Vespers choreographed by Ulysses Dove
Vespers is choreographed by Ulysses Dove and means ‘Evening Song’. It portrays 6 aspects of his grandmother. He tries to compose a modern day view of an old person. He used noises during the rehearsal process to help keep the time of the music.
The first part of the piece shows spirit and prayer.CostumeThe costume all the way through the piece is set in a long black dress. The colour could be to symbolise the way his grandmother always used to go to church and maybe the dress could be what she used to wear while she was there. Their dresses look very effective whilst dancing because of all the turns. They could be wearing dresses also because when they are doing some long balances, people can’t tell when there wobbling as the dress covers it.
Set and LightingThe dance looks like it is set in an empty warehouse. It looks like the space is never ending as you cant see any of the walls. All you can see is a shaft of light coming in from a window. When the dancer starts dancing, the light expands and looks like its coming from right above her.
In section 2, the dance is set at the very edge of the warehouse, so you now can see the wall. The lighting is very different in this section of the dance. Whereas before the surround was very dark and just one spotlight for the dancer, the whole room is lit with a very dim light. Half way through this section, the lighting becomes very bright and contrasts from the very dim light from before.DynamicsDynamics plays a very important part in this piece.
The whole dance is choreographed around dynamics. The dynamics are changing all the time. Some of movement material is fast, strong and sharp but then suddenly changes into slow, elegant movements. Obviously, the dancers can’t be strong and fast all the time because they would get worn out so that’s why they contrast into slow moves every couple of moves.
An example of a really slow move that one of the dancers do, is when they sit on the chair and brush their dress. This move is so controlled and is hard after they have been running around then suddenly having to go into such a slow move.MusicThe music in this piece is very different. The dancers aren’t dancing to the rhythm of the music, as there is an irregular beat so it’s very hard to find something to dance to. This is why the choreographer used different noises in rehearsals to the dancers to relate to and remember whilst filming the dance with the music.
There is an irregular drum beat all the way through the piece, but dynamics change throughout, for example, in the first section, when the second dancer comes in the music becomes slower.In section 2, the dance starts in silence, and then a different beat comes in, but is still irregular. When the dancers start running around and become very lively and strong, the music becomes extremely fast, for the dancers to be able to recognise where a particular change of dance comes in. The very end of the dance also ends in silence, which is the same as the beginning of section two.
The use of the chair and relationships between the dancersAswell as Vespers being based around the idea of dynamics, it’s also based on using a chair. The chair is used in lots of different ways. In section one, the dancer uses the chair to stand on and looks like she’s praying to god, as she’s looking up at the light. When the duet starts, one dancer is using the chair to dance with while the other is contrasting by dancing within the floor space. The dancers seem to snatch the chair of each other quite often and this could mean they are trying to portray that their relationship is not very strong.
In section two, 6 dancers are each using a chair each. They use the chair to balance on and to do lots of other gestures. At one point, they roll onto the floor and rest their feet on it. The 6 dancers split into two groups and seem to be competing against each other.
One group do one dance, then the next group, repeat the same and add development and this keeps on going. They also, chase each other and copy what each other’s movements are. The whole dance seems very competitive. During this bit in the dance, the tension builds up a lot, as the music is faster, the lights are brighter and all the dancer are using very strong and fast movements.
All the way through the dance, they repeat lots of things, for example, when they do solo work, they always go back to that again and again. At the very end, it contrasts again as its goes silent and the dancers become slow.