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Winterdance is an evening of choreography created by dance majors at Bridgewater State University. We have discussed the role that dance played across a broad swath of history. Dance is always reflective of the aesthetics and social landscape of the era from which it emerges. These dances were created by your contemporaries. Consider how their themes are relevant to this moment in history.

Select one dance from each half of the program and discuss how this dance relates to our contemporary world. Use examples from the dance and from class to support your idea. 

Introducing

Jennifer Lynn Lopez was born on 24th July in 1969. She was born to the Puerto Rican parents Guadalupe Rodríguez and David López and she has an older sister, Leslie and a younger sister, Lynda who is a journalist. David uses to work in the night shift in the Guardian Insurance Company before he has been working as the computer technician at the firm whereas Guadalupe was the homemaker. During the birth of Lopez, the family uses to live in the small apartment of the Castle hill neighborhood. Lopez started taking dancing lessons from the age of five (Purkayastha). Her parents have encouraged their daughters to perform in a home that is in front of the family members and friends so that they can stay out any trouble of performing in front of others. Lopez has studied from the Catholic school and she was also athletic, competing in the national track championships. During her final year in school, she was seeking the role of the teenage girls in films. She was auditioned and cast in the low cast film directed by Connie kaiserman. Her decision of becoming the movie star and the dancer was not appreciated by her family members, thus the differences in opinions led her to move out of her home and shifted to an apartment in Manhattan (Diamond). She then performed in the regional productions of the musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar and Oklahoma. Later she got a job in the Synchronicity show in Japan, she played the role of the dancer, choreographer. Early in 2000, Lopez was nominated for the best dance performance in the second hit single “Waiting for tonight” but she lost the award to the Veteran diva Cher. In early 2001, she gained the popularity of the multi-talented person (Foster).  

Describe the creation of the work and its larger impact.

Jennifer has grown up by the listening of the rhythms of the Salsa, Bachata, and Merengue and from the seven years, she went to the tour around the New York City with the dance class. She began her dance careers in the stage musicals in Europe and Japan as the teen performer. By hearing about the scholarships for the dance school in Manhattan, she went for it. She uses to finance herself for taking the dancing lessons from the age of nineteen (Amans). She also spent several months for auditioning in the dance roles. Lopez was selected as the dancer for the various rap music videos and as a backup dancer for the New Kids (Midgelow). She won the national competition in 1990 and also earned spot dancing as the fly girl dancer in the television comedy programs. She gained the potential of becoming a world-class dancer by studying dancing in schools (Ohkita).

Describe the creation of the work and its larger impact

How was/is this work received and why?

Jennifer Lopez started her career as the dancer on the TV’s comedy shows, then she appeared in the films like the Blood and Wine and the Out of Sight and these films made her the bona fide movie star and made her one of the highest-paid Latin actresses in the Hollywood. Lopez along with her dance career also launched her music career like her albums include On the Six, Como Ama una Mujer in 2007. Her movies include Anaconda, The Wedding Planner, Maid in Manhattan, Shall We Dance and other make her one of the famous actresses and showed her excellent and unique skills in dance. She also joined the panel of the American Idol as the judge in the year 2010 (Holmes).

What questions does this choreographer’s work ask?  

The choreographer’s work questions about the dance technique that is the choreographer should have knowledge regarding the dance step, routines, and styles (Hay and Martin). The directors generally depend on the choreographers for pulling together the dance routines that are statistically needed for the production. The choreographer’s work is also questioned by the leadership techniques that are the choreographers should have the strong leadership skills as the entire group of dancers and the actors depend on the choreographers for the execution of their routine. Their responsibilities are also questioned based on the factors like the creativity and the disciplines. The choreographers should have the creative talent as the entire concept depends upon the ideas of choreographing the dance routines. They should have the ability to translate the ideas and concepts into the physical movements. The choreography requires the long, tedious hours of rehearsing for getting the dance moves perfectly as the audience buys a ticket for seeing the performances, musical productions and a lot of pressure weighs on the choreographer for ensuring the total success. The choreographers should be disciplined, persistent for achieving this (Childs).   

What is significant about this person in the context of their historical time? 

Jennifer Lopez has started her career by enrolling herself for the dance class in a school that offers a scholarship. Her parents encouraged her to sing, dance and also encouraged her and her sisters to perform in front of many people. But when Lopez decided to take acting, dancing as her professional career, then her parents do not agree with her. For which she needs to finally shift to an apartment and started her career based on her own finance (Lewis-Smith). This demonstrates that in the earlier days many talented people could not move forward and cannot choose the uncertain profession as they are mostly stopped by the social pressure. The earlier effect of the society could not stop this brilliant talent from moving forward towards their own dream. Her performance also showed the brilliant performances based on the different dance forms and her dance performs depends on the unique moves, which attracts people and this helps her to become one of the world popular and the famous dancer. Her movies are mostly based on the dance forms and the dance choreography mainly attracts people.

How was/is this work received and why?

What is the legacy of their work?

Lopez is considered as the most influential Hispanic performer in the United States are credited by the breaking racial barriers in the industry. Lopez became one of the highest paid actress of the Hispanic descent in the industry and she was able to transverse the hard racial boundaries. Lopez is considered as the most powerful entertainer on the entire planet and she is known as the world’s most powerful Latino celebrity. Lopez has also contributed to the Latin explosions that are occurring in the entertainment at that time. Lopez is also regarded as the global icon and she is also described as the triple threat performer and she has also been cited as the influence or the inspiration by the various ranges of the entertainers. She was also considered as the style icon of the 2000s decade. Her images of wearing a dress gain the maximum number of searches on the Google image search and her record-breaking the fragrance line became one of the most successful celebrities in the world as her first fragrance has been credited with influencing the rise of the celebrity fragrances in the 2000s. Along with all the success, Lopez was also appointed as the judge in the American Idol in 2010. The trend of the networks hiring the big names for the judging panel in this show has ensured Lopez as one of the most successful and the global famous icon. The newspaper has also declared as one of the most successful multidimensional artists, who had turned in to the financial powerhouse and the Record newspaper have shared their observation that she was the one who was responsible for the introduction of the Latina presence in the film industry that was the whites-only preserve for most of its history (Abdullah).

References

Abdullah, Melina. "To start from the beginning: The movement has a history." Against the Current 30.3 (2015): 15.

Amans, Diane. An introduction to community dance practice. Macmillan International Higher Education, 2017.

Childs, C. "Embedding Work-Based Learning Opportunities into an Undergraduate Curriculum Through Participation in a Touring Dance Company." Enhancing Employability in Higher Education through Work Based Learning. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2018. 113-132.

Diamond, Elin. Performance and cultural politics. Routledge, 2015.

Foster, Susan Leigh. "49 Taken By Surprise: Improvisation in Dance and Mind." The Improvisation Studies Reader: Spontaneous Acts (2014): 398.

Hay, Marie, and Martin Leach. "Things taken as obvious... distort. The speaking dancer and the Question of Being." (2017).

Holmes, Katie. "Does It Matter If She Cried? Recording Emotion and the Australian Generations Oral History Project." The Oral History Review 44.1 (2017): 56-76.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Symbols of transformation. Routledge, 2014.

Lewis-Smith, Christopher. "A brief history of the dancer/camera relationship." The Moving Image Review & Art Journal (MIRAJ) 5.1-2 (2016): 142-156.

Midgelow, V. (2016). Multiplicity, Embodiment and the Contemporary Dancer: Moving Identities by Jennifer Roche. 2015. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. 164 pp., 10 illustrations, preface, acknowledgments, notes, bibliography, index. $90.00 hardocover. Dance Research Journal, 48(2), 119-121.

Ohkita, Misato, et al. "Audio-Visual Beat Tracking Based on a State-Space Model for a Robot Dancer Performing with a Human Dancer." JRM 29.1 (2017): 125-136.

Purkayastha, Prarthana. "Decolonising dance history." Rethinking Dance History: Issues and Methodologies (2017): 123.

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