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Understanding Dance

Appreciating Dance

Discussing Dance

Unlike a painting or a sculpture, live dance performance is fleeting. You can't rewind the tape or take the artwork with you. It is a memory as quickly as it happens.

Talking about a dance performance is a great way to solidify what you thought about the work or remember how you felt during the performance. It is also valuable to listen to other people's opinions about what they experienced.

It's important to remember that you might not like everything you see. The key is to ask yourself why you liked or didn't like something. Then you can choose to see something different the next time. In fact, that's how you start to appreciate dance.

It can be helpful to talk about a performance with a friend or a group of friends who saw the same presentation. The opportunity to share and compare your thoughts about a dance performance is a great way to reflect on the experience. Again, there is no right or wrong way to articulate your personal opinion.

You may wish to focus your discussion on the elements of the performance, such as:

  • The choreography
  • The dancers
  • The music
  • The costumes
  • The sets and scenery
  • The lighting

Or you might choose to talk about aspects of your experience, for example:

  • Your response to the story or mood evoked
  • Your interpretation of the work's meaning
  • Your feelings during the performance
  • Your feelings after the performance

Two people watching the exact same live performance can have very different interpretations about what they saw and how they felt. By being open to all the possibilities, sharing your thoughts and listening to others', you will enhance your enjoyment and appreciation of the experience.