The dance “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” from the remarkable musical Rock of Ages, choreographed by Mia Michaels, was extremely powerful and energetic. Michael’s intention for this exceptional dance sequence was to demonstrate the anger of the women in the town. The dance starts with a group of housewives congregated in a church talking about ridding the town of rock’n’roll and the pin up Stacee Jaxx. Mia Michaels choreographed strong, definite movements to suggest the aggression and frustration felt by the Stepford Wives. However, the main dancer, Patricia Whitmore, is an ex-groupie who still has deep feelings for Stacee Jaxx. Some of the movement and non movement components that will be discussed throughout are the costumes, set, space and steps. The dance piece was choreographed very well with the help of all the components put together.
The spacing and steps are two significant movement components. Throughout the dance “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” both of these components were used very effectively. The dance started with all the Housewives at the back of the church hall in a triangle looking towards the poster of Stacee Jaxx with Patricia Whitmore taking the centre, which clearly defines her as the leading lady. They then make their way down the isle with some of the ladies veering off into the church pews. While moving towards Stacee Jaxx’s portrait, all the ladies hold their hands as though they are holding a gun and when Patricia Whitmore sings the words “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” they pretend to shoot him. Some in anger to the way they feel about rock'n'roll and some to the way he makes them feel about themselves. Other choreography included punching fists, kicking, stomping with hands on hips, contraction of chest and finger pointing. These are all movements that signify words in the lyrics. These components all work together to show the anger and frustration the woman have towards Stacee Jaxx.
The set to create the image of a chuch
The non – movement components of this piece worked successfully. The set created an image of a church, a place of purity which frowns over rock’n’roll. To create this set the use of candelabras, church pews, flowers, a podium and an organ were used. A portrait of Stacee Jaxx was placed dead centre on the wall of the church to make a statement. The other non – movement component that will be discussed is the costuming. All of the dancers in the dance wore pastel coloured dresses or pantsuits in various colours which showed their femineity and obvious style difference to the rock ’n’ roll and dark side they are singing about in the lyrics. The non-movement components all came together to create a boring church space where pretty ladies danced in resentment, using strong sexual movements against rock ’n’ roll.
Choreographer: Mia Michaels
In summary, Mia Michaels has produced a convincing and effective dance which portrays the story line of a group of prissy ladies who want to rid their town of rock ’n’ roll and the man behind it all, STACEE JAXX. The movement components (space and steps) and the non-movement components (costumes and set) all work together to create an enjoyable piece of dance to watch.
Word Count: 526
By Jamieson Schmitzer