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Discuss the six headings for Ghost Dancers.

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Sophie Tosone 10G 5th October 2001 GCSE Dance Essay Question Ghost Dances Choreographer: Christopher Bruce Music: South American folk In my essay I am going to discuss the six headings for Ghost Dancers. These include: dancers, video effects, set design, dance quality, costume and lighting effects. Ghost Dances is choreographed by Christopher Bruce. It was created in 1981 and it is about the innocent people who suffered in Chile. It gives the message across that it doesn't matter how much you knock someone down if they have the ability to get up again, they still remain with dignity. Dancers: Altogether there are eleven dancers. There are three ghosts who are male dancers, one female soloist, four "innocent" women and four "innocent" men. The innocent men are people of society their costumes show that they are in classes (first, second, third and fourth). The dancers have equality in their roles the male always lifts the female when the people of society are dancing together. In the first section when the ghosts are dancing, they dance in succession, unison and cannon. ...read more.


It plays a major part in the dance because it is very realistic and we know from a first look at it the dance is not going to be a happy one. I think the backdrop and set design are very effective for the dance. Dance Quality: The ghosts dance in a very playful way. Their movements are slow and fluid but sharp and strong at the same time. The ghosts have little personal space mainly because they are either working in unison or partnering each other. The ghosts dance in a teasing way as if when they are dancing around the people of society they are torturing them by not knocking them down or killing them straight away. The ghosts dance with a lot of contact, using rolls, turns and floor work. When the people of society enter the scene the music changes so there is a lot of music visualisation. The music becomes faster and less death-like and more folk influenced. The people of society use light, bouncy movements. They repeat phrases a lot and they do a lot of ball-changes and side-to-side movements. ...read more.


Sometimes three spotlights are used-one for each ghost. In section two when the people of society are dancing there is a general red colour wash and the lights are positioned at the sides and above the dancers. The colours of the lights help us to tell the difference between the different scenes and they create the general mood eg: happy, sad, eerie etc. Musical Accompaniment: Throughout the whole of Ghost Dances the music suits the dancing. This is called musical visualisation. When the ghosts are dancing the music sounds like water dripping and then builds up to eerie but slow music. It sounds like windpipes. When the people of society are dancing the music is livelier and creates the mood of everyday life and as soon as the ghosts enter to knock them down, it slows down and everything freezes. Then, the water drops begin again. I have come to the conclusion that every little detail is essential to make Ghost Dances effective, but although the lighting effects and sound visualisation do count, the quality of the dance is the most important aspect. I feel that all of the lighting and musical accompaniment contribute excellently to this piece. ...read more.

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