Jardi Tancat Essay

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“Discuss in choreographic terms the use of space in Jardi Tancat. In your answer, refer to the variety of configurations or groupings of dancers.”

‘Jardi Tancat’ which is Catalonian for ‘enclosed garden’ was Nacho Duato’s first major choreography. The work explores the hardship and sorrow of the Catalonian people as they struggle working in the barren, water stricken Catalonian land. Duato has portrayed this concept through the powerful movement of three female and three male dancers, all dressed in cool brown, red and purple earthy colours’ which represent their connection to the land. Throughout the entire performance the dancers’ are surrounded by a line of haunting tree branches which provide physical as well as visual boundaries to the space and depict an ‘enclosed garden’.

The dance begins in silence, with all six dancers positioned up stage right in a curved over-crouching shape. This is significant, because it is a weak area of the stage and the curved over-crouching shape creates an image of hardship and peasantry. Duato establishes the relationship of the people to the land, through the grounded, worshipping movement in the opening section. Followed by large swing, run, turns to represent the vastness of the land. We are shown an obvious motif in the first section which is the hunched over back, the pull of gravity with the focus to the ground which represents their cyclical life never-ending commitment to the land and the ploughing motif which conveys their work on the land.

The second section is performed by the male dancers who travel across the space from side to side. This creates a linear floor pattern that conveys their daily duties of “stomping” the earth and cutting the crops. In this section there is a strong contrast between the levels which have developed from a low-floor level in the first section to a medium-high level. The movement becomes a lot more aggressive, strong and explosive, with circular sweeping fast movements ending...
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