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Constituent Features of Dance. Physical Setting: Costume Design GCSE Area of Focus 2009 Section C: Essay Question. Example Essay Question. What should be considered when choosing costumes for dance works?

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constituent features of dance

Constituent Features of Dance

Physical Setting: Costume Design

GCSE Area of Focus 2009

Section C: Essay Question

example essay question
Example Essay Question

What should be considered when choosing costumes for dance works?

You should make reference to Bird Song (Davies) and four other dance works in your answer

Name each work and the choreographer

approaching the question
Approaching the Question
  • Provide a short introduction linking to question
  • Ensure for each work you correctly name the title of the work and the choreographer
  • Give a short insight into the dance you are discussing to show understanding of the piece
  • Clearly state the point you want to raise but make sure you explain/justify your point giving relevant detail about the costume
  • Where possible provide evaluative points
  • Take care on the structure of your essay
use of costume possible points for discussion
Support/create character

Associate with theme

Enhance alignment of movement

Define contrast of groups onstage

Form a relationship to the set design

Enhance the dancers’ dynamics

Link to the era of the dance

Enhance the lighting design

Link to a cultural setting

Define gender

Suited to dance style

Provide visual clue to narrative

Evoke a particular mood

Use Of CostumePossible Points for Discussion
additional discussion points
Adds realism/fantasy

Enhances flow to movement

Adds colour interest

Indicates age

Adds humour

Indicate time of day

Links to geographical setting

Masks support characterisation

Suggests season

Additional Discussion Points
works used for this essay
Works Used for This Essay
  • Bird Song (Siobhan Davies 2004)
  • Soda Lake (Richard Alston 1981)
  • Nutcracker! (Matthew Bourne 1992)
  • Les Sylphides (Michel Fokine 1909)
  • Ghost Dances (Christopher Bruce 1984)
bird song siobhan davies costume designer genevieve bennett
Bird Song (Siobhan Davies)Costume Designer: Genevieve Bennett
  • Costumes create individualism within group whilst suggesting a sense of unity.
  • Explain this drawing reference to the styles of the costume in this work
  • The costumes’ colour and texture enhance and relate to elements of the lighting used
  • Expand on this giving an example from the dance
  • Give an opinion on either of the points raised in terms of effect/ importance.
soda lake richard alston
Soda Lake (Richard Alston)
  • The costume for this dance creates a direct relationship to the sculpture by Nigel Hall
  • Explain this point drawing reference to the colour/how the dancer almost becomes an extension of the sculpture
  • The close fitting nature of the costume allows the alignment of the body to be seen and how the soloist relates to the sculpture
  • Explain how the design of the costumes allow for positions to be seen clearly – link to shape of sculpture
  • Evaluate how it helps our understanding of moments in the dance
nutcracker matthew bourne designer anthony ward liquorice allsorts
Nutcracker! (Matthew Bourne) Designer: Anthony WardLiquorice Allsorts
  • The two designs for these characters clearly separate the trio in terms of gender
  • Justify this point by explaining how the costume design captures this
  • The costume links into the cultural reference of the dance style – Spanish - and reinforces the music used for this trio
  • How do features of the design capture a typical Spanish flavour whilst retaining their reference to Allsorts?
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of either points raised or both?
les sylphides michel fokine 1909 designer alexander benois
Les Sylphides (Michel Fokine 1909)Designer: Alexander Benois
  • The costume for the Sylphs in this work capture and pay homage to the Romantic period in ballet.
  • Explain this point by detailing features of the costume that are typical of this period
  • The designs not only capture a sense of purity but also enhance the ethereal nature of their character
  • How does the colour and texture of the costume and tutu capture this and enhance the soft dynamic mood of the movement?
  • Evaluate the importance of this to the effectiveness of their character
ghost dances christopher bruce designer belinda scarlett the ghosts
Ghost Dances (Christopher Bruce)Designer: Belinda ScarlettThe Ghosts
  • The masks used for the ghosts adds realism to their character whilst evoking no emotion
  • Explain how the details of the masks portray their character within the work. Consider features/colour/fixed skeletal look/deathly feel
  • The tight fitting lycra cat suit not only sculpts the body to show shape but enhances the sense of power these creatures represent
  • Consider colour/details of muscle definition enhances power of movement sense of strength. Link to movement
  • Evaluate the effectiveness if this costume