Monday, April 15, 2013

"Asking Too Much"...Lexi Dysart

After seeing her work at Rhapsody James' SIREN showcase, I was extremely excited when Lexi Dysart decided to translate her stage choreography onto film. It can be a tricky dilemma when a choreographer tries to animate spoken word poetry through the body. It is either spot on on far from the mark. However, Lexi has found a way to echo the wordplay perfectly, focusing on the nuanced cadence and dramatic pauses. The final product is a lighthearted, uplifting piece that allows the audience to peek into a girl's mind, vicariously experiencing her nervous hesitation and emotional probing.

MUSICALITY: When analyzing Lexi's piece, its important to remember the significance of punctuation. In much the same way an elementary teacher reminds students to avoid run-on sentences, Lexi's material is a case study in respecting the punctuation of a movement phrase. A choreographic sequence is very similar to a sentence, in that, it expresses a complete idea and then ends with a period, question mark, or exclamation. When we view Lexi's work in this manner, you notice the care that she has taken to preserve this naturally occurring rhythm. At times she uses the movement equivalent of a comma, like at (0:50-0:52) where the dancers suspend the word "cheek," allowing the viewer to digest that moment, before reinitiating the movement. On the other hand, sometimes it is an exclamation mark, like at (1:26-1:28). However, the majority of the punctuation marks, are thoughtfully placed periods, full stop, as we see at (1:43-1:47) on the words "god" and "you."

DANCER SYNC: The first thing that came to mind when I saw this piece, was how much fun the dancers seemed to be having. I immediately had the impression that the movement was perfectly tailored to the dancers' natural movement style and inclinations. In addition to this, safety is of prime importance when discussing dancer sync. For the video, Lexi has chosen to incorporate the natural landscape of the park and benches. The transitions have been modified and calibrated to allow the dancers to move from level to level safely and efficiently. Also, in the original version of the piece, the choreography called for a floorwork section. However, due to the wet conditions of the concrete, Lexi opted to create an alternate phrase that took advantage of the rear bench, with the two girls working in tandem.

AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: I have always been intrigued by creative people who can think in "big picture" terms. This refers to the ability to see "the parts" as well as the "the sum total" of the end product. In Lexi's case, for her "big picture" to make sense, every moment of the choreography needed to support the final moment. Consequently, all of her movement choices and phrases indicate that there is a conclusion on the horizon; a final answer to her string of unending inquiries. Therefore, her choreographic structure not only mirrors the spoken prompts, but compels the viewer to stay tuned in until the end. Since the subject of Lexi's questioning is not revealed until the final moments, the audience is locked into the action from start to finish.

KUDOS to Lexi for transporting us into the private thoughts of an every-girl, letting us spy on an intimate corner of someone's quiet quandaries.

No comments:

Post a Comment