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  1. #1
    Master BHUZzer norma's Avatar
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    Musicality vs Musical interpretation

    Actually, maybe I should title this musicality v. technique.

    I just finished watching Dancing with the Stars. Guest star James Blount. I thought the dancers dancing to his song were so focused on technique and showmanship that they missed out on the simple emotion of the song. The music and the lyrics were so simple but the dance steps and choreo were pretty sophisticated and complicated. I really felt a big disconnect.

    Thoughts???? I thinks this translates to any form of dance.


  2. #2
    Advanced BHUZzer SummerSahar's Avatar
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    Re: Musicality vs Musical interpretation

    I think musicality normally follows technique. There aren't many dance classes that, from day 1, focus on "feeling the music" (though there are some, and sometimes even belly dance classes do this for a few minutes out of each lesson just for practice). Instead, it's "how to do a correct hip drop" or "how to do pique turns." In any technical dance form (and we'd be hard-pressed to exclude belly dance from this group, as we all know it's very technical, as is jazz, ballet, flamenco, etc), we strive to learn the correct technique before we can truly express the emotion. There's a great quote about this, and I always try to say it as best as I can remember, but I 'm sure I botch it. It's something like "technique is important because without it, the soul is limited in what it can express." I think some are naturally more adept at feeling and expressing the emotions of music, but for most, it comes subsequently once technique becomes more second-natured.


  3. #3
    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: Musicality vs Musical interpretation

    I draw an analogy between dance and language.

    Technique is the grammar and vocabulary. They give you the tools to express what you want to say. But musicality is the skill that combines your grammar and vocabulary into poetry.


  4. #4
    Advanced BHUZzer Safiyah's Avatar
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    Re: Musicality vs Musical interpretation

    the quote on my myspace page is "dance to express, not to impress". I sound like a broken record to some but I always say that I'd 10x over rather watch a dancer who feels the music over a dancer who has incredible technique. I do agree that the perfect pairing is to have both technique and musical interpretation skills and to be able to know when to do what in order to convey the emotion that the composer/songwriter was conveying. One typically learns technique first because one needs to know the movement before they can accurately use it in interpreting music...

    One of my pet peeves is busy choreography especially when the music is quiet or simple. The music provides a great map for what to do - follow it!


  5. #5
    Master BHUZzer sabrinabellydancer's Avatar
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    Re: Musicality vs Musical interpretation

    imo technique is the tool set with which dancers express their musicality.
    musicality is one of the elements that takes dance from mere preparation to performance. though, musicality can, of course, exist in the preparation stage.

    this question reminds me of the nadia gamal quote about singing the music with your body. she summed it up very nicely.


  6. #6
    Master BHUZzer SamiraShuruk's Avatar
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    Re: Musicality vs Musical interpretation

    Quote Originally Posted by norma View Post
    Actually, maybe I should title this musicality v. technique.

    I just finished watching Dancing with the Stars. Guest star James Blount. I thought the dancers dancing to his song were so focused on technique and showmanship that they missed out on the simple emotion of the song. The music and the lyrics were so simple but the dance steps and choreo were pretty sophisticated and complicated. I really felt a big disconnect.

    Thoughts???? I thinks this translates to any form of dance.
    I watched the show for the first time last night and felt exactly the same as you about that choreography, Norma. Except I was also incredibly distracted by the fabulousness of their fancy-pants lifts. They were really exceptional- but the speed and crispness had nothing to do with his song.

    On a separate note- what I can say very positive about that show is that the costumes fit beautifully. No pinching, no gaping, no pulling. Excellent fit.


  7. #7
    Master BHUZzer norma's Avatar
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    Re: Musicality vs Musical interpretation

    [QUOTE=Safiyah;156745 The music provides a great map for what to do - follow it![/QUOTE]


    I LOVE THAT! I actually was trained to follow the music first, then polish technique later. So to me, the music is what it's all about. If I want to do a split or a backbend, I find music that tells me to do it. I don't just throw it in willy nilly.

    But...
    Some of those costumes on the show are incredible. Last year they had a special show where they went backstage with the costume designers. It was very interesting.


  8. #8
    Master BHUZzer nasila's Avatar
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    Re: Musicality vs Musical interpretation

    It's a western attitude toward dance, I guess. Every time I watch that show I'm baffled by how much of the dancing just does not go with the music. They are dancing to live music each time though, and I think they only get to rehearse with the band for like 1-2 hours each week so maybe they're just on auto-pilot and going through the choreography?

    And I really, really don't understand their song selection (I know they're limited by music rights and all...but please!?) Sometimes I just find it easier to watch it on Mute! ..l;,
    Last edited by nasila; 04-16-2008 at 01:46 PM. Reason: gah, horrible typos!


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