Dance Critique Essay Example

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...has been training in the field of Kathak dance for the past thirteen years. She is currently enrolled as a senior student in ‘ Panwar Music and Dance’ headed by Shri Hemant Panwar and Smt. Vaishali Panwar. She has completed the intermediate level of the program and now is in the progress of doing the expertise level. Since her enrollment in the school, she has had many opportunities to represent the institution by doing performances under her Guruji. Some of these shows include, Shradhanjali, Annual Diwali Concerts, Kathak Mahotsav , and Prabasi Bengali Cultural Shows just to name a few. ‘Panwar Music and Dance’ has also given her the privilege to meet and take classes under Guru Shri Rajendra Gangani, who is currently the head of the Jaipur Gharana in India. Dipa first started her dance lessons from Salina Ahmed Jharna under the institution called Saj Academy of Dance. Her first steps to dance were taught by Salina. She had performed at many events under Saj Academy, namely the annual school events, Masala Mehndi Masti, Mosaic, Toronto Sanskriti Sangstha, Panorama India, Carassauga, and Ratha Yatra, After six and a half years of learning Kathak and Bengali folk under Salina Jharna, Dipa had received her diploma in 2005. To expand her knowledge in the field of Kathak, Dipa also took the opportunity to take private lessons from Alokparna Guha (from Calcutta, India), a well-known teacher/ performer in the field of Kathak Dance. Through Alokparna, Dipa has learnt......

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...has led him to produce a wide range of projects including Installations, Films, and Web based knowledge creation. Raised in New York and initially trained in Florida with Nolan Dingman and Christa Long, Forsythe danced with the Joffrey Ballet and later the Stuttgart Ballet, where he was appointed Resident Choreographer in 1976. In collaboration with media specialists and educators, Forsythe has developed new approaches to dance documentation, research, and education. As for us students, Forsythe as an educator, is regularly invited to lecture and give workshops at universities and cultural institutions. In 2002, Forsythe was chosen as one the founding Dance Mentor for The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. We had the chance to watch one of his choreograph video called “One flat thing reproduced”; in this video gave me a sense of craziness and desperation. One flat thing was a video that truly has to be observed to get the performance in it and the magnificent movements that valet has to offer. It is a completely different horizon to our nature of dance but it also requires a lot of talent and hard work to show off. Forsythe is a guy who knows his work and gives his passion to it in every work of his. Valet takes hard work and year for perfection but so does a good chorographer like William Forsythe....

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Dance Critique

...add to the lines of her body and I like how her hands, in a way, are presenting her feet.. Her legs reach and point while she's in the air in such a graceful way. She also has a great sense of her center, which helps her in her turns and jumps while she moves in a circle. The piece also goes from fast movements to slow and even incorporates isolated movements, which allows time to show cases her talent. She performs one arabesque position into another with out coming off point, then does it again without taking a molecule of sharpness off of her skill level. Overall I think that the ballerina's performance in this piece was incredible. Its inspiring to watch, for someone like me who its trying gain more knowledge and skill in ballet and dance in general. She performs with such ease and grace that really just adds to the beauty of her talent and make it even more awe inspiring. The dancer conveyed the very essence of the season that she portrayed. The spring fairy really did explode with energy and little bursts of movement motifs that really made her appear to be spritely and springy....

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The Dance

...The Dance By: Kelly Evans Dancing has been an important part of my life for more than eight years. When I was eight, my mother enrolled me in dancing classes, never realizing it would lead to anything serious. For the first few months, dance was entertainment, something to keep me busy. Although I enjoyed taking classes, I did not become serious until the following year, when my favorite tap teacher told my mother to consider getting me involved in more competitive classes. That was the beginning of my long and successful dancing career, one that has taught me many valuable lessons about the art of dance, and the art of life. Over the years, whether I was living in Buffalo, Atlanta, or Randolph, New Jersey, I learned to adjust as a person, and as a serious dancer. In fact, I found traits I needed to survive and grow as a dancer were also valuable in school and life. Of all the experiences I've had as a dancer, I cherish those moments when I had the opportunity to learn from other dancers. Learning is central to the development of a dancer. In Atlanta, for example, I trained with dancers who studied with the Atlanta Ballet Company as well as those who had trained with famous European dancers, I learned something different from each, even though practices were long and grueling. And yet, although at times I wanted to give up, I sensed that I would be rewarded for my efforts. This pattern repeated itself several times. I would be uprooted and immediately plunged into new...

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...Not just watching but understanding the dance. “You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.”  Isadora Duncan. People from my culture (Nepali/Tibetan) dance in a wild style, throwing both hands and legs up in the air, at least how it look to audiences who are watching it for the first time. All they are trying to express is the ancient stories from our ethnic groups. Ballet, in my opinion is very graceful and looks difficult to do but at the same time effortless as it seems. Watching Ballet live for the sometime was very different from what I am used to at home (Nepal). I am used to loud traditional music and ballet is completely different with more soothing music and many artist performing at once. Different acts performed in the show portrayed different theme which was very diverse and extremely interesting to watch and trying to understand the different moves. First performance, harmonic inspiration, those lifts and twirls to me looked flawless and perfect. Duet performances, young couples and the chemistry between them was very fascinating to me. Both of them were very into the dance as I could see from the emotion. Both of them were fantastic dancer and they were experts in their field. Second act, La Mystral was the one I was interested most in because it was very different then rest of the acts. Three young ladies in beautiful blue long dress. There was so much emotion this act that I could tell that these ladies......

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...(1931-1989) by Thomas F. DeFrantz Alvin Ailey, the founder of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (1958-), galvanized and stabilized an African American presence in theatrical dance. An outstanding performer, choreographer, company director, and mentor to scores of dance artists, Ailey oversaw the growth of his small, pick-up group of seven dancers into a large, carefully managed, internationally-renowned enterprise including several ensembles of dancers and a thriving school in New York City housed in the largest building devoted to dance in the United States. Along the way, Ailey changed the landscape of modern dance by developing new audiences for its performance through a consistent combination of exceptional artistry and wellcoordinated community outreach programs. In all, Ailey invigorated the art of dance with his distinctive creative imagination, his “blood memories” of cultural formations he witnessed as a child-- including the jook joint and the black church --and the strong survivalist ethic he learned as an African American man born in the depression-era South. Emergence into Dance Born in Rogers, Texas, the only child of workingclass parents who separated when he was two, Ailey moved with his mother to Los Angeles in 1942. Shy from his itinerant Texas life, Ailey reluctantly turned to dance when a high-school classmate introduced him to Lester Horton's Hollywood studio in 1949. In dance, he found the terms of self-expression that high school athletics failed......

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...TYPES OF DANCE: 1. Ballet * A type of performance dance that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century and later developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia. It has since become a widespread, highly technical form of dance with its own vocabulary based on French terminology. It has been globally influential and has defined the foundational techniques used in many other dance genres. Ballet may also refer to a ballet dance work, which consists of the choreography and music for a ballet production. A well-known example of this is The Nutcracker, a two-act ballet that was originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a music score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. * Ballets are usually theatrical and use elaborate costumes and staging. There are exceptions however, mostly by Balanchine. Ballet is also closely related to opera with many ballet companies stationed in opera houses and many operas, especially French and early Italian operas, containing ballet scenes. There is even a genre called opera-ballet that uses both singers and dancers in the main roles. * Stylistic variations have emerged and evolved since the Italian Renaissance. Early variations are primarily associated with geographic origin. Examples of this are Russian ballet, French ballet, and Italian ballet. Later variations include contemporary ballet and neoclassical ballet. Perhaps the most widely known and performed ballet style is late Romantic......

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...Reading While reading this article something that stood out to me was the different ways music was used. The dancers themselves can provide the music. Not all dances have or require instruments some are simply hand clapping, voices or other body movements that are used to perform to. When instruments are used they are instruments such as the flute, xylophones, rattles, chordophones, gongs and trumpets. Another part of the article that I found interesting was the five principles. It shows how each part is needed in order for the whole performance to come together. Understanding the proper articulation, different movements of the body, timing and the pace of the movements, articulation of rhythms and phrasing all these are different parts of the dance that have come together in order to form the final masterpiece. All these aspects of the dance hold a great amount of importance and each part of it contribute into the final performance. There are many different types of dance in the continent each unique in its own way. Some consists of more hand movements more that footwork and some more footwork than hand movements. There are many different dances within a country itself. These dances show the country’s culture, tradition, rituals and many other important occasions. Videos Many of the points that the author made throughout the article are shown in the video clips. Some thing that I noticed was the use of vocals and body movements in order to make music and......

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...NATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS CURRICULUM SUPPORT Dance Advice and Guidance to Support the Choreographic Process [NATIONAL 5] [pic] This advice and guidance has been produced to support the profession with the delivery of courses which are either new or which have aspects of significant change within the new national qualifications (NQ) framework. The advice and guidance provides suggestions on approaches to learning and teaching. Practitioners are encouraged to draw on the materials for their own part of their continuing professional development in introducing new national qualifications in ways that match the needs of learners. Practitioners should also refer to the course and unit specifications and support notes which have been issued by the Scottish Qualifications Authority. Acknowledgement © Crown copyright 2012. You may re-use this information (excluding logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence, visit or e-mail: Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned. Any enquiries regarding this document/publication should be sent to us at This......

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...Ewelina Szydlik Prof. Susan Murphy Discovering Dance 120 Prof. Susan Murphy Final Project All over the world, there is some many culture and each is very unique and interesting in many ways. There are people who like to study different aspect of the culture like food, religions, dances, ceremonies, etc. Here we are going to concentrate on Polish culture and there’s National Dances. Poland is a nation rich in culture, and musical tradition. In fact Poland even has five National Dances. There are few countries in the world that have even one national dance. Poland’s National Dances are: the Krakowiak, the Mazur, Polonez (Polonaise), the Kujawiak and the Oberek. These dances, which originated in the Polish countryside, were so popular that they found their way to the royal court, and were even incorporated into classical works by composers like Chopin. In this paper, I will write about only two dances Polonaise and the Oberek. The culture of Poland is closely connected with its intricate thousand-year history. Its unique character developed as a result of its geographical location at the confluence of various European regions. Since its early origins in the culture of the Early Slavs, over time Polish culture has been profoundly influenced by its interweaving ties with the Germanic, Latinate and Byzantine worlds as well as in continual dialog with the many other ethnic groups and minorities living in Poland. The people of Poland have traditionally been seen as......

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...Dear……….. My name is Allen-Tams God’s pleasure and I am writing to apply as a dance teacher in ………….. Dance has always been the great love of my life. I have been a dance student since the age of ten. I have been teaching dance for the last three years at private schools, as well as for a major dance team. I have danced competitively, and I have danced as a performance artist. The only thing I consider greater than my love for dance is passing on that love to others. My experience in dance has given me opportunity to acquire skills in various dances such as hip-hop, ballet, African contemporary with specialty in salsa. Salsa is a dance form with origins from the Cuban Son and Afro-Cuban dance (specifically Afro-Cuban). It is generally associated with the salsa music style, although it may be danced under other types of music with an 8-count rhythm. Salsa though a Cuban dance is gradually paving its way into the African world. Through looking at dance as an art form I have realized the potential it has in providing students with a gateway to understanding the world and expressing themselves. Apart from dance being a major form of exercise, I have seen dance help boost the confidence in students, influence their self-concept, enhance their artistic expression and creativity, as well as encourage student autonomy among others. As you learn of my specific experience in dance, training and above all, passion for the art, I am confident you will see that I will prove to be an......

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...Similarities in Dance Dance 101 Instructor Patty Graham Christopher B. Smith 21 January 2015 Adae Kase, Bugaku and the Louis XIV court dances were all early dances, all with different meanings and styles. These dances were used to show respect, reaffirm an identity, show dominance over others, give allegiance to and show off dance skills. However, for this paper we will look at the similarities and differences with each dance. The Adae Kase, performed by the African people of Ghana, is a dance to show respect to their Ashanti King. The Ashanti Court Dance, as it is referred to, is a dance that anyone can do, but only the most skilled dare perform when your audience is the King. The dance is not done on a stage, but in a field, where as many as 50,000 gather to pay respects to the Ashanti King. The dance is a deliberate, distinguished, unhurried dance that is graceful, but not a practiced form of expression. The costumes worn were almost like a Togo with the dancer wearing their best jewels. It is meant to show honor to the Ashanti King and is more felt than danced. The Bugaku dances are dances never meant for public viewing and performed for the Emperor of Japan. The dances are civil dances, warrior dances, running dances, and dances for children. Movements are highly conventionalized movements cued by the beat of the drum. The overall choreography consists of simple geometric patterns with the arms, hands, and feet. The dancers (4), were evenly......

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...much. Dance is a part of the rich cultural heritage of India. Its theme is derived from mythology, legends, classical literature, everyday life and nature. There are two main forms of dances 0 classical and folk. The origin of classical dances are the Hindu temples, Some famous classical dances of India are Bharat Natyam, Kathakali, Manipuri, Kathak and Odissi. The rules and principles of classical dances were laid in the Natyashstra by BharatMuni, ages ago. Folk dance is a traditional dance of the common people of a reign. No rigid rules are followed in folk dances. The Sangeed Natak Akademi and other institutes promote both classical and folk dances. Dance is a series of movements and steps that match the speed and rhythm of music. It is an art. It is accompanied by gestures and expressions which explain the theme contained in the music. One can dance and classical dance. They are not simply the movement of legs and arms, but the whole body. Most of the classical dances were first conceived and nurtured in the temples. They attained their full stature there. Classical dance forms are based on ancient dance discipline. They have rigid rules of presentation. Indian classical dances follow the principles and rules laid down by Bharat Muni in his many ages ago. There are 180 styles of Indian dances and 101 of these are described in the Natyashastra. Most of these dance styles are depicted on the walls and pillars of the famous Indian temples. Music. dance......

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...seeing the movie and that kind of gave me an idea about the movie. I was a little bit excited mainly because Pina was my first dance movie. I have seen other movies in the past , mostly hip hop and ballet fused together (Save the last dance and Step Up) but Pina was my first “proper” dance movie. I was also a little bit anxious because I wasn’t sure I could sit through almost two hours of mainly dance performances which was not set in the United States. I thought because it was of German origin it will be boring and I would not really understand it. I had mixed reactions during the film mainly because of the different elements combined together by the producer. First the fact that it was 3D intrigued me. It made some of the parts come alive and I felt like I was in front of a live performance of the dance. There were parts that were so beautifully choreographed.; for example, the first piece where the female and male dancers were separated and one of the female dancers was about to be chosen to die, I could see feel the tension and what was going on in their minds. Some parts even though interesting was a little boring and I almost doze off until another piece of music comes and I become fully awake. The music added its own theme to the movie, it is different because it is German so it was different, and most of the dance pieces were slow graceful dances and the music kind of feel the same way. The music was in a way talking to the dancers so the audience could......

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Dance Critique

...Jessica Osteen Dance critique April 15, 2012 One of the dance shows that I attended was a dance concert, on March 31, 2012. A dance show that was put on by dance faculty staff and students and I must say, I really enjoyed myself. Upon entering the theatre, I was a little nervous because I knew that my friends would be performing and I remembered them talking about how excited and anxious they all were. But once I sat down and got settled, as darkness filled the room, and the lights lit up the stage, I knew that it would be an awesome performance. As I looked up, I saw a group of students dancing, not all in unison, but of different beats and different movements. They were dressed in very elegant purples and reds, dancing, smiling, and enjoying themselves on stage. What seemed to be a joyous occasion, suddenly turned into a love triangle between three of the dancers. It was very entertaining. Another scene from the show resembled something a little opposite from the one described previously. The costumes worn seemed to be of a little less formal, and seemed to fit for a country scene of some sort. They also seemed like rags so to speak. They were hues of brown and tan. The movements seemed to be slow but very passionate. In another scene, everything seemed to be more upbeat. There were bright colors and the music and tempo of the performance was of a faster pace and everyone seemed to be in sync with each other. Between the different scenes described previously, each...

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Guidelines for Viewing Dance and Writing Critiques for Dance Performances
By Myra Daleng, Richmond Department of Theatre & Dance
(printable version here)

Chance favors a prepared mind!  A mind is like a parachute; it works best when it’s open! The creative critic approaches each concert with open eyes and an open mind.  Do not go with preconceived ideas or compare one performance against other performances.  Each person will find a different aspect of the dance that is interesting for their own personal reasons and interests.

Guidelines for Viewing a Dance Performance:

  • When writing a dance critique, there are many things to consider prior to the performance. Who is performing? Are they professionals or amateurs? Is it a new work or classic choreography reset? Who are the choreographers? Are they known for other works? It is important to meditate carefully on the performance prior to seeing it so you can take as much from it as you can.
  • When viewing a performance be an active participant, don’t be a passive consumer.  Work as hard at viewing the piece as the choreographer did making the work.  Consult your program notes when writing critiques.
  • During the performance, there are also many things to consider that should be incorporated into your writing process. What style of dance is it? Is the performance experimental or conventional? What are the cultural implications of the performance? How do elements of the performance, such as lighting, scenery, and costume, enhance the choreography?
  • If a performance is very abstract, take as much from it as you can and strive to deliver your opinion of it as clearly as possible in your writing. Remember that there is no right answer since art is abstract and everyone responds to art differently.
  • There is a lot to take in when viewing dance, and it can be easy to forget aspects of the performance. It is helpful to bring a notebook and pen to jot down notes and initial reactions to the performance that you may forget later on. Also, write the paper as soon as possible after the performance to prevent a foggy recollection.
  • If there is a talk-back at the end of the performance, at which the choreographers and/or dancers answer questions and explain the performance more thoroughly, it is highly advisable to stay. It can offer you some insight into the choreographer's motivation as well as uncover some of the meaning of the performance.

Guidelines for Writing About a Dance Performance:

  • The opening statement of your critique should draw the reader in.  Be creative.  Tell the reader where and when the concert took place.
  • When writing about choreographers, always identify them by name.  Try to get inside the head of the choreographer.  What were the choreographer’s intentions and were they successfully communicated?  What do you think the choreographer was trying to say with the dance, or what did the dance say?  Try to have a thematic focus when writing your critique.  Were the themes of the individual piece clear?  What was the dance about?  Analyze the symbolism.  Does it relate to current events?
  • Discuss the choreography.  Did the choreography flow, what were the dynamics, how did it move in space and what were the motivations for the movements?  Make general comments but also include detailed descriptions.  Try to give at least one specific movement image.  Example:  “In another vignette, a woman seated properly, perpendicularly, on a bench, begins to tilt at an angle.  As her legs leave the floor and her torso leans to the side, both she and the bench seem to levitate a little above the floor.”  Vienna-Lusthaus (revisited); Reviewed by George Jackson: Dance Magazine, May 2003: 79.
  • What thoughts or feelings did the concert or piece evoke?  In constructing your critique, reflect on why you may have had certain reactions.  Always back up your assertions, positive or negative with concrete examples.  Don’t just be a negative critic; offer your thoughts in a constructive way. 
  • Comment on the music and identify the composer(s) and musician(s) when possible.  What was the relationship of the dance to the music?  Did the music play an important role in the performance?  Was the music live, pre-recorded or some combination of both? What difference did it make?  Did the form of the music influence the form of the dance or vice versa?
  • Were the dances well rehearsed and/or well performed? Support your comments with specific examples. Did the dancers work together well in the ensemble pieces?
  • Were the makeup, props (if used), and costumes appropriate?  Discuss the scenic design, lighting design, and overall use of the theatre space.  When speaking about any element of design, you must include the designers' names.
  • Comment on the overall production; give the reader a sense of what it looked like.  What was your reaction to the concert as a whole?  How did the piece or pieces connect?
  • Each critique should reach a conclusion regarding the performance.   


  • Do not write in the first person.  Your critique should be written in the third person.
  • Your essay, paying attention to grammar, neatness and spelling, should be as thorough as possible.
  • All critiques must have a title page, which will include name, date, professor’s name, course and the pledge written in full and signed.
  • The ticket stub and/or verification from the performance must be attached to each critique.
  • Only typed papers, three pages, double-spaced, in standard 12 font, with one inch margins on all sides, are acceptable; do not justify right margin.  Check your computer for margin settings. 
  • Student’s last name and page number should be included in the upper right corner of each page.
  • Critiques are due the second class following the performance.  Read other critiques in Dance Magazine, if necessary.
  • Tell the reader the name of the performance, the company or dancers performing, the date and place of the performance.
  • Identify the composer(s), choreographer(s) and title(s) of the work(s) you have chosen to discuss.  When writing about a specific dancer(s) identify them, when possible. 

Dance Critique Pet Peeves:

When writing about the subjects below:

Refer to male dancers, men or danseurs (if classical ballet) 
NOT men dancers, boys, guys or males

Refer to female dancers, women or ballerinas (if classical ballet)
NOT women dancers, girls, gals, chicks or females

Refer to a piece, work or dance
NOT routine or act

Refer to movements
NOT moves

Refer to live music
NOT live musicians

Refer to recorded or pre-recorded music
NOT taped music

Refer to danced together or in unison
NOT in sync or synchronized

Refer to the performance or the concert
NOT the show, play or recital

DO use both names ("Catherine Zeta-Jones danced well in Chicago" or "Ms. Zeta-Jones danced well in Chicago.") 
DO NOT use first names only to refer to dancers ("Catherine danced well in Chicago") 

DO write in the third person
NOT in the first person

DO NOT make general assumptions for the audience

DO NOT include title page information on first page of critique (name, date, professor's name, class, performance)

DO NOT switch tenses;
            Example when to alternate tense;
(Serenade was performed poorly yet it is a choreographic triumph.)
            Example when not to alternate tense;
(On Friday night the dancers appeared tired which causes the choreography to be lack luster.)

DO NOT identify the performers in a list from the program notes.



This is poor example of an opening paragraph because it does not grab the reader’s attention and only lists information readily found in the program. Also it does not provide the reader with any additional information or insights into the performance.  

At 8:00 PM on February 27th, 2004, Les Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, directed by Serge Diaghilev, performed “Symphonie Fantastique” at the Maggio Musicale in Florence, Italy.  The choreography was done by Léonide Massine.  This ballet consisted of five movements.  The set was created by Christian Bérard, executed by Prince A. Schervachidze.  The costumes were designed by Christian Bérard.  Costumes for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th movements were made by Madame Karinska.  The costumes for the first and fifth movements were made by Madame Larose.  The ballet premiered July 24th, 1936 at Covent Garden, London, England, and was conducted by Efrem Kurtz.  Performing lead roles were, Léonide Massine and Tamara Toumonova. Also dancing were Tatiana Riaboushinska, Alexandra Danilova, Yurek Lazowski, Vera Zorina, Marc Platoff, Vera Volkova, Igor Youchkevitch and George Zoritch. Hector Berlioz did a great job composing both the music and the libretto for this performance.

Dance Critique Checklist:

_____ Title page including: student's name, due date of paper, class, concert critiqued, professor's name, pledge written in full.  No title page information should be included on first page since you have a title page.

_____ The ticket stub and/or verification from the performance must be attached to each critique.

_____ Student's last name and page number should be included in upper right corner of each page.

_____ Be sure to use one-inch margins on all sides in the text of your paper.  Check your computer for margin settings.

_____ Do not write in the first person.  Write in the third person.

_____ The first sentence of your critique sets the tone for the paper and should draw the reader in.

_____ Critique has a centralized theme.

_____ Critique has a conclusion.

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