Essay on White Man Sleeps

1000 Words 4 Pages
White Man Sleeps

Ideas for short answer questions
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1) Briefly describe the two main arm gestures used as motifs within
White Man Sleeps in sections 1 and 2.

Section 1 contains one of the arm gestures used as part of a motif in
White Man Sleeps. All the dancers perform this arm gesture at some stage in section 1 of the dance. This recurring arm gesture is in introduced in section 1 where the right arm circles the head clockwise and meets the left arm in front of the head where the hands end up palm to palm and stretched out. At the beginning of section 1 this motif is introduced by three dancers while they move from stage left to stage right and are then joined by the two other dancers. Then
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2) Briefly describe the quality of the travelling movements incorporated into White Man Sleeps, and the floor pattern over which it most often occurs.

There are many travelling movements incorporated into White Man Sleeps perhaps as a way of indicating the way in which Siobhan Davies travelled when she made her visit to America. At the beginning of section 1, the dancers join in one by one and move from stage left to stage right. As two more dancers join in we see the dancers do a quick skipping movement as a different way of travelling. In the duet of section 1, we see the man and woman move more quickly in stepping patterns mostly travelling in straight lines. They perform the motif and turn to face different directions to perform the motif again. They use much of the space then all the dancers perform a motif in canon changing directions and front, and using a different amount of space each time. Their movement is shown in a variety of different ways in this section and this introduces us to the different ways in which they may travel later in the dance.

Section two starts with an energetic duet performed by a male and female dancer in which they travel in different ways from one side of the stage to the other. They drive through the space making much contact between them, mostly consisting of fluid movement, big lifts, and expansive and jumpy movements between them. Their duet conveys a sense of
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