Creative Choices in Choreography: A New Qualitative Methodology

Abstract

A longitudinal cognitive ethnography of a dance company puts forward how rehearsals are made of social relationships of production (Kirsh et al, 2009). The choreographer’s creative choice is an individual act. In order to obtain new movements, he engages in an objectifying relationship with the dancer, which depends on the on the instructions degree of verbal information. Her body becomes an instrument for exploration of the choreographer’s imagery. But rehearsals are necessarily interactive. Our hypothesis is that the dancers’ patterns of creative choice compensate for the existing objectifying relationship. Social Network Analysis (centrality measures and simmelian ties) pictures them as distributed cognitive systems (Hollan et al, 2000). Interactions among dancers were frequent and mostly verbal, and included a surrogate figure, which acted as an information filter. Verbal interaction among dancers seemed to compensate for the lack of verbal feedback from the choreographer.


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