Movement, Space and Dynamics in “Carmen” of Mat Ek

Movement, space and dynamics are used in Mat Ek’s work Carmen to portray the various characters throughout the piece and to determine their relationships therefore gaining a greater understanding of the characters and the narrative. Micaela (M) is a respectable and adequate woman who is loyal to her fiance but is always leading him and influencing his behavior in life.
The first movement we see from M is at a low height with collapsing, repeated contractions which give us an initial idea of her silent presence amongst her fiance Don Jose while he is conversing with the other solider portraying the idea of her intimidation of other men. Her movements are curved in shape though still very forceful, sharp and have a punch like force about them which gives the idea she is conscience of Jose, giving his directions and guidelines of how the behave.
She then progresses into a lot of sustaining movements, which she continuously motions upward, giving the impression and the resemblance of appreciation of life and her faithfulness toward Don Jose. Symbolism of a wish to have a child occurs at 0. 33 through the use of curved “cradle-like” motions which shows the couples desire to settle down and be a family. There is also a repetitive floor pattern as M often travels away from Don Jose but then travels directly back towards his representing her dedication and loyalty as she always returns to her fiance and also the idea of her constant presence.

M’s dynamics then take a sudden change as she is not longer performing contracted, closed movements in a repetitive nature which portrayed her ideal feministic nature of being loyal and she now has a less controlled nature about her performing asymmetrical kicks and contrasting shapes as she seems to let loose the further she ventures away from Jose which symbolizes her soul connection to him as she always returns back. The duet performed by M and Don Jose see’s M return to her original circular, curved shape movements and we see Jose’s unison with her, always a step behind which gives a sense she is showing him the way.
Both of their movements are free yet heavy and they have a curved shape about them implying the hidden control and tension between them but also the trance they set each other in as the appear slightly “playful” and always drawn upwards with high levels and strong gestures such as lifting M up at 1:39 and high suspension movements at 1:09 to the sky symbolizing the feeling of being content and happy. Jose’s continuous following of M and his placement in space of always being slightly behind M symbolizes his shyness and the controlling nature his fiance possesses over him.
At 1:44 we see M and Jose linking arms with M pointing to the direction she wishes to head while Jose looks at her in admiration and awaiting her next gesture again portraying the idea of her leading and controlling power she has over him and his obedience to this power. As the group of female dancers come in we see a dramatic change in the dynamics and movements of the dance as in comparison to M, these dancers have a much more open body position about them with much greater use of the entire kinosphere of each individual.
The use of multiple kicks and turns which take up a large amount of space around the dancer display their confidence and high self esteem. At 2:45 the girls perform a controlled turn as they have a strong posture and arm position with head titled towards the sky to convey a strong, open shape which further portrays the idea of the confidence and “teasing” nature they possess in the males presence.
As the males and female perform a direct swap in sides we see the males perform loose, uncontrolled arm movements which shows the uncontrollable urge they have to go and “dance” with the girls and how crazy they females make them along with the back and forth floor pattern the girls create as they swap sides and they lead the boys in and then head back the other direction which also conveys the teasing nature of the females.
At 3:12 the males perform a percussive movement as the floor pattern leads them towards the females which emphasizes their excitement, yet the fact they are giving into the females which comments on the power the women posses over the men. The floor pattern shows the males always behind and following in the females paths, almost repeating similar movements that the females do which further emphasizes the idea of the females controlling the males actions and the males chasing them.
This idea is also finally show at 3:29 when the females run over the backs of the males showing their dominance and power over them. Escamillo, the confident and desired new man in town conveys the idea of his confidence and power over everyone in his dramatic entry at 3:39 as the first movement we see of him is a open, strong and angular jump travelling to stage front. This jump automatically gives us the idea of his superiority over everyone else. His movements are sharp and angular which the choreographer to convey his confident, powerful ersonality and his intriguing use of controlled and dramatic dynamics of movements. The final section performed by the girls shows a soften, less controlling side of them which is communicated by their use of curved, soft movements and powerless dynamics and motions and shows the idea of their admiration and lust toward Escamillo. In conclusion, the use of various dynamics, movement and space is used in the extract to portray the characters, their emotions and determine relationships and further enhance and gain a better understanding of the characters to overall convey the narrative.

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