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Tonight, I was able to go to a special dance performance put on by the students of the dance program at OU. What was unique about this particular event was the fact that all of the performances were choreographed by the students who were sophomores, juniors and seniors. The dance that I have always been exposed to is ballet, and this was more of a mix of contemporary and modern dance. I was absolutely amazed by all ten of the pieces, and even though I’m not a dancer myself, I have developed a new insight and appreciation. One word came to mind when I was thinking back on the evening, emotion. From the first piece to the last, it was filling the room and from my observation, every group participating in the event felt something different.
The dancers: from what I could see the dancers felt had a unique emotion. I could tell that they felt something as they are the performers, they rehearse these movements day in and day out. They may or may not put their own meaning behind it. They are passionate about this form of art and strive to show it with every breath and movement. Their facial expressions are also convincing. They are telling a story, they are unveiling a piece of art whether they were trying to move the audience, the choreographer, or themselves.
The choreographer: possibly the only person in the room who knows the absolute purpose and meaning behind the piece. They are the artist, watching their dancers as brushes, paint the canvas. They had a vision of what this would look like and now get to sit back and watch it be created for all to see. What’s special about their role is that they understand the piece and their position in it. The audience can only take away what their minds create of it, as they are seeing the final product.
The audience: unlike the dancers and choreographers, this group of people takes a whole new meaning out of the performance. They have complete agency over what they take away from the piece. This could also be because their is their first and only time to see the dancers perform in this way, in this time. They see the perfected version, the final piece, what has been prepared, while the dancers and choreographers have been with it since day one, when it wasn’t anything at all, just an idea. There are three different perspective and sets of emotion in the room, colliding with one another. I can only say this from one of those perspectives so is it entirely accurate? Probably not, but that’s the wonderful thing about perspective, it’s your own and what you make of it.

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