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PhD Arts Practice Performance – Claire Egan
December 17, 2020 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
An Arts Practice investigation into how Gesture and Phrasing inform my performance. This piece explores the relationship between sound and gesture and also how phrasing can be changed and manipulated to form new ways of expression and meaning in performance. The process in making this piece was to work intensively with dancer Sarah Fennel and the synchronicity of movement and sound was interrogated to produce a new work. I chose a traditional reel “The Yellow Tinker” as a starting point to explore the concept of dance tunes within the Irish traditional repertoire. The tune is broken down, rhythmically and melodically, so that it becomes a structural backdrop that can be reimagined through the gestural and phrase shapes that Sarah suggests. The first part is an improvisatory movement piece where we strip back the tune from the very first note, how to hold, and bend a note, how to demonstrate the tensions and release that is presented within the melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and dynamic elements. How to change the duration and dynamic shape of notes, which is also expressed and represented through the dancer’s movements. The piece progresses from one note to the second and onwards in the same order that they would be played when performing it as a dance tune but it is elongated and manipulated to create a new feel and experience visualised through Sarahs movements. This then becomes a slow air, which is again demonstrated how a tunes phrase lengths, note durations, dynamic, phrase endings can be explored also expressed through movement. The second part of the piece is a faster tempo movement in the style of Bach commanding more dynamically charged movement and sound and gradually we get to the last movement where you will hear the tune as played back in a dance context but clearly highlighting the phrasing, with examples on how the phrasing changes and finishing with a an improvised performance of the tune with the dance.