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Flashcards in Newspaper Dance (Gene Kelly) Deck (25)
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1

List the influences on Newspaper Dance's form.

1. Historical Development of Theatrical Dance
2. Film Technology

2

List the influences on Newspaper Dance's expressive intention.

1. Gene Kelly's close friend Judy Garland and her illness

3

List the influences on Newspaper Dance's production aspects.

1. Desire to Portray Realism (Set)
2. Popular Dress of Era (Costume)
3. Popular Music of Era (Music)

4

List the influences on Newspaper Dance's movement vocabulary.

1. Sports Training
2. Kelly's Hybrid Ballet/Jazz/Tap/Irish/Spanish style

5

Define and provide an example from Newspaper Dance of the choreographic device of motif.

A motif is a simple movement or movement phrase that is repeated throughout the dance to add meaning.
In Section 1, the dancer places one foot on the creaky floorboard and transfers his weight over it to create a small squeak. This motif symbolises his fascination and childlike curiosity with creating sounds from everyday objects. Throughout the dance, this motif is repeated, often following a slight pause and with soft force and slow speed to reflect his hesitation and curiosity.

6

Define and provide an example from Newspaper Dance of the choreographic device of abstraction.

Abstraction is the process of altering or reducing the realistic appearance/features of the original inspiration while maintaining the 'essence' of the idea.
In Section 3, the dancer performs a gesture by holding the newspaper to the side of his body like a matador would hold a red flag. The imagery of a traditional Spanish bullfight is abstracted and reinforced by the faint Spanish cultural music being played in the background. This use of abstraction reflects how the dancer, at the peak of his joy, has become so consumed by his fantasy, he can transform everyday objects like the newspaper into something entirely different all with the power of imagination.

7

Define and provide an example from Newspaper Dance of the choreographic device of augmentation.

Augmentation is the process of making the original movement larger or more intense in space, time or energy.
The dancer, in Section 3, having already ripped the newspaper in half several times, locomotes in a circular pathway kicking the pieces of newspaper. Each kick increases in level, speed and force to show an example of the choreographic device of augmentation. This use of augmentation in Section 3 reflects the dancer's escalating joy and increasing frivolity as he becomes consumed by imagination and fantasy.

8

Explain how Kelly's sports training influenced the movement vocabulary of Newspaper Dance.

At the insistence of his mother, who thought dance would give her children poise, Kelly studied dance from the age of seven. Yet, he always had a preference for sports. Over time however, he realised that he was a quick learner and an excellent dance teacher. Due to his previous training in sport his dance style is very athletic with a broad muscular quality, blending the physical demands of sport with ballet and acrobatics. This influenced Kelly to choreograph Newspaper Dance with a movement vocabulary requiring immense strength and stamina to perform. An example of such movement can be found in Section 2 when Kelly elevates onto the staircase while swinging his legs from side to side. The staircase is very tall but Kelly mounts it with ease, showcasing the athleticism he cultivated during his childhood.
(also balling up newspaper and kicking like a football)

9

Explain how Kelly's interest in portraying realism influenced the set of Newspaper Dance.

Where other musicals of the era featured glitzy theatre and nightclub settings, Kelly wanted to create something that mimicked the everyday settings of life. This influenced him to choose more simple set to create realism. Newspaper Dance is set in an outdoor barn, with dark, natural lighting and everyday objects for props, such as a newspaper and a floorboard.

10

Explain how the popular dress of the era influenced the costume of Newspaper Dance.

Where top hats and tails were the norm, Kelly wanted to break these 1930s and 1940s class-conscious conventions. He believed that dancing in casual work clothes made dancing more relevant to the cinema-going public and allowed more freedom to perform movement. He also wanted to create a different image to Fred Astaire, who was a tap dancer that wore formal wear, as Kelly believed he didn't have the physique for refined elegance. This influenced Kelly to choose a basic yellow shirt and blue pants for his costume in Newspaper Dance, ordinary clothes that would appeal to the wider audience and give him the mobility to perform the complex, athletic movement.

11

Explain how the popular music of the era influenced the music of Newspaper Dance.

Musicals and films of the 1940s and 1950s sought to provide an escape from reality for the everyday person, striving to put away dark thoughts. The 1950s economic boom also resulted in musicals that celebrated this joy. The music of the era was often performed by live bands. This influenced the music of Newspaper Dance, which has a live band feel and mimics the rhythm of early 1950s music. It also creates a sense of excitement while encouraging happiness, something musicals after WWII strived to do.

12

What is Newspaper Dance's overall expressive intention?

While on a forced break from rehearsal in a deserted barn, Kelly uses the everyday objects of a newspaper and creaky floorboard to indulge his child-like curiosity and improvise with sound and rhythm.

13

What is the expressive intention of Section 1?

Kelly hesitantly experiments with the sounds made by everyday objects.

14

What is the expressive intention of Section 2?

Kelly's joy is escalating and he links sounds together to form rhythms.

15

What is the expressive intention of Section 3?

Kelly is at the peak of his joy, completely consumed by imagination and fantasy.

16

What is the expressive intention of Section 4?

Kelly reverts back to reality and his props once again become everyday objects.

17

Describe the movement vocabulary in Section 1 and how it relates to the expressive intention of that section.

-soft force
-short duration
-small dimension
To show hesitation warring with curiosity.

18

Describe the movement vocabulary in Section 2 and how it relates to the expressive intention of that section.

-continual flow
-accents
-percussive qualities of movement
To create rhythms and convey an escalating sense of joy

19

Describe the movement vocabulary in Section 3 and how it relates to the expressive intention of that section.

-large dimension
-strong force
-quick speed
-percussive and swinging qualities of movement
-internal focus
To highlight the peak of his emotions and how he is completely consumed by his imaginary performance.

20

Describe the movement vocabulary in Section 4 and how it relates to the expressive intention of that section.

-moments of stillness
-soft force
-slow speed
-collapsing qualities of movement
To show how he is returning to the monotony of reality.

21

Explain Kelly's hybrid style.

Gene Kelly has a history in various dance styles along with tap, so many that he called his style “hybrid.” He studied under Kotchetovsky in the 1930s in ballet, which gave him exhilaration and self-expression. He was also influenced by the “Irish quality” of George M Cohen. Spanish dancing was another thing he studied, as well as his tap and jazz.

22

Explain how Kelly's hybrid style influenced the movement vocabulary of Newspaper Dance.

Kelly's hybrid style influenced him to incorporate elements of ballet, jazz and cultural dance into Newspaper Dance's vocabulary. You can see this mixture of styles in Section 2 when he performs a pirouette turn with his leg in an over-crossed retire position, showing his ballet background. Yet this turn is also performed on a fondu or bend, with arms by his sides, characteristics more commonly seen in jazz. When he later elevates to the top of the staircase and performs small kicks and jumps from side to side, keeping his arms still by his sides. The complexity of his footwork and the stillness of his arms mimics the qualities found in Irish dancing. The influence of Spanish dancing can be seen in Section 3 when he performs a gesture by holding the newspaper like a matador.

23

Explain how the historical development of theatrical dance influenced the form of Newspaper Dance.

As popularised by Bosby Berkeley, musicals in dance numbers from Kelly's era often featured dance numbers that interrupted the narrative and remained separate to the story. It was choreographer Agnes de Mille who challenged this standard form and started integrating story and dance, using expressive choreography to provide insight on characters' emotions through movement. This influenced Kelly to choose a narrative formal structure for Newspaper Dance. This form allows Kelly to portray the development of his characters joy. The dance contributes to Summer Stock's storyline, not interrupting its flow, as at that point in the story, Kelly is currently waiting for the others actors to return from a break and fills the time with improvisation.

24

Explain how film technology influenced the form of Newspaper Dance.

Fred Astaire changed the way dance was filmed because he wanted dancers to be filmed from head to toe with as few cuts as possible in order to preserve the integrity of the piece. As Kelly often created dances to communicate his ideas, he was influenced to use this whole body filming technique for Newspaper Dance, something that affected its form. In order for this film technique to work, Kelly had to create a dance with a clear beginning, middle and end, with sections that were clearly thematically related and developed smoothly between each section to match the seamless cuts. Newspaper Dance has 4 sections with no interruptions between them, ensuring the dance on screen can flow from beginning to end in full view.

25

Explain how Kelly's friendship with Judy Garland and her illness influenced the expressive intention of Newspaper Dance.

Gene Kelly starred in Summer Stock alongside Judy Garland, who at the time was suffering from a drug addiction that made her frequently absent from filming. Having introduced Kelly to the industry, Garland was a close and revered friend. During her absences from filming, Kelly decided to fill the time choreographing a dance as a thank you to Garland. Instead of spending his time bored, he decided to immerse himself in the joy of dance. This influence can be seen in the EI of Newspaper Dance which features a character (Kelly) creating movement and joyfully improvising during long waiting periods, very similar to how Kelly created Newspaper Dance in Garland's absences from set. Newspaper Dance's EI reflects this exploration of sound and curiosity during a period of empty time.