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Author Topic: Creation of illusion in dance  (Read 890 times)
cornutt
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« on: November 05, 2009, 04:41:36 PM »

Topic branched off from a discussion in the "how do you move" topic:

The analogy was brought up that the dancer and the stage magician have something in common: they both create illusions for the audience.  I'm not sure how far the analogy really goes.  In magic, the creation of the illusion is essential to the performance; without it, there is no entertainment value. 

To what extent is any of this true in dance?  Consider these questions:

1.  Do we create illusions for the audience in dance?
2.  If so, to what extent is it intentional?
3.  How essential is it to the entertainment/art value of the performance?

Off the top of my head, I can only answer #1, and the answer is that we do definitely create illusions in dance -- not all the time, but frequently.  To my mind, the canonical example is Latin motion -- to the untrained observer it looks like a bump-n-grind hip roll, but of course it is not that at all.

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TangoDancer
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2009, 04:34:55 AM »

All of dance is an illusion... from the very pragmatic to the enigmatic. An example of both would be, respectively: 1- A basic walk. The illusion... moving the foot forward. The reality... pushing from the standing foot. 2- A quarter turn to the right. The illusion... the feet turn and reposition the body 1/4 to the right. The reality... the feet move naturally forward in a straight line, and end 1/4 to the right b/c the shoulders/body rotated. Students always freak when I tell them that turn is a complete illusion in dance.
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The most beautiful part of the dance is often found in between the steps... and in the movement within the stillness.
elisedance
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2009, 04:40:51 AM »

Great points TD - and again one of those things one should learn at the beginning (where is that topic! ).  Interestingly, the whole issue of making it 'looki easy' is for the beginner a non-event (it looks very hard), the intermediate dancer its true - a lot of effort expended to make it look easy (but never really succeeds) and then is again for the advanced dancer (at least some reach this point) its again a non-event but now because it really IS easy Smiley

Still even the moderate energy that is expended by the advanced dancer is disguised as an illusion...
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skipper
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2009, 10:24:15 PM »

I want to be the illusionist-----
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elisedance
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2009, 01:27:56 AM »

and certainly not the disillusionist Cheesy Tongue
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
pinkstuff
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2009, 04:44:00 AM »

Am frequently told by my teacher that it is all an illusion (and given similar examples as mentioned above.) and hence you should never try to copy what you see!!!!! 
Once you learn that foot position etc are a consequence of body rotation/moving centre etc life suddenly becomes much easier and faster (may be this should be in the wish you had been told earlier thread.)
(I hope I got it right - still learning, can't create an illusion but fun trying!!!)
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elisedance
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2009, 06:17:21 AM »

Am frequently told by my teacher that it is all an illusion (and given similar examples as mentioned above.) and hence you should never try to copy what you see!!!!! 
Once you learn that foot position etc are a consequence of body rotation/moving centre etc life suddenly becomes much easier and faster (may be this should be in the wish you had been told earlier thread.)
(I hope I got it right - still learning, can't create an illusion but fun trying!!!)
some foot positions precede the step - as far as I know that is the only way to avoid pivots in tango - turn the foot in the direction of the next step as you place it on the floor - then you will not have to pivot on it and you get a much more grounded look
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
TangoDancer
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2009, 03:43:52 AM »

Am frequently told by my teacher that it is all an illusion, hence you should never try to copy what you see!!!!! 
Once you learn that foot position etc are a consequence of body rotation/moving centre etc life suddenly becomes much easier and faster (may be this should be in the wish you had been told earlier thread.)
(I hope I got it right - still learning, can't create an illusion but fun trying!!!)

You are absolutely correct, but missing one important point. ED answers this in the post....

some foot positions precede the step - as far as I know that is the only way to avoid pivots in tango - turn the foot in the direction of the next step as you place it on the floor - then you will not have to pivot on it and you get a much more grounded look


This is very much corrrect. Your missing element... in the swing dances (waltz, fox, etc).
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The most beautiful part of the dance is often found in between the steps... and in the movement within the stillness.
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