Pina Bausch

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Dance is an expressive art form, it gives the choreographer and dancers a chance to be able to release and engage their ideas through physical practice. Not all pieces have a meaning but may have an aesthetic level of semiotic content. As an audience we recognise and interpret movement, sometimes this is not conscious as this is an analysing tool that we all use to read situations in everyday life. This essay studies the piece The Rite of Spring (1974) by Pina Bausch (1940-2009). Bausch was a German modern dance choreographer who rebelled against ballet and made her own twist on dance. The rite of spring was one of her many frantic pieces. Bausch uses emotion, costume and staging to make this piece individual and unforgettable. Bausch uses a mix of responsive gestures and powerful unison movement; she goes into great depth and detail to portray the subject of human sacrifice. The choreography has been carefully thought out and you can see this by watching the piece, it has a phatic semiotic level. The music accompanying the piece is composed by Igor Stravinsky (1882- 1971) the piece has three sections: (Introduction, Omens of Spring--Dances of the Youths and Maidens, Ritual of Abduction). There are many instruments used helping the piece explore different pitches and tempos giving more scope to play with as a choreographer. Some of the instruments used : piccolos, flutes, English horn, clarinets, bass clarinets, bassoons, contrabassoons, French horns, piccolo trumpet, trombones, tubas, timpani, bass drum, triangle, and strings. Phrase one – Female solo explosion.

Performer| Movement| Space| Sound|
1 vulnerable woman wearing a red dress.Her role is being sacrificed.She is trained dancer, her facial expression shows distress.| Stillness, explosive movement, drops and falls, repetition of the motif of the head falling towards the floor and being flung back up again.| The spatial view was of one female and then the rest of the group huddled together...
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