Informance versus Recital

With our Fall semester closure coming up on Saturday, we’ve been talking about the difference between an informance and a recital (based on Anne Green Gilbert’s description in her book Creative Dance for All Ages (pp. 53 -55).  Here’s what my college students observed:

Why choose an informance over a recital?

1) An informance allows all the students to always be participating and to learn and watch each other. It is also a way to share information and all that the children have learned throughout the semester to the parents and guests attending. It is a chance to educate the community about the program and the benefits of creative dance. At a recital there is a lot of down time and emphasis on the performance instead of constant engagement and learning together.

2) In an informance we are able to explain concepts and interact with parents. They are able to see and experience the learning process as it occurs in the classroom versus just watching as in a recital. It is at this time that we are also able to explain the value of and benefits of creative dance.

3) An informance allows for the children to show and tell and their family can take part in the activities as well. A recital is all show and it is easy for the children to get nervous and shy. So the informance adds more value to the performance and everyone can experience what each other has learned.

4) An informance is much less pressure on the kids, allowing them to show what they’ve learned in a supportive and welcoming atmosphere. Informances are also more productive than recitals for the kids because the learning involved for a recital is very static (kids perfect the teacher’s choreography for many weeks), whereas when preparing for an informance, kids explore all dance concepts, practice movement combinations, collaborate with others, and create dances themselves. This is a much more enriching process.

5) With a recital you’re pushed to spend your class time “rehearsing” to prepare for it. Where as in an informance you’re still having the students explore even as they’re showing off to the audience. This way you’re sharing your progress and development with the viewer, instead of having them dress up and show off something that was laid out for them.

6)  I love the duality of an informance: informational and informal. What a great way to capture two aspects of this class and it’s purpose! Choosing an informance makes sense because it’s really showcasing the active involvement of the creative process. It isn’t just performing, it’s allowing for understanding and processing of why the dancers are doing what they are doing, and why the teachers are assigning the ‘assignments’ they assign. It allows for an opportunity to explain the benefits of creative dance and provides an opportunity to educate not only your students, but the community as well.

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November 17, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Kate Kuper on Teaching Creative Dance, Recitals.

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