Can you help me understand this Dance question?
When we watched the hip-hop video during “Week 1”, something stood out to me. There is a moment when hip-hop artist Rennie Harris refers to Fosse (Bob Fosse-famous for jazz in the US) and Balanchine (famous for innovating American ballet). This moment goes by very quickly in that video but Rennie Harris is talking about the African influence that made the work of these choreographers “new” and “modern” and “innovative”. Elements like “grounded-ness”, “polycentrism”, “polyrhythm”, “assymmetry”, and “the aesthetic of the cool” are a few of those elements in the choreography of both Fosse and Balanchine.
Read the essay “The Diaspora Dance Boom” written by dance-scholar Brenda Dixon-Gottschild.
Respond by recording yourself or typing up responses to the following:
- What is the author’s premise/thesis/main point?
- What sources does the author refer to in the essay? Name one or two. (choreographer? dance company? author?)
- Describe in your own words one of the Africanist Aesthetics (examples include poly-centered, grounded to the earth, aesthetic of the cool).
Great work responding to the first part of this assignment.
Continue here if you also looked at Balanchine’s “Agon” in the “compare and contrast” discussion this week.
Below are the video again and Brenda Dixon-Gottschild’s essay “The Diaspora Dance Boom”.
For part 2 of this assignment:
- Find an example of the Africanist presence in the duet.
- Describe in your own words the Africanist Aesthetic principle or Africanist element that you see in the duet.
- Share the time stamp in the video that shows your example.
***Looking at part 1 of the article response will help point you to what we are looking for (also detailed in pp 3-5 in the essay).