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The work of dancer/composer Meredith Monk, and how it draws attention to form and content. Drawing upon and building on aspects - Research Paper Example

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MEREDITH MONK Introduction Meredith Monk, an American performing artist made her mark as a performer, a choreographer, and as a director of films. Her achievements were more specifically achieved in contemporary forms of music, films, and theatre. The techniques used by Monk were not only cinematic in nature but were also psychologically charged and were less directed towards personal prospect…
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The work of dancer/composer Meredith Monk, and how it draws attention to form and content. Drawing upon and building on aspects
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Download file to see previous pages 8). In a career which extended over decades, Monk is credited of composing numerous musical songs, dance compositions and films. Book of Days and Ellis Island are some of her most famous feature- length films. Monk’s form and content emerged from silence, with an objective to make people more alive. In her world, expression and emotions rest in a state of co-existence, where there exists no distinction between times that has passed or present time (Samuel 2007, p. 23-26). In this respect, her methods reflect the principles stated by Aristotle and Burke. This article deals with principals and works of Meredith Monk as the pioneer of modern rhetoric in performing arts and also deals with uniqueness of her performances and compositions. At the same time concepts of time, ‘kairos’, rhetoric and political rhetoric are also discussed. The paper focuses on development of form and content of Meredith Monk, with respect to the concept of rhetoric. American performing artist: Meredith Monk Besides being a dancer and a choreographer, Monk was also a vocalist. She was ‘a maker’ who reveled in creating new forms within the realms of music. Works of Monk can broadly be categorized into three groups- first come the music concerts, multi- media as a basis of performance and lastly, films. Throughout her life, Monk had delivered innumerable memorable performances- whether be it solos, or performances with groups or with band members called- “The House”. The members of House always functioned like a family, for it was Monk’s belief that perfection in form and beauty can only be achieved though harmony and unity (Bremser and Sanders 1999, p. 159). It is a feature worth noticing that every single piece of composition or performance bore mark of Monk’s uniqueness. Monk’s vision and notion of form and content is to be credited for this. She chose to delve deep into the underlying silent aspects, over simply presenting art as epitome of beauty. Throughout her life, music remained as the central aspect. Not only she succeeded in achieving newer heights as dancer- vocalist, performer and choreographer, simultaneously she had also developed a vibrato-less style. Her love for music and work has always been her inspiration behind such achievements. In fact she was so obsessed with music, that she once remarked that she never wishes to visualize her life and work separately. Rather, to her, both held similar meanings for she believed that the impressions of life get expressed through art (Bremser and Sanders 1999, p. 159- 160). Timelessness and abstractness acquires much wider place in Monk’s work. The concept of ‘space’ was central to her arbitrary movements. Gesture was another important aspect that Monk regulated, to provide variety to her work. She made use of ‘non- proscenium space’, which is basically a theatrical aspect and combined it with emotional overtones. Spiritual bending of Monk helped her in self- exploration. Effects of this, as well as Eastern mysticism, could therefore, be easily traced in her works. The dance forms she created thus emphasized on simplicity and voyage a journey towards spiritual salvation and inner truth (Bremser and Sanders 1999, p. 160). Uniqueness of Monk’s work: style and technique As a performing artist, Monk was both an archaeologist and a seer. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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