Essay on "Rooster" by Christopher Bruce

1083 Words Jul 10th, 2011 5 Pages
Review by Paris Day

Rooster is a dance piece choreographed by Christopher Bruce. It was originally premiered by the Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve in 1991. It is a contemporary ballet piece performed by ten dancers to eight of The Rolling Stones’ most memorable hits.

Christopher Bruce based the production on the “sexual war” he witnessed growing up in the 1960’s. His intention was to celebrate the music of The Rolling Stones and use the qualities of the songs to reflect this. The production is set in the 1960’s when the rights of males and females began to equalise.

The lighting during the performance of Rooster is mostly dark and dull. It is very simple with slight colour changes at times, but for the majority of
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It also has sort of a sad feel to it. The seventh song, “Play with Fire” has a slow tempo but very strong and passionate vocals. The final song, “Sympathy for the Devil” is fast and the dancers are all full of energy. It is the finale of the production and almost summarises the entire performance in one song. The energy presented makes it more exciting to watch.

Choreographer Christopher Bruce created Rooster to be a showcase of contemporary ballet set to classic rock tunes. The male dancers have a ‘rooster’ motif. They are always preparing themselves for the women by performing grooming actions like slicking their hair and straightening their cuffs. Their movements are very animalistic.

In the first half of the dance, the men are mostly seen dancing on high levels while the women spend a lot of time on the floor. This is to show that the men are in control and have all the power over the women who are inferior to them. The men are often “showing off” for the females, as well as passing them around so that each male gets to partner each female. The women are being treated as objects with owners. Some traditional 60’s and 70’s dance actions are adapted to fit in throughout the piece, including the ‘swim’ and ‘mashed potato’. This helps to set the scene.

Towards the middle of the performance the women begin to try taking control over the men. They use their red scarves to fight back

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