Shadows: purpose

Shadows: Purpose

  • Shadows is about a family dealing with a troubling event in their past.
  • It portrays different struggles within the family dynamic, such as isolation, parental authority, and sibling rivalry.
  • Through the dance, choreographer Christopher Bruce aims to make the audience reflect on difficult family situations and their potential for resolution.

Shadows: Environment

  • The dance piece was performed in a proscenium arch performance environment.
  • This traditional theatre setting allows the audience to observe the family, as if looking through a window into their home.
  • The set and lighting create a domestic environment, but a slightly dark and oppressive one to match the difficult themes.

Shadows Themes and Style

  • The key theme of Shadows is family struggles, portrayed through a combination of modern dance and narrative pantomime.
  • It draws upon German Expressionist influence, leading to exaggerated and powerful physical actions.
  • Bodies are often hunched or stooped, movements are sometimes jagged, reflecting the emotional burden the characters bear.

Shadows: Audience Understanding

  • The title, Shadows, speaks to the family’s dark past, raising curiosity in the audience from the start.
  • The clear narrative portrayed through movement allows viewers to follow the plot, understand the conflicted feelings of the characters, and interpret the symbolic uses of props.
  • Though the setting and costumes are minimal, they still contribute to audience’s understanding of the family’s social status and time period.

Shadows: Differences to Other Dances

  • Unlike many other contemporary pieces, Shadows maintains a clear narrative throughout the dance.
  • Instead of exploring abstract themes, it delves into a very personal and relatable story.
  • It merges several styles - modern dance, mime, and German Expressionist elements - which also sets it apart.

Shadows: Similarities with Other Dances

  • Shadows shares with other contemporary dances the use of bodily expression to deliver emotional content.
  • Like other pieces by Christopher Bruce, it combines reality-based inspiration with abstract elements.
  • The dance shares a common thematic thread with other works exploring familial relationships and personal struggle.