Dance Critique Essay

Format

For Written and Video Essays

THE CRITIQUE ESSAY WILL BEGIN WITH AN INTRODUCTION

 

  • It must include context for the critique including concert name, date, place, and who is presenting (student or senior concert, faculty concert, or a professional company). It will also include an interesting/catchy assertion about the performance as a whole. 

EACH OF THE FIVE (5) SELECTED CHOREOGRAPHIC WORKS WILL INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS 

  • THESIS OR BEGINNING/IDENTIFYING INFORMATION: It includes the dance title, choreographer, composer, and dancers as appropriate. Note: If it is a group piece of three or more, there is no need to include all of the names of the dancers, only one or two who stand out if applicable. It will also include an interesting/catchy assertion about the dance work as a whole. 

 

  • DESCRIPTION: Describe what you saw, physically. This is vivid, and it gives both a general sense of the dance work and some specific, detailed movement moments. Use plenty of action (-ing) words supported with describing (-ly) words. Incorporate research sources and Elements of Dance and Critiquing while describing what you observed. This is your strongest and, perhaps, longest section. It gives your reader a clear idea of the dance work, visually. It is fine if the description section is the longest. For video essays, use visual examples while describing your points.

  

  • ANALYSIS: Next, you will dissect what you saw. One general way to do this is by comparing and contrasting dance works within the media dance series, a concert, or within genres. Another way is to discuss historical facts and how/why the dance work may or may not tie into a certain movement vocabulary, historically (example: how ballet and modern dance differ). You can also examine the dance work from a theoretical sense. Include  Elements of Dance and Critiquing and other resources such as Improvisation, Composition I and/or II, and Robin’s Theory and Notation course. For video essays, use visual examples while describing your points.

 

  • INTERPRETATION: Describe the intention of the work, including any literal affect the dance work had on you, visually or emotionally. An example would be that it reminded you of something in particular, like another dance work, , a movie, a dream, or a feeling. Perhaps, the dance work may only have been visually stimulating to you and it reminded you of an abstract painting, which in this case, describe how the form or visual effects affected you. For video essays, use visual examples while describing your points.

 

  • EVALUATION/CONCLUSION: Describe if the dance work was successful. Evaluations are always supported by thorough, concrete explanations and broken down by way of description and even components of analysis. Example: “I find the dance work cohesive because of the “so-and-so” factors through the following three strengths: first of all, the message delivered through movement was…; secondly, the intention and energy of the dancers performing were…; and thirdly, the overall trajectory of the work was…”  For video essays, use visual examples while describing your points.

 

  • CONCLUSION: This will complete the critique of each (individual) dance work. It will include a summarization and an interesting, catchy assertion about the work as a whole. 

 

 

THE CRITIQUE ESSAY WILL END WITH A FINAL CONCLUSION 

  • This is at the very end of your essay. It includes a catchy statement about the overall concert or series, summarizing your ideas, and it will tie your essay together into a closing. 

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©2020 by Cynthia DuFault

For SUNY Potsdam dance students with LOVE!

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