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Robert Abrams
Choreography Connections
Monsoon Cafe
United States
Greater Los Angeles
Santa Monica, CA

Reflections on the Expression of Emotion in Post-modern Dance through a Partner Dance Perspective

by Robert Abrams
June 26, 2008
Monsoon Cafe
1212 3rd Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA 90401
While watching the dancers at Monsoon Café Salsa Wednesdays, a thought about post-modern dance struck me. Perhaps part of the reason I am not generally fond of the kind of post-modern dance where the dancers do not have any expressions on their faces is not due just to the lack of emotion. I realized that in partner dance, if your dance partner of the moment is showing no expression, it is not that she is expressing no emotion. Rather, that sort of bored, blank expression is usually a very bad sign. It says "I am being polite by dancing to the end of the song without complaint, but I am bored to tears and have no interest in you." The expressionless forms of performance dance do not go quite this far, but the implication of boredom with the audience as a partner may be enough to turn me off to the work, even when there are other elements to like in the choreography.
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