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Manipulation of the elements of dance


Dynamics is the third element of dance. It has two main components: release of energy and weight or force.

Dynamics is the interrelationship of force, the release of energy and time. How these factors are utilised produces a movement quality.

Movement quality is the look or aesthetic of a work. It is how you would describe the feeling of the work.

Movement quality is descriptive. Examples of words that would be used to describe quality are; nervous, tense, smooth, floating, sad, sticky, prickly, heavy, grieving.

There are many more.

To achieve movement quality the choreographer employs dynamics.

Dynamics is explained by discussing the two following concepts in combination.

release of energy

weight or force.

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Release of energy

Release of energy is dependant on the amount of force used to make movement occur.

Words which describe release of energy are: sudden, slow, strong, sag, forceful, sustained, collapse, swing, jerky.

If a movement is sustained, then the release of energy will be slow. Movements that are sudden and sharp require a fast release of energy.

Varying the speed of energy release throughout the movement will cause the dancer to either speed up or slow down.

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Weight or force

Weight gives movement a sense of lightness or heaviness.

Force is the intensity of the release of energy. It is on a continuum from gentle to strong.

How force is used creates particular dynamics and therefore achieves the required quality.

Weight, force and energy release in combination are used to enhance the aesthetic of movement.

The manipulation of dynamics will be linked to the movement quality that is needed in the concept/intent of the core composition.

In this example there is a contrast demonstrated between a sustained and sudden release of energy, which alters the quality of the movement in that particular figure. Making this contrast in energy release alters the feeling created at the beginning of the movement.

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