Infra: Choreographic devices

Infra: Choreographic devices

Choreographer: Wayne McGregor

  • English choreographer who is known for his ground-breaking work in contemporary dance.
  • His work “Infra” premiered in 2008 and is now part of the AQA Dance GCSE syllabus.

General Features of “Infra”

  • Physical setting: The dancers perform on a stage bare except for a LED screen above, displaying moving figures.
  • Music: The music for “Infra” is composed by Max Richter and provides an emotional, driving force for the choreography.

Choreographic Intent of “Infra”

  • The work is not so much a narrative but an exploration of human experiences.
  • It dives into the unseen happenings in life, the things that occur “beneath the surface” - the meaning of the Latin word ‘infra’.
  • “Infra” depicts the multitude of individual stories occurring in a city, all happening concurrently and often unnoticed.

Choreographic Devices in “Infra”

  • Unison: McGregor repeatedly uses unison in “Infra” to portray the concept of masses moving together, like a city’s citizens.
  • Repetition: Repetition is often employed to emphasise certain movements or emotions.
  • Canon: This device is used extensively in several sections of “Infra”, representing sequences of people in the city doing similar things at slightly different times.
  • Contact work: In many duets and group interactions, dancers touch, lean on, or support each other, demonstrating McGregor’s collaborative choreographic style.
  • Solos: These are used to portray the individual within the city’s mass of people.

Evolution of McGregor’s Choreographic Devices

  • McGregor began choreographing with a focus on the muscular body and evolved towards emphasising the dancers’ virtuosity and athleticism.
  • With “Infra”, McGregor combines his understanding of the physical dynamics of the body with a strong conceptual underpinning, resulting in a demanding choreography both emotionally and physically.

Analysis of Key Section of “Infra”

  • In multiple sequences, McGregor deftly uses contraction and release, highlighting the emotional resonance of a movement.
  • The motif of pedestrians crossing paths without interacting reinforces the concept of the individual experiences within the metropolis.
  • Partnering work, duets, and group pieces vary the choreography’s pace and offer snapshots of different individuals’ stories.
  • The emotion and expressivity of the dancers are accentuated by the moody, brooding music.

In your studies of “Infra” and Wayne McGregor’s choreographic devices, remember to analyse how these devices intertwine with the choreographic intent. Try to trace themes and motifs throughout the piece and ponder their significance in the overarching narrative of “Infra”.