Review Guidelines


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Review Guidelines

  1. 1. Interdisciplinary Performance Project DA6004REVIEW – 20%Write a 1000 word essay in which you will review your own interdisciplinaryperformance project and one other project which has been presented as a result ofthis module. Both reviews should be written in a journalistic style as close toprofessional standard as possible. For the entire course of this module you areadvised to follow professional performance reviews in current newspapers (e.g. TheGuardian) in order to study and understand critical journalistic writing.You can write your review in two parts – one review for your own project and onereview for somebody else’s project.ORYou can write your review in one part in which you compare both projects in onepiece of writing.Structure:Structure your review like a normal essay with three sections:1/ Introduction - Say who was performing, where, introduce to reader basic premiseof piece, title, name of director/choreographer, collaborator, art forms used etc.2/ Idea/Concept – Comment on the general idea of or behind the project and place itwithin a wider artistic landscape, have you seen something like this before, is it “envogue” at the moment etc. How does “dance” fit with “the other” artform(s), do bothart forms complement each other, if so how and why or if not, why has it beenunsuccessful, did seeing the piece meet your expectations (according to its title orpublicity visuals) etc.3/ Performers & Performance - Comment on how the performers handle theproduction, are they confident, capable, are they suited for the piece, is it too hard oreasy for the performers, i.e. do they look bad because the choreography or theconcept isnt very good, etc. Comment on the design/composition/choreography ofthe project.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 theconcept or because it enhances the production, saves it, or lets it down.5/ Conclusion - Comment on the overall look (your overall impressions), whether theproduction works despite faults or fails. Try and end on something punchy, like a playon the name of the production etc. Mention whether people should consider seeingthe work.Style:Find one or two positive or interesting things to say about each work.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.Acknowledge your own relevant experiences (as a maker or a recipient of art) in thereview.  1 
  2. 2. Avoid repetition of words or expressions; when youve already used work and piece6 times each…Objective: describe what was performed in accurate detail and render a judgmentbased on generally agreed upon standards.Subjective: accurately describe what you see, but you are also expected to invest thereview with your unique perspective.You can be critical and even harsh when it is merited, but bear in mind it may be thatyou have simply missed the point through insufficient knowledge.Keep in mind who you are writing for: How could your review help your audience orthe producer of the reviewed piece become more capable?Be your own sub-editor. Remember that, unless you arrange it, you wont have thebenefit of another pair of eyes looking over your work. If time permits, put the pieceto one side and reread it after a break.Starter Kit:Imagine that you are writing an email to a friend about the experience. It can beuseful to jot down some key thoughts and then form them into an outline structure,before you write the piece in full.Describe what you saw and give your reactions to the piece. This will usually involvetalking about the style of the piece, your thoughts about the choreography, what thekey performers bring to the work and the quality of the work. Most important is toconvey why you enjoyed various aspects of the piece or visa-versa. Whereappropriate, a discussion of the sets, lighting and costumes can help to give animpression of the look of the work. It can be useful to put the performance in contextby writing about recent work by the choreographer or the director (the programmenotes can be very useful for this sort of information) or why you decided that youwould go to see the work.Watch out for these dance critics and read/analyse/learn from their work:Debra Craine of The TimesJenny Gilbert of The IndependentLuke Jennings of The ObserverJudith Mackrell of The Guardian  2