How to Write a Dance Performance Review

Dance Performance Review Definition

Dance performance review is a kind of written critique that is aimed at evaluating the techniques, atmosphere, and aesthetics of concert dance. Dance performance is usually supported by a set of music and can be a part of theatrical performance. A dance performance review should analyze body plasticity, movements, music, space, and time.

how to write a dance performance review

The Purpose of a Dance Performance Review

What, where, and when to see the dance is all about the choice of audience. The main aim of a dance performance review is to evaluate the quality of the dance and recommend it to the general public. For example, the audience of a classical ballet is wide: you can find information in the literature, see it on TV, and many people just know about its existence. But new types of dances need more time to attract the audience to visit the performance. Such reviews can be assigned in a form of essay to students in schools and colleges. Also, you can read such reviews in various journals and online sources.

To know how to write a dance performance, read our advice below.

How to Prepare for Writing a Dance Performance Review

First, you need to see the performance. You can visit the official concert, an amateur performance in the street, or watch it online or in a recording. To be ready for watching the performance, read more information about how dancers prepare for the dance and what elements they frequently use. Search for the information about the performance and history of this form of dance. Learn more information about characteristics of the dance used in the performance. Also, to understand all details, read the key concepts and vocabulary. It is advisable to take a notebook with you and take notes during the play.

Questions to Ask Before Writing

The following questions will help you consider all necessary details while attending the dance concert and better prepare for writing the dance performance review. Answer these questions to make a good analysis of the dance performance.

  1. Who are the intended readers of your review? How can you interest them?
  2. Have you enjoyed watching the dance? Was it interesting enough to hold your attention throughout the performance?
  3. What moments have you enjoyed the most? What movements were the most boring?
  4. Did the dance show a certain idea or lesson?
  5. Have the dancers’ movements successfully delivered the choreographer’s idea?
  6. Have you experienced any bright emotions during the performance? What made you feel these emotions?
  7. Has the dance told a certain story? How have you understood this?
  8. Is there any historical background of this dance?
  9. What is the artistic form and genre of the dance?
  10. What elements of the performance (music, light, scenery, costumes) have impressed you the most?
  11. Can the dance be referred to traditional dances? To what ethnic group or culture does it refer to? What stylistic elements does it have?
  12. What musical accompaniment does the performance have? Does it fit the performance? Why does the artistic director use this particular music?
  13. How did the dancers perform? Have they used only certain parts of their bodies? Have they moved synchronously?
  14. What dancer was the best? Why?
  15. What was the mood of the dance? How can the dancer’s energy be described?
  16. To what kind of audience can you recommend the dance performance?

Dance Performance Review Writing Steps

Step 1. In the introduction, give a general description of the dance performance. Tell about the name of the performance, the choreographer, the place where the dance performance took place, and the dance style (contemporary, ballet, traditional dance, etc.). Also, it will be good to mention other performances produced by the choreographer (artistic director). If the dance has a historical background, briefly tell about it and previous productions.

Step 2. In a few sentences describe the atmosphere that created the performance and put emphasis on three characteristics that attracted the most attention. Evaluate the costume design, light, decorations, and musical accompaniment.

Step 3. In the next paragraph, try to interpret the dance. Tell about the socio-cultural background, the context (story), and describe the genre and style. Think about what the artistic director tried to convey with the artistic tools. Describe the elements of the dance and how it contributed to the overall performance.

Step 4. Evaluate the input of the dancers in the performance. Describe the techniques, level of training, and charisma. Mention the names of the leading dancers and their characters’ names if their dances were connected with certain characters. Describe how dancers interacted with music and each other. Pick only those moments that amazed you.

Step 5. Share your own vision of the dance performance. Focus on the most impressive moments keeping in mind your intended audience. Describe strengths and weaknesses of the dancers’ performance, organization, choreography, and all production elements.

Step 6. In the conclusion, sum up your impressions about the performance. State to what kind of dance lovers you can recommend this performance. “The effect of the dance is fascinating. The music accompaniment holds you in tension and the dance makes you feel in the realm of gods.”

Step 7. Correct the mistakes and edit your final draft. Make sure that your position is not biased and all your statements are supported by the evidence.

Dance Performance Review Sample Analysis

The best way to improve the quality of your review is to read some good music performance review samples. In the following picture you can see one of the samples with comments from our expert. Consider the important moments that should be described in your review and you will write the best review possible. Also, don’t forget to check other samples on our site to have a better idea on how to write great dance performance reviews.

Click the images to see their full size.

how to write a dance performance review example

how to write a dance performance review paper

how to review dance performance

Dance is not just a physical phenomenon, it’s a social, cultural, and historical product. Dance performance review is a great tool for understanding the art of dancing. Our advice and samples will teach you how to write a dance performance, so you will be ready to share your opinion about the dance performance you have seen with the public. Good luck!