Shadows: Choreographic devices

Shadows: Choreographic Devices

  • Motif development: Throughout Shadows, the use of motifs is prevalent. Motifs such as the ‘pleading arms’ or the ‘shoulder hug’ are manipulated and developed to communicate varying emotional states.

  • Canon: This choreographic device is utilized effectively to emphasize the struggle and shared experiences of the characters. Watch for instances where the dancers perform the same movements, but with a slight time delay.

  • Contrast: Contrast is used in Shadows to demonstrate the tension and emotional turmoil within the work. The dancers sometimes exhibit synchronous, harmonious movement, and at other times, they perform disjoint movements.

  • Repetition: This device is not overly used but is strategically placed to enhance thematic elements. The repetition of movements serves to highlight the recurring theme of struggle and hardship.

  • Accumulation: Accumulation is used predominantly in the group sequences where one dancer starts a movement phrase and others join in, adding on movements. This creates a growing effect and contributes to the building tension.

Shadows: Stylistic Devices

  • Unison: The use of unison in Shadows is deliberate and impactful. It is used to show unity and shared struggle among the characters.

  • Counterpoint: When dancers perform different movement phrases simultaneously, it provides a visual contrast and highlights the unique experiences of each character within the shared narrative.

  • Solos, duets, and group work: Solos and duets in Shadows often signify individual narratives or relationships between characters. Group sequences are typically used to reflect the community or group experience within the overarching story.

  • Mirroring and action/reaction: Used to portray relationships and emotional connections, like in the duet sections where one dancer’s movement directly influences or instigates the other’s movement.

  • Stillness and freeze frames: These are used strategically to enhance dramatic tension and emphasize poignant moments in the narrative.

Shadows: Narrative Devices

  • Symbolism: The choreographer effectively uses symbolism to further communicate the themes within the work. Movements and props, like the coats, are often symbolic of larger concepts or issues.

  • Flashbacks and foreshadowing: Occur infrequently, mostly to reveal past experiences or to hint at coming events, influencing the unraveling narrative.

Remember to consider how these devices contribute to the overall meaning, mood, and narrative of the work.