practicing responses to choreography using Liz Lerman’s guidelines

Video Links below are from the attached  Graham PP Lec as well some alt Graham dance videos bc some of the links in the powerpoint are no longer available:
Martha Graham’s “Cave of the Heart” (excerpt),
MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY (Liceu 2010-11) “Diversion of Angels”,
Martha Graham’s “Prelude to Action” from “Chronicle” – Excerpt,
Steps in the Street’ from ‘Chronicle’ by Martha Graham.
Worth 50 points
In the article entitled “Towards a Processes for Critical Response,” Liz Lerman states:
It is my sense, that no matter how short the performance, people want to hear that what they have just completed has meaning to another human being. This natural condition appears to be so intense at times as to appear desperate. My own experience points to the very fragile moment when we first show another person our creative effort, whether a fragment or a completed work, new or old. It makes sense to me, then, that the first response takes the form of some kind of affirmation. (Remember, it is not going to be “that is the greatest thing ever,” but it does need to be honest and true for the responder.) So I have been trying to expand the palette of what constitutes positive feedback. I like to use words such as “when you did such-and-such it was surprising, challenging, evocative, compelling, delightful, unique, touching, poignant, different for you, interesting,” and many more.
I am aware that there are many people exploring the question of feedback; one way that folks are working a lot right now is for people to practice saying what they saw–with the idea that there is no positive or negative implied. I too have experimented with that approach, using it here in step one. However, I keep coming back to the need for positive, affirmative information. I suspect that people will challenge this as being too needy, too thin skinned. But after all these years of doing work, and after many positive comments from others, it still makes sense to me that we tell each other at least one thing that we noticed about the work being discussed that brought us something special.
 Using Lermans thoughts stated above please complete the following: Written Assignment, on the choreographer and perfromer Martha Graham:
For this assignment we will be working on practicing some of our responses to choreography (using Liz Lerman’s guidelines as shown above.) This assignment will have you view the Martha Graham dance videos from our Power Point Lec on Graham and respond to each prompt below.
1. Name of the artist you are watching: (ie. Martha Graham) (1 full and grammatically correct sentence.)
2. Statement of Meaning: what stands out to you, intrigues you, surprised you, resonated with you? (5-6 full and grammatically correct sentences.)
3. A personal opinion: (I wish there had been less unison. I thought it ended too soon. I wish the partners had ended together. There was too much floor-work. etc.) (5-6 full and grammatically correct sentences.)
4. What does your opinion relate to: (relationships, structure, timing, message of the piece, levels, quality of movement etc.) (5-6 full and grammatically correct sentences.)
5. Please write two neutral questions that you would pose to the choreographer: Read the description of a neutral question below and then look at your personal opinion and what it is related to before rewording it in this format…Step 3 in Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process emphasizes the benefits of getting artists to think about their work in a fresh way, as opposed to telling them how to improve their work or asking them to defend it. This aim is supported by the discipline of the neutral question. So instead of saying, “It’s too long,” a person might ask, “What were you trying to accomplish in the circle section?” or “Tell me what’s the most important idea you want us to get and where is that happening in this piece?” (2-3 full and grammatically correct sentences.)


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