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Dance Journal_Week 7.docx

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Boston College
THTR 1120

Week 7 10/22/13 Reflection: They say that it takes 10,000 repetitions of something to burn it in to your muscle memory and form a habit. I learned this thought-provoking tidbit at field hockey today and am now curious to see of it is true. I know from experience, to some extent this is not true. I have walked way more than 10,000 steps in my life and it still seems like I cannot go a day without tripping and falling on my face. However, I can see how in some cases, this statement might hold true, which gives me a whole new appreciation on dancers. My little sister grew up dancing competitively, so I know first hand how many hours they make them practice and train, but I never thought of it as practicing skills. When she would spend four hours at dance every afternoon, I had always thought she was just rehearsing the dances she knew she would be competition with or learning the choreography to a new dance for competition. Now I can see that, like field hockey and other athletic sports, dancers too must practice, repeat and perfect certain skills (that may or may not be in their dances) and learn new skills too. I shiver to think how long and how many times ballerinas are forced to go and stay up on their toes each and everyday, in order to make it seem natural and painless on stage. I guess overall, this realization, made me come to appreciate dance as more of an actual “sport” than I had previously thought. Week 7 10/24/13 Response: Reading MHDC’s “Simmering Passivity: The Black Male Body in Concert Dance” by Thomas Defrantz I am thoroughly confused. Was Defrantz praising Alvin Ailey for changing the black male dancer stereotype not only athletic and fierce, but also erotic, or was Defrantz condemning Ailey for not further eliminating the typical male dancer stereotype? I personally, from what I gathered in the reading, condemn him. Early in the article, Defrantz describes early black concert dancers as easily stereotyped to perform mostly west African-type dances. He says at one point, “From this time on, black dancers became increasingly obliged to prove themselves as “Other” [than just exotic dancers] to concert mainstream”(343). One would think, from there, Defrantz would go into a discussion about a choreographer who did/try to do this. Defrantz briefly mentions two failed companies who attempted to do this through “proving the ability of the black body to inhabit classical ballet technique”(344), however; he then goes into a long discussion of Alvin Ailey, a “paradigm”(344) of a choreographer who used the stereotype of the powerful black male dancer in his work. Is Defrantz criticizing Ailey? I really could not tell when I
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