Today I bring to my favorite viewers and readers a much under-discussed topic in this world – and that is musicality. In this blog post and video, we will discuss the elements of musicality and its relations, as well as tips for improving yours and how it affects your dancing in such a vast way. I really hope you enjoy, and let’s get right to it:
Here’s a video I created for you, all about musicality:
The structure of a count
I thought that I’d overview the structure of a count for those who either don’t know or need a quick reminder. Here’s a count’s setup:
The first part of the count is the either 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8. Sometimes it is solely referred to as the 1. This is the main item of your count, and it also determines the accent of the step (to be discussed further in a bit).
The second part of a count is the “and.” It can be represented by the symbol &. This is the second most important and emphasized part of the count. It is often thought of as being the part between the counts.
Finally, we have the “a.” It can be represented by the symbol +. It is an often forgotten and sometimes excluded part of the count, but it can be vital to specific musicality and togetherness of a corps de ballet.
Accents of a step
The next point of discussion is accents. There are three generic types of accents that are defined below:
Accent IN: You are in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th position on the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8.
Accent OUT: You are in the battement position or at the end of the movement on the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8.
NO Accent: The steps are generic and you are both at the beginning and end of the movement on 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8.
The term “accent” is typically reserved for any type of battement, but there are some more general terms we will discuss next.
Emphasis of a step
Although emphasis is typically reserved for non-battement movements, it can also be applied to battement movements with an accent, as I mentioned and demonstrated in the video embedded above. Let’s talk a little bit about emphasis on a battement movement and a non-battement movement.
If the given movement is a battement, it can have two factors that contribute to its musicality: accent and emphasis. If the accent is in, it means that you will be in 1st or 5th position on the 1. If the emphasis is OUT and the accent is IN, it means that you will prolong the “and a” portion of the count, but still abide by the rule of being in 1st or 5th position on the 1. I hope that makes sense! I demonstrate more in my video.
If the given movement is not a battement, it means that the emphasis can become more generic and varied, and therefore more artistic. In my video and here I will be using the example of a piqué arabesque. Emphasis can either be applied to the movement to the arabesque or to the position, in addition to the possibility of even distribution of emphasis across the entirety of the step.
How it relates to artistry
To continue on our path of piqués to arabesque, let’s overview the different emphases and how they relate to each artistic emotion.
If the emphasis is on the movement to the position, it induces a sense of happiness, calmness, and invitation to the audience. If the emphasis is on the position, it creates a sharper movement with a more prolonged athletic position, creating a sense of control, and even fright over the audience. A generic position is generally considered to be boring, so it is often left out of choreography due to its lack of conveying emotions (unless boringness is intended by the choreographer, you never know!)
All musicality, including accents, can induce a creative sense and create different emotions for the audience and viewers of the ballet, and that only increases its importance and apparentness in the art of dance and ballet.
I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post very much, and remember to subscribe so you don’t miss our Monday, Wednesday, and Friday informational posts. See ya Friday!
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