Dance - Swansong

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Who was the choreographer for Swansong?
Christopher Bruce
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How many dancers were in Swansong?
3 dancers usually male
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Name a stimulus for Swansong
Saying goodbye to a career as a dancer
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Who was the set designer for swansong?
Christopher Bruce
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Who was the Costume designer and what were the costumes?
Christopher Bruce, the two guards were in khaki uniform and the prisoner in a faded red top with stretchy blue jeans
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Who was the lighting Designer?
David Mohr
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What was the choreographic style?
Episodic, dramatic and thematic
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When was it first Performed?
November 1987
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What type of stage was it performed on?
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What was the dance style?
Contemporary with some references to ballet and theatrical dance
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What was the theme of Swansong?
Human Rights
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What was the setting during Swansong?
Bare stage apart for a chair which suggests a cell. The set is black and guards only enter from stage right (a door?)
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What is the chair also used for?
Weapon, shield, shackles and bars
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How many sections are there in Swansong?
7 sections, 3 of them are solos
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name all the sections in order
section 1 - Interrogation Section 2 - Tea for two Section 3 - 1st prisioner Solo Section 4 - Contact trio Section 5 - 2nd prisoner solo Section 6 - Cane section Section 7 - Final prisoner solo
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What is the lighting like during Swansong?
Overhead lighting and a diagonal shaft of light from upstage left to suggest a window Footlights also create shadows which creates an atmosphere
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Name the other Stimuli for Swansong?
The work of Amnesty International, The Novel 'A man' by Oriana Fallaci and The experiences of Chilean poet Victor Jara
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What effect does the costume have on the audience?
The ordinary clothes of the prisoner suggest that they are just a normal person and the uniforms of the guards suggest power. The red top on the prisoner suggests blood
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What music accompaniment is used in Swansong?
Electro-acoustic with digitally sampled sounds, vocals and a reed pipe. Silence was also used
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Who was the composer for Swansong?
Phillip Chambon
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What effect did the silence have on the audience?
It allowed the audience to hear the dancers feet which created a tense and scary atmosphere
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What type of actions does the prisoner perform?
Lots of bird-like movements, and quite a lot of balletic movements like arabesques and jetes but low gravity in the solos to create a lyrical feel
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In section 1 what is used to make it feel like an interrogation?
Motif development is used and repetition of motifs and movement which suggests the asking of questions repeatedly
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What is the majority of this section performed in?
Question and answer
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What type of movement do the guards begin with?
tap sequence with lots of shuffles, taps and heel brushes towards the prisoner
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In section 2 what devices are used to show power?
The guards dance in unison to show they are a team and hold power over the prisoner, the guards also repeat motifs until they get an answer showing power over the prisoner, Also the guards stand either side of the prisoner
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In the prisoners solo what are the dynamics of the solo?
Calm, smooth fluid, suggest a bird. it is also quite weighted and low showing lack of energy, lots of sudden changes in speed representing being frightened
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Why is contact used in section 4?
to show power over the prisoner. it also shows how weak the prisoner has become from the interrogation
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How is the chair used in section 5 (2nd solo)?
the chair is used as prison bars, shackles and a heavy burden on his back. he also stands on it to get higher to the window showing he wants to escape, it also suggests the chair is the only element of security he has
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Why are bird gestures used in the solos?
to show he is captured and wants to be free
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What changed in the lighting in section 6 (cane)?
It goes to red to represent the beating of the prisoner
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how do the guards use the chair in the cane section?
they use it like a weapon against the prisoner
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What actions are used in the cane section?
The actions start off being quite a light hearted dance with jazz slides and barrel jumps but then it turns darker and the guards use stabs and hits and manipulate the prisoner
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What happens in the final solo?
The prisoner dies and finally gets his freedom in heaven
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what actions and floor pathways are used in the final solo?
The prisoner goes backwards and forwards towards the light, he also uses bigger movements on a higher level to show freedom
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Card 2


How many dancers were in Swansong?


3 dancers usually male

Card 3


Name a stimulus for Swansong


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Card 4


Who was the set designer for swansong?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Who was the Costume designer and what were the costumes?


Preview of the front of card 5
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