Dance Observation

A critique is a statement of your point of view. You should develop your ideas so that the reader can visualize and understand the dance as you observed the performance.


In the upper left hand corner of your paper put your name, professor’s name, title of course, and the due date. The title of your paper should be centered. Please NO COVER SHEET.

Your paper should be a five paragraph essay, typed in MLA format, size 12 Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins. Make sure to proofread and make necessary revisions. You will be graded on format, spelling, and grammar. Remember that there are resources available to you on campus to assist in writing.

Paragraph One: Introduction

State the “who, what, where, when” of the performance. Briefly describe the company and the choreographer.

Paragraph Two: Description

Describe one dance in detail. This paragraph should communicate how the dance looked and sounded. Be aware of space, levels, shapes, rhythm, time and dynamics. Look for interrelationships among the movement, such as: repetition and variation of the movement theme, organization into clear sections, and the relationships of the dancers. How does the dance relate to the audience? Is the energy projected out or does it draw the spectator in? What are the costumes, lighting, accompaniment, and stage atmosphere?

Refer to your “Performance Checklist.”

Paragraph Three: Analysis

This is your interpretation of the dance. State the dance genre and style (remember

that many contemporary choreographers combine different styles). Determine the

choreographer’s intent. Is the dance narrative, non-narrative, improvisation, or abstract? Do you believe that the choreographer chose to allow the medium of movement to be the message or does the movement tell a story or convey a specific message or statement?

Paragraph Four: Evaluation

This paragraph conveys how well the choreographer fulfilled his/her intent. Your

personal opinion and judgment is the basis for this paragraph. Was the dance successful?

Why or why not? Was the choreographer successful in communicating an overall idea?

Were the dancers technically proficient at performing the work? How did the lighting, set

design, costumes, and music enhance or diminish the dance? Although your opinions are

important here, be aware of your own biases. Be specific in supporting your likes and


Paragraph Five: Context/ Conclusion

How does this dance concert relate to your experiences in this class? How does this dance concert connect to other dance performances that you have experienced or learned? How does it connect to dance history and current trends of dance making? Would you recommend this performance to others? Would you attend more performances by this company or by other dance companies in the future? How did this experience affect your ideas about dance as an art form?