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Phyllis Eckler

Jazz Dance or Hip-Hop Film Review

JAZZ DANCE or HIPHOP FILM REVIEW

Students will submit a review comparing and contrasting dance sequences from two jazz dance and/or hip hop dance films in terms of their cinematic technique, dance style, choreography, and/or context within the storyline. The student may also wish to comment on the dance sequences effectiveness in terms of character or plot development.

Since many of you have probably not written a dance paper before, below I have set out the format in which this paper should be approached. NOTE: EVEN THOUGH A DANCE REVIEW REFLECTS YOUR POINT OF VIEW THE WRITER SHOULD NEVER USE THE WORD “I” OR ANY PHRASE THAT IS SELF –REFLECTIVE ( e.g. “in my opinion” or “to me”). THE READER ASSUMES THAT ANY OPINION GIVEN IS THAT OF THE WRITER.

This final paper should include the following paragraphs:

1. Your thesis: In the first introductory paragraph you will talk about what area of jazz/hip hop you are going to be focusing on in your paper. Ideas for your thesis can include (but are not limited to), the development of jazz dance or hip hop style over time (i.e. from the 80’s to the present), the difference in dance styles used for street dance versus “Hollywood” dance, East Coast vs. West Coast style, the way the dances are captured on camera (i.e. angles, editing, focus, speed), development of the storyline by using dance as a storytelling device, the performance ability of the dancers/actors, etc. These are just some ideas but you are welcome to come up with other areas of inquiry.

2. A synopsis of the two films: In this paragraph (or two) you will give a brief overview of the storyline of each of the movies. Make sure to give the reader the names of the main characters so you can use them later in your paper as you describe a certain scene.

3. What you want to say to back up your thesis: Decide on one small element seen in both films but also derived from your thesis above (e.g. the amount of floorwork in the choreography, the way the set or environment is used, etc.). Tell us in the first sentence what the element is that you are going to talk about. Then give the reader an example from each of the films either showing the similarity or differences in the way the two films use that element.

4. This paragraph should have a different element than #3 but give examples also of similarity or difference how it is used between the two movies.

5. Tell us your overall opinion: In this paragraph you can sum up your overall impression of the two films. You can state which one is more appealing and why. Go to town! Write your opinion but try to relate your reasoning back to the examples you show us in paragraph 3 & 4 and remember you don’t need to include the words “I think…”.  Whenever you write a paper we know this is what your opinion is because YOU wrote it. That’s what makes the pen so powerful!

If you are using written source material for any of your paper you may not copy it without quotation marks AND you also need to cite your source.

List of Approved Films:
Breakin’ 1984
Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo 1984
Beat Street 1984
The Last Dragon 1985
Save The Last Dance 2001
Honey 2003
You Got Served (all in the series)
Rize 2005
Step up (all in the series)
Idlewild 2006
Stomp The Yard 2007
How She Move  2007
Step Up 2 2008
The Freshest Kids: A History of the B-Boy 2001
This is It 2009
One - Michael Jackson
A Chorus Line
Fosse
West Side Story
Chicago
All That Jazz

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