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Create a visual and written analysis of Andrew Winghart's tribute choreography to Justin Timberlake's Cry Me a River. 

Article featured in INTERIORS Journal. Thank you to Andrew Winghart for this first of many cross pollinations of dance and design.



For the first 30 seconds, Winghart’s narrator is alone in a grand warehouse—his loneliness and powerlessness emphasized by the large empty space around him. After this initial contemplation, the dancers engulf him, the river running past him.


At times, they ripple and echo his movements with stylistic syncopations, acting like the irregularities of memory. At other times, the narrator thrashes and combats the river as he is consumed by the anger and desperation of his grief. Eventually, the narrator grows strong and comfortable in his confidence, buoyed by the support of the river.



Through breaking the piece into five-second increments, we can better understand the major and minor changes in sequence. The narrator has a limited path of movement, whereas the other dancers’ paths are constantly evolving and changing. 

The crowd of dancers execute simple choreographed moves at regular intervals, resulting in a mesmerizing fluidity that amplifies their effect.  As Winghart explains, “any change in direction multiplied by twelve rows creates an overwhelming and elegant effect.”


The dresses—originally designed for liturgical dancing—employ the fluidity of the fabric to soften the otherwise sharp and linear choreographed movements. While the narrator’s tight clothing stresses the constraints of his sorrow, the other dancers move freely in flowing dresses.

 “I have always been drawn to how long skirts echo the movement of dance,” Winghart notes, adding that “a lot of the movement in the piece was designed to emphasize the organic movement and weight of the dresses to add a kind of feminine strength.” 

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Syncopations and rhythmic irregularities highlight movement by using simple motions “to create a nice effect without unnecessary distraction.” The buoyant step-touch during the pyramid’s forward movement at 2:40 becomes complex through the unevenness of the rhythm tied to the downbeat.

Following in an almost liturgical approach, Winghart notes that the pyramid sequencing is derivative of “the step-touch of gospel singers.” These syncopations gain further power as they move through the 36 dresses—the river of dancers rolling and flowing behind a narrator who confidently floats atop.

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