What makes a dancer musical?
I believe a dancer must have ability to use his body, to use his emotion, to express every aspect of the music.
So a dancer can choose to be a slave of the music, and therefore totally aware of every rhythm, melody, harmony of the music, or sometime choose to make the music his own or her own slave and therefore add musicality, which is body activity, to the actual existing music.
First, how do we assess if a dancer is musical?
First point for me is I need to recognize the dance, I need to recognize what is the rhythm, what is the dance even without music.
If I’m taking the waltz for example, I believe the big difference between dancing just one-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three. This moment in timing, I am in timing, possibly with the music. But I feel that awareness of dancing one-two-three, one-two-three, ……
This already creates the different clarity to the effect of the waltz.
That is very important aspect for me as a judge. Can I see, can I identify the dance?
So, it is not now only about dancing one-two-three but it is about the ability of a dancer to make a see and for us to recognize if the dancer is in effect using a waltz character to the dance.
So whatever step the dancer is performing, do we see the actual waltz feeling to it?
It is very different from only dancing one-two-three, I can dancing without expressing that.
Musicality in the Tango
Same if we relate this to the Tango.
Very often, you can see very nice dancers dance in very clear timing, and this is of course very good. But there is also possibility again of creating a clearer identity to it. So can we actually see the tango in our rhythm perform? Which is different.
This is the point.
We are here to together discuss how can we see a difference, when we judge, between a dancer is on time and a dancer is also musical.
Even without music, a performer can be musical.
— Short break
Musicality in the Waltz
When I listen, when I look as a judge, I do want to see the ability of a dancer to let it see, let it the waltz.
I can choose to dance to the same piece of music in maybe not so musical.
I would try. It is very difficult for me because I was too musical for many years.
Did you see the difference?
It is not easy to dance .. it, but action is more flat.
Immediately if you remove the music, we are not necessarily sure this is the waltz.
We may recognize all steps, but we may not actually recognize it is the waltz.
This is for me the first aspect when I judge, when I assess musicality.
Can I recognize from the performer to dance? Can I see the musicality of the dance expressed through his body even without music?
Musicality in the Tango
Tango feels normally it may be easier to recognize the dance even without music because of course they are higher energy.
But again can you recognize musicality in it?
Or is the dancer moving just on time?
Just respect on correct timing, but not really expressing all the different layers?
Musicality in the Foxtrot
Musicality in the Viennese Waltz
Taking musicality in the Quickstep
Second Aspect: Musical Structure
Are dancers aware of musical structure?
– 2-bar structure (1st bar is a question, 2nd bar an answer
– 4-bar structure (1st two bars for question, 2nd two bars for answer)
– 8-bar structure (is a phrase. like talking,
I am not saying a dancer must always only follow the structure.
But they must be aware of it.
A dancer must be aware of the structure.
We, as judges, must be aware if we can see if a dancer is aware of it.
I am going to change the time when starting this.
As a dancer, I chose to change the energy of it.
I am not dancing every bar with the same energy.
It helps breathing.
Breathing is harmonized to music
These are two points I would like to share with you.
Musicality is not only these two points but these are very important and help us all to recognize and evaluate the quality of musicality in dancers.
Can I see the character of the dance when I see the performance?
Would I be able to recognize the dance even without music?
Is the dancer aware of musical structure?