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The Aural Setting

The Aural Setting

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The Aural Setting

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  1. The Aural Setting There are many types of accompaniment (aural setting) that a choreographer can use in their work. Silence Voice Sound (natural/found) Music

  2. With no sound a dance must be strong and clear having it’s own rhythm and form. Silence can add to the theme of a dance creating the feel of solitude and emptiness Moments of silence can add contrast and avoid predictability. It may also highlight moments of great importance. Swan Song Christopher Bruce section 5 – second solo uses silence. It emphasises the changes of speed in the movement Generates the atmosphere of a bleak prison cell. Highlights the dramatic impact of the prisoners situation by the imagery of the prop (chair). Can hear the sound of dancers movements and the chair Allows the dancer to improvise and feel the mood of the dance freely. Silence

  3. This may be in the form of words (prose, poetry, lyrics or just words that make no sense or that are distorted). Human sounds such as crying or laughter have also been used. The accents and type of sound can blend smoothly or be in contrast to the movement. John Betjeman’s poems form the structure of Late Flowering Lust by Matthew Bourne Poem is read and the words add to the rhythm and the phrasing. In musicals dancers often sing at the same time i.e. in Cats. Kenneth Macmillan captures the broad theme of the poem rather than depicting each word. Voice

  4. In Christopher Bruce’s ‘Swansong’ (1987) the idea of interrogation of a political prisoner in a South American jail is cleverly brought to life. The interrogators and prisoner tap the question and answers. Claps and finger clicks are also used to heighten the intensity of the interrogation. He also uses the sounds of birds (makes us think of a trapped bird in a cage, like the prisoner in the cell. and pots and pans which are recorded and digitally manipulated. Some dances rely on sounds as part of the accompaniment tap, flamenco, folk, Morris dance etc. Tapping and stamping in SS used as interrogation and question and answer. Morris dance used in Penguin Café. In ‘Cross Channel’ by Lea Anderson the sound of the train station and ferry in transit add naturally to the theme of the journey. Sounds from nature such as wind, railways, bird, crowds are often used. In site specific works the sound found can become the accompaniment. Sounds made by the dancers themselves as in tap, Indian and Flamenco can enhance the rhythmical experience for the audience. Sound (natural/found)

  5. Different methods can be used when we use music with dance. Dance and music composed together Dance created and music composed for it Compose music first and then choreograph in response to music A dance idea found and music composed or found to fit Music and dance separate only come together in performance. In Front Line by Henri Oguike the music is played live on stage with the dancers. Music

  6. The most common form of accompaniment is music. It is important for the choreographer to have a good understanding of music and terms related to it in order to describe what it is that they require, whether it be a rhythm, a structure, a mood or a particular tempo. • Rhythm – the basic pattern of sound and silence • Accent – increased stress on a beat • Up beat – the weaker beats • Down Beat – the stronger beats • Time signature – The number that tells you how many beats per bar • Tempo – is the speed of the beat. This can change throughout the piece of music and thus change the intensity and the dynamics. • Ostinato – music idea (phrase, which repeats itself throughout and can be varied and developed, like a dance motif).

  7. Music/Dance relationships • Music Visualisation • The music controls the movement, style, mood, rhythm, dynamics and length of the dance – George Balanchine said : ‘Hear the dance, see the music’ • An example of this would be: Swan Lake by Matthew Bourne. The music already existed (composed by Tchikovsky) and Bourne created the movement to fit exactly. The music controlled the movement. A good example of this is when the swans dance on the lake the movements match the rhythm, speed and phrasing of the music. • Also in Birdsong because the dancers respond directly to the sound in the music – particularly in the section Birdsong where the jumpy, jerky sounds and sudden pauses are shown in the way the dancer moves. • Direct correlation • Music and dance work together. In traditional ballets such as Swan lake, Tchaikovsky composed the music to fit directly with each action. Swan song – music created for the dance. • An example of this would be: Swan Song by Christopher Bruce. He worked with composer Phillip Chambon to create the right rhythms and sounds from the dance. When the music is slow and sad the dancing is also continuous and flowing to match, like in the section when he dances alone. When the music is fast and strong the dance also becomes more dynamic, like in the section when they manipulate him.

  8. Mutual co -existence Music used as a backdrop to the dance and help create the desired atmosphere, they do not rely on each other but do share some similarities. An example would be: Late Flowering Lust where the music is used as a back drop and helps to create the right atmosphere. For example in the golf scene the music is fun and light hearted to create the comic feel to the dance. Disassociation Dance is developed without the music and then the music is put in afterwards, sometimes the dancers only hear the music during their first performance. Musical and dance are totally separate, deliberately goes against the dance. An example of this would be:

  9. Professional Dance works

  10. Still Life at the Penguin Café – by David Bintley • The accompaniment … • Shows dance idea – the music for the final character the ‘Brazilian Woolly Monkey is very energetic this helps to create the carnival atmosphere which portrays the idea of the Brazilian carnival – this acts as a finale to the dance. • Shows location – where the dance is set – which country. The Southern Cape Zebra dances to African drumming, indicating the Zebras habitat.

  11. Shows the character- The music in PC helps to define the sections – it changes with each new section and introduces the animal that dances. It highlights the characteristics of the animal for example the Texan Kangaroo Rat music is lively and bouncy and upbeat (ho- down style)– he dances in the same way and it show he is a carefree, playful and happy character. • Music visualisation – dance is choreographed to the existing piece of music the movements fir every bit of the movement perfectly – they are mirrored. • Orchestral ensemble - smaller group range of instruments

  12. Swan Song • Direct correlation • Silence can create an atmosphere • Silence can be a highlight • Found sound/Digitally manipulated sound • Music shows dance style • Natural sound can create an atmosphere • Body percussion can add to the atmosphere

  13. Still Life at a Penguin Café • Direct correlation • Music highlight location of dance • Music tells you about character • Music supports the theme • Music gives the dance a structure

  14. Late Flowering Lust • Mutual – co-existence • Natural sound can suggest the location • Natural sound can add realism • Narration can set the scene /help audience understand theme • Narration can form the structure of the dance • Music creates mood

  15. Swan Lake • Music visualisation • Music gives a structure to the dance • Music controls the dynamics of the dance • Music shows character traits • Music creates mood/atmosphere

  16. Birdsong • Musical visualisation • Music sets the structure of the dance • Digitally manipulated sound • Natural and found sound can be used to create the movement and pauses • Silence can be used to add interest/create a highlight • Silence can make you focus on the movement • Silence can allow the dancers to improvise • Silence can create contrasts • Accompaniment is a key theme in the dance

  17. Types of music • Classical • Pop, R and B, Garage, Hip Hop, rap • Rock • Soul, jazz, blue • Romantic, renaissance, baroque • Country and Western, Folk • Electronic Etc…. Orchestra – large symphony orchestra every range of instruments, large groups – string, woodwind, brass, percussion etc Ballets usually use this. Ensemble – small groups of instruments, Penguin café uses ensembles The PCO was an ensemble that played orchestral music Big Band- Jazz band, brass band some of Late Flowering Lust Groups – rock and pop groups e.g. Rooster by Christopher Bruce used music by the Rolling Stones. National/ethnic – pan pipes used in Ghost Dances by Christopher Bruce Folk/country– Used in penguin Café by David Bintley Digitally manipulated – Swan Song and Bird song

  18. Contributions to dance…. Music can dictate.. • The kind/type of dance • The dance idea • The mood atmosphere • The style (comical, lyrical) • The length of the dance, • The form -the organisation of sections, parts • The phrasing of the movement • Dynamics – highlights/climaxes • Introduce certain characters through use of motif (Prince in Swan Lake) • Set scene – where it is taking place (Penguin Café)

  19. Possible Questions! • ‘Birdsong’ uses digitally manipulated recorded sounds for it accompaniment. Write about another professional work that uses a similar style of accompaniment. In addition describe other musical accompaniment of a different type that have been used for dance. Refer to four other dances.

  20. Discuss the different types of accompaniment that are used for dance. Refer to four professional dance works other than Birdsong. • The nature of accompaniment for dance is of great importance to a dance work. Describe different musical accompaniments and the effect that they have (how they contribute) to the dance work. Support your answer with reference to four professional dance works other than the set work.

  21. Describe the ways in which accompaniment can affect a dance (for example the length of piece). Make reference to Birdsong and four other pieces. • Discuss the different relationships that dance may have with its accompaniment, make particular reference to Birdsong and four other professional works. • A choreographer must make a range of decisions when selecting the accompaniment for a work. Outline what decisions have to be made and why, refer to Birdsong and four other pieces.