Review Guidelines


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Review Guidelines

  1. 1. Interdisciplinary Performance Project DA6004<br />REVIEW – 20% <br />Write a 1000 word essay in which you will review your own interdisciplinary performance project and one other project which has been presented as a result of this module. Both reviews should be written in a journalistic style as close to professional standard as possible. For the entire course of this module you are advised to follow professional performance reviews in current newspapers (e.g. The Guardian) in order to study and understand critical journalistic writing.<br />You can write your review in two parts – one review for your own project and one review for somebody else’s project. <br />OR<br />You can write your review in one part in which you compare both projects in one piece of writing.<br />Structure:<br />Structure your review like a normal essay with three sections:<br />1/ Introduction - Say who was performing, where, introduce to reader basic premise of piece, title, name of director/choreographer, collaborator, art forms used etc.<br />2/ Idea/Concept – Comment on the general idea of or behind the project and place it within a wider artistic landscape, have you seen something like this before, is it “en vogue” at the moment etc. How does “dance” fit with “the other” artform(s), do both art forms complement each other, if so how and why or if not, why has it been unsuccessful, did seeing the piece meet your expectations (according to its title or publicity visuals) etc.<br />3/ Performers & Performance - Comment on how the performers handle the production, are they confident, capable, are they suited for the piece, is it too hard or easy for the performers, i.e. do they look bad because the choreography or the concept isn't very good, etc. Comment on the design/composition/choreography of the project.<br />4/ The overall production - Comment on anything that is worthy of note, e.g. staging, venue, props, lighting, sound, music, costume, either because it is crucial to the concept or because it enhances the production, saves it, or lets it down. <br />5/ Conclusion - Comment on the overall look (your overall impressions), whether the production works despite faults or fails. Try and end on something punchy, like a play on the name of the production etc. Mention whether people should consider seeing the work.<br />Style:<br />Find one or two positive or interesting things to say about each work.<br />You can choose to focus on one or two elements of the production (e.g. costumes) that you feel confident to talk about because of your own expertise.<br />Acknowledge your own relevant experiences (as a maker or a recipient of art) in the review.<br />Avoid repetition of words or expressions; when you've already used 'work' and 'piece' 6 times each…<br />Objective: describe what was performed in accurate detail and render a judgment based on generally agreed upon standards.<br />Subjective: accurately describe what you see, but you are also expected to invest the review with your unique perspective.<br />You can be critical and even harsh when it is merited, but bear in mind it may be that you have simply missed the point through insufficient knowledge.<br />Keep in mind who you are writing for: How could your review help your audience or the producer of the reviewed piece become more capable?<br />Be your own sub-editor. Remember that, unless you arrange it, you won't have the benefit of another pair of eyes looking over your work. If time permits, put the piece to one side and reread it after a break.<br />Starter Kit:<br />Imagine that you are writing an email to a friend about the experience. It can be useful to jot down some key thoughts and then form them into an outline structure, before you write the piece in full.<br />Describe what you saw and give your reactions to the piece. This will usually involve talking about the style of the piece, your thoughts about the choreography, what the key performers bring to the work and the quality of the work. Most important is to convey why you enjoyed various aspects of the piece or visa-versa. Where appropriate, a discussion of the sets, lighting and costumes can help to give an impression of the look of the work. It can be useful to put the performance in context by writing about recent work by the choreographer or the director (the programme notes can be very useful for this sort of information) or why you decided that you would go to see the work.<br />Watch out for these dance critics and read/analyse/learn from their work:<br />Debra Craine of The Times<br />Jenny Gilbert of The Independent<br />Luke Jennings of The Observer<br />Judith Mackrell of The Guardian<br />