Skip Navigation


Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Dance Video Clips

The Graveyard



In the introduction, host David Thurmond notes that dance helps us express feelings that are hard to express in words; for example, “The Graveyard” asks us to confront irrational fears. This dance features the two main characters from Kentuckian Daniel Dutton’s dance opera The Secret Commonwealth Part 1: The Changeling and the Bear. The Changeling is a curious child whose dreams and imaginative adventures are the story thread of the opera. He becomes friends with a Bear. As the two friends pass a graveyard, they begin to imagine ghosts—and, as this dance illustrates, they transform their fear into fun. The dance was choreographed by Kelly Gottesman, who dances as the Changeling. The Bear is danced by Mike Walsh, and the ghosts are Michelle Bump and Elodie Andrews. The dance opens with a painting by opera creator Daniel Dutton.

Suggested Uses:

  • As the focus of a student analysis of dance elements and theme (with Responding to Dance).
  • Compare to the other modern dance performances in the toolkit, “Hot” and “Lucky Day.”
  • To demonstrate characteristics of modern dance. (Show with DanceSense Program 8 and/or “Dance Vocabulary/Basic Positions” from the DanceSense Enhanced DVD.)
  • To show how choreographers and dancers convey feelings through movement.
  • To discuss elements of production.

For more information:

(These links may leave the Arts Toolkit.)

See the Responding to Dance guide and the History and Styles section of the Dance Arts Toolkit binder.

About The Secret Commonwealth:


600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951