When I thought of dance for the first time, I believed it was just simplistic movement and structured choreography. However, dance can be interpreted as a story versus just following a beat through its unique body language, musical composition, and set of props. The Fall Dance Theatre demonstrates these traits extensively within its performances specifically the pieces “In Sleep, We Dream” and “I’m Still with You”. The performance “In Sleep, We Dream” has two different sections; the former represents felling into a sleep and the latter represents the act of dreaming.
The first part starts with three girls in gray and pink fabric dresses and the background resembles a memorial park at night. There is also a casket in the middle of the stage as stars twinkle in the sky. Suddenly they come through and dance without music while the lights are still dark. The choreography was made up of jumping and leaping all over the stage, prancing from one foot to another, and rolling on the ground to symbolize the ambiguity and secrecy that goes on in the night.
One after another the dancers disappeared into darkness.
Shortly after, another three girls who wear gray-blue dresses stepped out onto the stage, each one being wearing a specific muffler to help distinguish themselves from one another. At the same time, music with a sweet melody begins and brings the second part of the performance into play. The dancers strut in a whirl-like motion to symbolize how angels fly freely in the sky, amongst the bright lights. The previous dancers who disappeared previously began to come out from the back side of the stage.
Both of them are danced separately at first before they finally started to dance together. Orchestral symphony music filled with uplifting, harmonious sounds accompanied the six girls to represent their harmony with reality and ideals. One of the girls opens the casket in the middle, and slowly the dancers who wore mufflers put their mufflers into the casket one by one to represent when dreams turn into reality. After the music ended, the only dancer in gray and pink is left at the middle of stage.
Finally, she closes the casket and lies down in it as if nothing happened. The second performance, “I’m Still with You” consisted of one couple in white pajama costumes, and in the center of stage there is a bed in which the couple slept in. A soft light that represents the morning sun is accompanied by sky blue props and dream-like background music. It’s not long before they get up at first; however, they try to sleep again in the morning as most people do. They look as if they’ve truly fallen in love, though a girl looks somewhat troubled.
They dance together gracefully but the girl lied down on the bed sooner than I expected. While hugging his wife, the guy murmurs in her ear that he loves her and gives her a scarf. However, a girl passes away and the guy becomes inconsolable. The music and lights turn off as the guy performs solo onstage as everything else seems to disappear. The girl comes again with six fairies after the music changed into something with a holy sound while an elegant chorus sang along to the song at a slow pace. With everything combined, the scenery looked like heaven.
During this transition, the girl and six fairies dance to an aggressive behavior as they their actions involved more of a dramatic and emotional feeling as they enjoy their freedom to the fullest. The girl resembles a toy ballerina figure on a music box with her movements during this part of the performance. The couple dances together again, following the way in which the couple performed and loved before. Eventually, she flied up to the sky, leaving her scarf to her lover; the scarf in the scene representing the enteral love and warmth that she has left him in her passing.
After watching these performances, now I believe that dance isn’t solely based on structured choreography and intricate dance moves. The acts in the Fall Dance Theatre concert were formed in a way to also tell stories, combining everything from the background scenery to the actual choreography. During the performances of “In Sleep, we Dream” and “I’m Still with You”, I was able to take notice of the sequence of events happening with each transition. In the end, I left the concert with a new understanding of what goes behind the art of dance.
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