Last week I researched the history of dance in Islamic culture to find that there really is no history because there really is no dance. It has been looked down upon by most Muslims with the exception of one group known as the Sufis, which view dance as a way of connecting with god. However, there was also a brief point in time where Iran had their own national ballet. It was very successful but was quickly disbanded after the fundamentalists took over.
From this research, I chose the theme of restraint to portray in my composition this week. After going through some ideas, I decided that I wanted to film a dance with a partner that shows him restricting my movement, or holding me back from doing what i could. However, my original idea fell through when my partner was unable to show up on Wednesday so I had to modify. Instead of having my partner restrain me, I decided to pick a song that conveyed restraint or control. After reading the lyrics from Regina Spektor’s song All The Rowboats, I knew it was the one. The song itself has a very interesting sound and the lyrics have an underlying feeling of struggle and restraint (“all the rowboats keep trying to row away, row away.....they will stay there forever and a day...then there’s lock up, masterpieces serving maximum sentences...”). I felt like these words somewhat paralleled with the way a dancer in Muslim culture might feel. Here might be someone who might have incredible potential, but they will either never know it or will never fully reach it because they are held back by their cultural restraints.
I used some movement from my comp study to show restraint: hence the reaching out and pulling back, as if almost attaining something but never getting there. Overall, I am happy with how my project turned out, and I hope you enjoy it as well!