Authored by Lily Johnson

Dance Video Review

For comparative analysis, I chose the two dances of Desi Hoppers, World of Dance Finals of 2015 and The Time for Love, Dance Film by Keone and Mari Madrid because they made the best impression on me, and I watched them in one breath. I find these styles of performance quite similar to each other. Although the dancers in both the videos use a mixture of different kinds of dances, a certain similarity in the styles can be traced that belong to the school of modern dance. Their distinguishing feature is the rhythmic motions that are harmoniously combined with the rhythm of the music. Additionally, the dancers in both videos have an amazing synchronicity with rhythmic and smooth moves. However, the performers in the first video had only one attempt to reproduce the dance as they were on the stage. The second dance video Time for Love is like a small movie, where the dancers performed several parts which later were united in order to present a complete picture. The essential difference between these dances is also part of the dancers. In the first video, the team performs a piece where each dancer plays an equivalent role. The second video clearly distinguishes a pair of soloists leading the dancers throughout the video with the rest of the troupe periodically appearing in the frame acting as extras. In The Desi Hoppers dance, World of Dance Finals, dancers use several different techniques that make the dance unusual and interesting to watch. Several times the performers use the concept of the canon as well as another technique in which the group performs one song with only one group member taking a completely different move. The performance seems to me not just good but even excellent because the moves of the dancers are so coordinated that they reminded one single person dancing in the hall of mirrors. Sometimes actor’s moves were so fast and, at the same time, clear that it seemed as if the dancers had steel muscles and moved without a single error. Moreover, sometimes they moved so smoothly as if their bodies were as weightless and soft as rubber. Many of the moves of the dancers were on the floor but also the dancers performed supporting roles with one of them standing on the shoulders of others. Such stunts give the grandeur of the composition. Frankly, the dancers in the second video entitled Time for Love have a less complex structure of the choreography but an interesting setting and even the whole story of the dance. Additionally, the dancers in the video have excellent synchronization, speed and precision of motion. At the same time, at some point they are able to convey the amazing plasticity. When the men’s team played their party, they showed an amazingly accurate and synchronous ensemble of the foot and hands. In addition to the dance technique, I would like to see the common picture. The first video is a mixture of songs many of which are quite popular but some belong to ethnic music and the remix of it. The dancers are dressed in identical suits which are ideal for every moment of the dance. On the one hand, their style is similar to the Eastern style of dress. On the other hand, it is convenient for the execution of such complex modern choreography. It is also necessary to pay attention to the acting of dancers because the viewer can see the mood of facial expressions of the dance. The second video has more features. Firstly, it is a story that can be traced throughout the video with two realities - modern and retro. Contemporary reality shows a life of an ordinary couple in different environments - at home or on the street. A retro setting shows how they meet each other at a party in the style of 20s. For this, the author sends a couple in a restaurant, and the viewer can watch the band that plays there, the bar, and even the visitors sipping champagne. In both the cases, the interior builds a very plausible ambience as well as gives the great appearance of the dancers. At the beginning, the dancers are dressed in jeans, T-shirts, and shirts as ordinary young people of today. In the second half, the girl wears a red dress that is chic for the second half of the 20s in America and she has the appropriate hairstyle and makeup. A man also dressed in mafia style which has the main attributes like hat, trousers with braces, and patent leather shoes. However, I believe that it was not a good idea to use this style of dress for this particular dance. After all, a girl in a dress and heels performing some of the elements of hip-hop looked strange, not feminine and a bit not natural for a dance in the manner of 20s. After watching these videos, I felt how much can be affected by the perception of dance space and the appearance of the dancer. Obviously, sometimes some motions may not be sufficient to tell the whole story or disclose the idea to the audience. However, the music, the dance style, and manner of performance along with the dancers’ moves are the key elements to captivate the attention of the viewer and convey the mood and feelings of the dancers. I am sure that the sharper the skills of the dancer and the efforts of the choreographer are, the easier it is to convey meaning and the emotions that the viewer can feel behind the titanic work and patience of choreographers and dancers.

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