructions. Remember, select one piece in the first 4 dances to write about, and one from the final 3 dances. I want you to see the whole program as if you were at a concert watching these dances since this assignment serves as your Concert Critique. The following are the questions and considerations I would like you to discuss in your essay:

All of these dance films feature “contemporary” dance styles, meaning the movement is a hybrid of many styles that may include elements from ballet, modern, vernacular and social dance, techniques informed by somatic (body/mind aesthetics), release and counter technique, contact improvisation, isolation of limbs, floor work, partnering, martial arts, even folk and ethnic dance vocabulary. With that in mind:
Observe and think about the movement vocabulary – describe the movement in terms of energy, imagery, use of the body – postures, gestures, shapes, body parts in isolation or used as a whole, how space is used.
Were there symbols, metaphors or significant images introduced in the dances that you recognized and what do you think they mean?
How does the environment or setting of the dance film affect its message? Describe the setting of the two dances that you discuss.
Consider the title of the dance and how does it inform the viewer? What clues or observations did you come up with because of the title? Did the title “fit” in your opinion and why?
What did you learn from the brief introductions from the creators of the dance films in terms of the creative process and ultimate meaning of the works? Even if the dance/s that you choose does not have an introduction, talk about this addition as a concept and how it may have informed you as a viewer.
Finally, what was it about those particular dances that captured your imagination, curiosity, art aesthetic, that made you choose these 2 dances to talk about? Please discuss with some depth, detail and critical thought behind your decision.

Here are the names of the seven dances presented in the program for your reference:

Lost in Motion, choreography: Guillaume Coté
Knock, choreography: Alisdair MacIndoe
Drawing Blank, choreography: Emily Honneger
Spielen (translated from the German, meaning play, game, acting, performing), choreography: Jorge Morrow, Dunia Jocic
Dancing Day, choreography: Tytus Bergstrom
Waters into Wilderness, choreography: Lauren Edson
Cold Storage, choreography: Valtteri Raekollio

Your essay is worth 20 points and is due on or before Monday, November 23, 2020, at 11:59 PM. Please write your essay directly into the “Assignments Portal” box on our Canvas. Please be sure that you answer all of the prompts, and please also include the title of the dance you’re writing about. Please write your essay using a paragraph format so that each prompt/question is separated by paragraphs, (this makes it easier for me to read your responses), or number the questions and enter your responses after each question. You will be responding to all of the prompts for both of the 2 dances you write on. Thank you for keeping your essay organized and easy to read.

I hope that you will enjoy these unique dance films and I look forward to reading your thoughts and observations. Thank you for your attention. For more information on Dance History check on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dance_History

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