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Perfect by Motionhouse

Accompaniment, Lighting, Costume, Set Design and Structure
by

Tessa McThredder

on 8 February 2013

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Transcript of Perfect by Motionhouse

By Sophie Smith and Tim Dickinson Perfect
Accompaniment Overture; "Spirit of Time" "Shadows" Perfect
Lighting Design Music is pensive, reflective with a meditation- type feel. Light calm piano melody which echoes and is overlaid with whalesong.

Sets the tone/ mood for the duet downstage left (the manipulators of time).

Some gestures work on an 8 count abd fit the rhythm of the music, others work through the music.

The calmness contrasts the speeded up film behind them. "Hands of Time" This section has a driving constant rhythm on an 8 to match the athletic movement. Here movement and accompaniment work closely together.

There are also some lifts which nearly always correspond with the ding of a bell.

Smooth and gliding turns correspond with a sliding dynamic from synthasised strings. This section is a muted trumpet playing a free jazz-style melody over a driving yet light pulse like a ticking clock.
There is a middle melody with an eastern feel to it.
Music becomes more agitated as it progresses, which adds to the anxious and desperate dynamic of the solo.
There are flourishes and flurries on the trumpet which are echoed in the movement where the floor bound dancer performs a rapid 'running on tiptoes' action with the hips raised and the head low. The weight is taken on the hands. By Mark Parry The accompaniment is there to reinforce the mood, emotional depth and layers of meaning as well as to support the narrative aspect. "Rakes" This section has natural accompaniment extension from the previous section. This section moves through the accompaniment rather than with it, as we see two very different duets using a rake as a prop. One tender and loving, the other abusive and aggressive. The lighting design is intended to compliment the movement, rather then create special effects and detract from the movement.

Generally the colours of the lights are purple and yellow. "Hands of Time" In the "hands of time" section the floor space is lit in two halves in a sort of "bowtie" shape.
Stage left is predominantly lit at all times; stage right is in complete darkness. The lighting design is much darker in this section than the other sections- making the film that Is projected in front of the live action more effective.
We can also see both the film on the screen and the dancers behind it because the screen is lit from behind. If the screen was lit from the front, the curtain would re-appear and the dancers would be hidden. "Shadows" An example of a special lighting effect at the start of the work is in "shadows" section where there is a solo dancer in front of a paper screen and another solo dancer behind the screen. Both dancers start kneeling so we think the at dancer behind the screen is a shadow of the first, or maybe a projection. It is only when both dancers start doing different things that we realise that there are 2 separate females on the stage. The shadow starts to move, enlarging and decreasing in size even though the dancer is static in a kneeling position. This is created by a third dancer behind the screen holding the lantern/light. The dancer directs the light at the kneeling dancer from the back throwing the shadow onto the screen. General Overview The costumes are understated, uncluttered, every day and gender specific. As the settings merely imply a scene, the costumes are kept simple.
The men wear black trousers and white shirts and the women wear short black strappy dresses, each of these are slightly different: straight neckline, high neck and keyhole neck, each with varying backs of the dresses also. Perfect
Costume Design By Claire Armitage Costumes for Perfect are everyday-style clothes that are made so that they are easy to move in for dance. Similar to the idea behind the lighting, they are designed to complement the work as a whole rather than detract from the theme. "The Spirit of Time" "The Spirit of Time" section- female dancers wear simple white sleeveless tunic dress. The male dancer wears a simple shirt and trousers in white. The shirt is loose and un-tucked.
At the very beginning of the piece two dancers enter from downstage right and perform a clam duet in white. They signify the spirit of time: manipulating and controlling time. Perfect
Set Design By Simon Dormon The set has many uses helping us to understand the theme of time, underpinning the dance even more.
Perfect uses a box frame set. The Gauze A sheer gauze is hung as a backdrop but mid way through the piece it is brought forwards on ropes to form a gauze at the front of the stage.

A gauze flies in at the front of the stage which is see through. Images of hands are shown. Dancers use the benches to stand and sit on- showing the hands of time to manipulate the dancers. The Sand The set is filled with sand and is picked up and run through fingers- like the sand is running through an hourglass.

The dancers start to use rakes on the sand- showing nurturing and changing relationships. Slings and the Paper Screen Slings are unfastened which the dancers use for aerial work- showing pendulums, swinging and ticking of the clock.

The paper screen at the front is first used as a film screen- showing images of passing time eg. seasons into night. The paper screen is then used to throw shadows- the shadow dancer is manipulated by another shadow dancer, which contrasts with the visible solo dancer in front of the screen.
A third of the paper screen tears off to reveal legs- showing play time and rhythm. The paper screen acts as a film screen but this time water is trickled down from the top, weakening it and making it tear in vertical strips- images are of faces but as the screen tears an ageing and decaying effect occurs. Perfect
Structure 13 Sections

Dancers improvised movements together, alone and as a group. These motifs were then developed using compositional devices.

Episodic rather than linear thread to the dance. Relationships may show some narrative.
Narrative structure developed and evolved through the process of improvisation and experiments of relationships with the dancers.

Presents the idea of time as a series of significant moments and its possible consequences.
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