The Chorus Line performance was set in a rehearsal studio surrounded by mirrors where an audition process is taking place for a Broadway show. The show portrays the lows and highs that dancers experience in their competitive career, highlighting the struggles through individual stories as well as them collectively as a group. The diversity within the group and their differences allowed the audience to realise the harsh realities of dancer’s lives and the difficulty of the audition process.
It was Michael Bennet who conceived, directed and choreographed the original Chorus Line piece in 1975. Now reinterpreted by Ellen Kane, who moulded the piece to a more modern and British audience, helping the audience relate to the characters struggles and experiences. One of the things I noticed while watching the Chorus Line, was the sharp dynamics as well as the dancers’ strong alignment showing the professionalism of dancers and their intense determination to get a role in the show. There were mainly elevated movements, such as box jumps and leaps, creating a dynamic atmosphere with very little floor work within the choreography. This might show dancers’ emotions are heightened in audition environments. The company successfully delivered a fast-paced choreographed piece with synchronised movements, expressing the intimacy of the characters.
The dancers all wore their own style of clothing at the beginning of the performance, this idea of differentiated clothing was initiated by costume designer, Grace Smart. Some wearing jeans and others wearing leotards, which shows the dancers individuality as well as their work life. I think having a variety of clothing, celebrates the message: ‘dancers are juggling their everyday lives while trying to pursue their passion of dance’ as there are not enough dance opportunities in the performing arts industry. This contrast between the beginning and the end of the performance, celebrates the characters success as they wore golden top hats in the final number , hinting the dancers’ success in the Broadway show.
I particularly liked the use of lighting by Howard Hudson, as it portrayed the characters emotions through the use of colour. Purple was the main colour throughout the show, which has connotations of dreams and magic. Informing the audience that the characters were very passionate about the job, suggesting the audition was a dream for the dancers. I thought the production was very entertaining with themes of humour, but also delivered a more serious hidden message. I would recommend the Chorus Line to existing dancers but also retired dancers, as it could inspire those who have given up dance, to reconsider joining the preforming arts again.