Riverdance Essay

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the 'juba' performed by African slaves — that its actual form was basically established only by the middle of the XX century.

In fact, in a 1950 Ed Sullivan Show, a very well-known North-American TV program, one can see a mixed dance quartet from the Dorothy Hayden's Irish Steppers performing clumsily, as it was typical in a small TV studio of the time.

After all, there is nothing or almost nothing to tell and even if the CD's booklet does (because the production wants to lure the buyer), the narrative outline is not sufficiently strong to be easily followed throughout the show. But the problem is another: does the audience really need stories or has been induced to need them by the perseverance with which producers have always and This does not mean flatness.

The audience, though, seems to long for stories more than how it really does and since every production company must meet the spectators' real or presumed needs, they are driven off abstraction and forced to simplicity. My opinion concerns first the spectator or receiver (that is, what Nattiez called the point of view), the one who has always been led by a story and supposedly rejects pure abstraction. A perfect synchronization may be achieved above all at the end of the piece, but the most electrifying aspect of the show is the independence of each dancer or a small group of them.

When the melody is more important than the rhythm (see further on) the ensemble can be mainly formed by strings, woods with drum-set and percussion.

Around the year 2000 more modern instruments such as, for example, the sax soprano joined the ensemble.This had two motivations: to not damage the sense of abstractions and to honor a Hollywood film-musical tradition that in these kinds of movies cedes the whole acoustic space to the orchestra.In the Irish dance, instead, every dancer, being part of a musical whole, must use his/her own body to produce clearly distinguishable percussive sounds.With this last chapter we return to a 'traditional' kind of show whose origins, according to the few historical data available, seems to go back to the Irish 'clog' in the XVIII and XIX centuries.However, its evolution passed through so many steps — e.g.In other words, the trick was to juxtapose a very big object to a very small one, thus producing an unpleasant inversion of the natural proportions. Bubsy Berkeley, music Bernhard Kaun & Hein Romheld, song Harry Warren, lyrics Al Dubin) and the Irish dance also have in common a taste for bodies' multiplication, that is, a sort of 'repetition compulsion' that Berkeley often created with the help of mirrors (as it can be seen in the finale of the musical by Richard Attenborough, 1985).Despite that, there is a difference between Berkeley and the Irish dance: in his most original creations, Berkeley asked the dancers for silence.In a long-shot video recording it is barely possible to single each one out by her hair color. The result is a provoking, but elusive elegance that is also radiant and cheerful. His , when observed from above, showed abstract forms in constant motions that hid the anthropomorphic characteristic of its parts.They also decorated spirals wrapping around common objects whose size was magnified.


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