What does a dance critic mean when they say a performer has excellent “musicality?” The excellent ballet blog “The Ballet Bag” has this definition to offer:
The ability to perceive the various layers in the music, melody, harmony and rhythm which is instinctive and personal. Two “musical dancers” might have very different ways of responding to the same music. Some dancers are incredibly sharp when it comes to following counts and beats, but this doesn’t automatically translate to a musical quality. Alastair Macaulay referred to certain aspects of this in his recent review of ABT’s Giselle. Alina Cojocaru, he noted, adjusted her dancing to arrive “after the beat” – a signature of “Romantic responsiveness” – whereas Diana Vishneva “unlike many Russians, danced a few steps on the beat, pingingly”.
Check out some video clip examples and read the rest of their thoughts about “musicality” here.