Defining Performance-level

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Defining Performance-level

Post  denismurf on Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:48 pm

Here's my stab at what a performance-level event or group is.

Event is easier because it already has a term - master class. It's intended for teachers and stresses conformity to what the master teacher lays out in terms of both styling and what the feet/legs/arms/hands are doing at any given moment, regardless of how simple the dance is. I include here the short course on teaching folk dance that Dick Oakes and Richard Duree held in Las Vegas 7 or 8 years ago.

An example of a performance-level group is the 6- or 8-week series called Danceshare in St. Louis. There is no master teacher. Instead, members of the regular group teach complex, mostly Balkan, dances to each other. Participants are expected to clear up disagreements on steps and styling and ultimately to agree on one way to do each dance.

When I started folk dancing in Monterey CA in 1961, there was a performance-level international FD group that met weekly at the USO (in case any of you were in Monterey at the time) and played a spread of difficulty levels. The core group were friendly and helpful, but made it clear that dancers were expected to conform to the one right way the group did each dance.

There was an element of fun in each of these examples, but it was subordinate to the requirement of uniformity. There was also a lot of time and attention devoted to choreological and historical background.

I enjoy all of the types of dancing we've laid out here and hope that posters will accord them all the respect they deserve.

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Re: Defining Performance-level

Post  lenusz on Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:56 am

Hi Denis, just a short question. Do you consider an ensemble as a performance level group?

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"Ensemble?"

Post  denismurf on Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:54 pm

Not sure what you mean by "ensemble," Len. If it's just any group that puts on exotic clothes and does "foreign" dances before an audience, then I've been in 6 ensembles lifetime. Two were inclusive, as we're using that term here, and 4 were performance-level.

Denis

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