Detailed Analysis of Swansong

In: People

Submitted By IviIvanova
Words 1081
Pages 5
Swansong was choreographed by Christopher Bruce in 1987 for the London Festival Ballet (now called English National Ballet). It lasts 32 minutes and is a work for three dancers, consisting of two interrogators or guard and a victim or prisoner. The original cast was all-male, but was later performed by all-female cast and a mixed gender cast. However, the two guards cannot be of the same gender while the victim is of the opposite gender, as it would suggest a gender issue rather than a political oppression. Moving on, ‘Amnesty International’ was a main stimulus. The piece intends to describe the situation of a person coming from one country, being imprisoned in another due to policy/law differences on treatment and conditions. The Amnesty organisation aims to keep the living conditions of those prisoners at a particular standard. Furthermore, the novel “A man” by Oriana Fallaci and saying ‘goodbye’ to a career as a dancer were also significant stimuli. The recorded music was composed by Phillip Chambon, commissioned by London Festival Ballet. The designer again, was Christopher Bruce and the lighting was designed by David Mohr.
Christopher Bruce designed Swansong’s setting on a bare proscenium stage, which leads the audience’s focus on the movement without any visual distractions. Dull colours are used to create the mood and atmosphere of being in a cell. The backdrop is black, showing that the cell-like stage is small, leaving the prisoner feeling trapped and claustrophobic, also creating a lonely and aggressive atmosphere. Another purpose of the colour is that it makes the dancers’ costumes stand out. The stage is also dark, which emphasises the interrogation. Although the stage is bare the interrogators always enter and exit from the same place on stage right giving the impression of there being a doorway into the dark room.
The only visual clue is a sturdy…...

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