Terrain | Motif | Bangarra Dance Theatre


Terrain is a beautiful dance work created by Frances Rings and performed by Bangarra Dance Theatre. It encapsulates the connection of culture and the land for Indigenous Australians and provides an insight into the connected world of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.


Just as in your core composition work, motif development is important in dance works as it creates a sense of unity and allows for the viewer to maintain connection between movement and meaning. Frances Rings deploys a number of movement motifs within her work to successfully create connection and understanding to movement.


I will not be going into every single motif that is evident in Terrain. This post will explore two differing motifs evident in the dance work and how it relates to meaning. If you would like to discuss motif development in Terrain further, book in your tutoring session via our

website.

 

Section One | Red Brick

Red Brick is the first section in Terrain. There are many different motifs that are evident within this section. We will be discussing the elongation of the limbs.


Within Red Brick, it explores 'looking beyond the urban landscape to hear an ancestral Calling to Country'. The elongated limbs, in particular the arms, provides the sense of hope and curiosity, as the female is often reaching beyond her kinesphere, almost as though she is being called to another place.


ACTIVITY:

Find a short movement phrase where the dancer/s are elongating their limbs and discuss what it could mean in relation to the elements of dance that are being utilised and how this could further encourage viewers to further understand meaning.

 

Section Three | Reborn

Reborn is the third section in Terran. Again, as mentioned above in the first section, Reborn has many different movement motifs in order to further develop the viewers understanding of concept. We will be discussing the cupping of the hands.


When watching Reborn, you see that Frances Rings has the dancers 'cup' their hands, almost as though they are scooping up the land and/or ochres. The 'pouring' and 'passing' of what is in the dancers hands (figuratively) from hand to hand suggests the importance of maintaining the integrity of culture, land and customs. This pouring and passing is always performed with care, almost as though there is a sense of fragility.


ACTIVITY:

Find a short movement phrase where the dancer/s are cupping their hands and discuss what it could mean in relation to the elements of dance that are being utilised and how this could further encourage viewers to further understand meaning. Pay attention to what the others dancers are doing at the time of the movement and how this could develop meaning.

 

Appreciation can be difficult to tackle if you do not have an understanding of how to analyse movement. If you would like to develop your dance analysis skills, book in your personalised tutoring session by visiting www.helenaadeledanceco.com/book-online


Happy Learning,

Helena Adele

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