Emancipation of Expressionism: style

Emancipation of Expressionism: Style

Choreographic Style

  • Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy choreographed the piece. His style is routed in hip-hop but he also infuses elements of contemporary, African, and martial art movement techniques.

  • The piece is an exploration of various hip-hop styles such as popping, locking and breaking as well as new school and animation styles. This eclectic mix of styles made it groundbreaking in the context of hip-hop narrative works.

  • Kenrick utilizes the notion of shadowing within the piece – where one dancer or group of dancers mirrors the movements of another.

  • There is often use of unison with the whole group performing the same movement. This is particularly powerful given the large cast of 17 dancers.

Movement Vocabulary

  • Movement often alternates between fast, sharp, staccato actions and slower, fluid sections. This creates contrast and textual richness.

  • Use of iso-holds and pulses – dancers freeze in a position for a moment then carry on moving.

  • The dancers frequently use their arms in rapid, intricate patterns. This is characteristic of hi hop dance styles like popping and locking.

  • Use of floorwork with dancers executing moves such as spins, slides and flips that require strength and agility.

Relationships and Patterns

  • The choreography involves both solos and group actions. Dancers perform both independently and in synchronisation with each other.

  • They also make use of varied spatial patterns including circles and lines, often with a sense of symmetry.

  • The piece also uses canon, where the same movement is performed by different dancers at different times.

Emotional Engagement

  • The choreography relentlessly emphasises the struggle to break free, creating an intense emotional experience.

  • The piece aims to move viewers beyond intellectual appreciation to connect with the human struggle showcased.

  • Themes of unity, struggle and breakthrough are prevalent.

End of section note: The more thoroughly you understand the unique aspects of the choreographic style, movement vocabulary, relationship and patterns and emotional engagement within ‘Emancipation of Expressionism’, the better equipped you will be to discuss and analyze this work for your Dance Appreciation revision.