It can be literally anything, it can be narrative, episodic, chance etc. as you don’t hear any vocals unless it’s found sound it is never dialogue As in musical theatre they sing their emotions in some contemporary dances they dance through their emotions. Orchestras are used for example Swan lake, Sound tracks, even in some dances there is silence but then a beat is added in for example a dance called Rosas Danse Rosas is found sound of panting and breathing heavy.Merce Cunningham’s Beach Birds for camera is in silence for the majority of the time but now and then you hear a rain maker and the stomping of the performers feet.
The theme of revelations is a sensitive subject of slavery and the trials and tribes. The opening section “Pilgrim of Sorrow” is represented through unique gestures of the hands. They are coming together as a community and acting like a shield but they have juxtaposed the music which the theme. The dance is going with the music because the slow lyrics of ‘I’ve been buked’ the dancers slowing lean round. With the sustain of the note after that and the slow decay they bring their arms down with the timing again of the lyrics. As the pitch of the lyrics get lower they themselves get lower into a plié and arms in a angular position. Then again more harmonies are brought into the song and the dancers reach up like they’re reaching for god.
From 26.04 to 28.33 it shows the fight of the prince struggling to get his mother’s attention. The pitch starts off quite low with a few high violins layering the lower sounds. There is a cannon of pitch. It’s quite like a call and response with the pitches which is shown through the actions of the piece as the prince is following his mother round with question and answer. When his mother comes to actually give him the attention the violins starting sawing to represent his heart beat. Then the layering of the violins with I interoperate as his thoughts going mad inside his head. The rhythm of the reoccurring sounds of the violins and flute. The volume builds in volume to give a panic atmosphere, giving you the thought of what is going to happen next. There is a lot of crescendos. The use of layering gives it more depth. Then it comes to the climax of the music and the fast attack when the prince slide into his mother the sustain of the long note has a slow decay as it fades out but because of the mother struggling to get out of the princes arms it doesn’t fade out with ease it fades out with quite a patchy rhythm. Then it goes quite as the queen gets up and continues to play the music as it was playing in the section before as if they are acting like nothing has happened and they are carrying on as normal.
They sing their emotions, if the character is sad the music tends to be sad, and they will sing a sad ballad, and the same for when they are happy.For example in hairspray they have the big dresses with the peter pan collars that shows it’s the 1960s, and if you didn’t already know it was set in the 60s there is a song called welcome to the 60s which again is spoon feeding the audience. In Chicago it’s set in the 20s this is shown by the show girl flapper dresses and the set of the speak easy in all that jazz.Some sections audience can hear the music but the actors cant and sections for example when the performer is singing along to the music they can obviously hear the music. to project the characters voice when singing but other microphones can be placed around the space. It makes audiences feel emotionally attached to certain characters.
This section is where Blousey is auditioning for Fat Sam’s speakeasy, It is clearly diegetic as she is singing along side the music and has a microphone to her face to project her voice when she is singing, also there are microphones all around as there is dialogue before and after it as it’s easier to have microphones around and not everyone have a separate one for themselves. When Fat Sam claps that is diegetic as she reacts to it, which is also found sound. As the song is called “I’m feeling fine” she is juxtaposing to the lyrics as she is nervous for her audition.
From 9:15 the beat is coming back and it is a diegetic sound as they are reacting to it but the audience join in which links to musical theatre as its an happy environment. The famous song we will rock you is brought in they sing along and as you can see they have microphones on their faces so they can move about while singing instead of just standing behind a microphone. The sound effects are used for when the guitar comes out of the rock. Microphones are all around to pick up everything around the space.
Musical theatre is a lot clearer how they show emotion as they act through song, as they tend to sing a sad song when they’re sad but with contemporary dance if it is a sad section the instruments they use are different as violins are stereotypically sad instruments. Again from swan lake as he wants his mothers attention he is constantly chasing her around but in Bugsy Malone Fat Sam says weather she is good or not.In musical Theatre uses special effects and sound effects contemporary dance doesn’t have to have a story board of having a beginning, middle and end.
Contemporary and musical theatre
A sound designer is the third element of the
process to create a staged piece. They have to
work very closely with the director or choreographer
in terms of dance. Sound design is all about
layering. Sound designer has to concentrate on
genres and use different types of music.
This is how the sound differs in Contemporary dance
and Musical Theatre.
Contemporary dance is to your own interpretation.
The use of music relates to the dance.
Some music does create a mood in contemporary
dance but they can juxtapose music with emotion
Use of different sound sources.
ALVIN AILEY - REVELATIONS
Revelations is about Ailey’s life living in Texas and his
childhood recollections of people, places and
experiences in and around his church, and using
traditional African American blues, work songs, and
spirituals as his musical inspiration, Ailey tells the
story of African American faith and persistence from
slavery to freedom culture and his African American
heritage. This is a diegetic piece as it is direct
correlation to the music.
MATTHEW BOURNE’S SWAN LAKE
The plot of the ballet influenced contemporary dance
revolves around a young prince, his distant mother,
and his desire for freedom, represented by a beautiful
swan. The context is shown through the costumes not
so much the music.
• Musical Theatre is as we all know spoon feed.
• The context can be shown through the dances and
obviously the set design and costume.
Musical theatre has a variation of Non diegetic
and diegetic sounds.
• The use of microphones.
• Musical theatre are to make the audience feel
happy, but throughout to feel other emotions.
Bugsy Malone is set in the 20s and is an all child
cast and about how a girl wants to get into show
business but meets a boy who she ends up falling
WE WILL ROCK YOU
We will rock you is set in the future where rock and
roll is ban but the Bohemians are trying to bring it
back from the help of the dreamer and his chick.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST
Both contemporary and Musical theatre can have
music to portray a mood but it is done in different
Contemporary dance doesn’t have vocals so if they
want to get a point across its used through dance
unlike musical theatre they will literally say how
Musical theatre mainly uses diegetic and non
diegetic sound as contemporary doesn’t necessary
need a narrative.
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