Dr Dance Blog
|Posted by p.j.lovatt on June 4, 2014 at 9:40 AM|
I'll be giving a pre-show talk on the Psychology of Watching Dance
at Sadler's Wells, London
on Saturday 21st June from 6.45 to 7.15.
My dad didn't get modern dance. He used to say things like: "What am I meant to be looking at?", "What is it all supposed to mean?" and "Why isn't that bloke moving very much? - it doesn't look like dancing to me".
Judith Mackrell writes in the introduction to her excellent book Reading Dance "...the only basic skill that's needed for reading dance is a curiosity about the event - a willingness to let the movement play on our senses, to let its rhythms charge up our pulses and to let its pictures range around our imagination" (p. 1). Perhaps my dad was over-thinking it.
As a dance psychologist I'm interested in what people see and think about when they watch people dance. I'm interested in questions like: Do people search for meaning when they watch an artistic dance performance? If two people watch the same piece of dance do they see the same thing? From a choreographer's perspective, is there a right way to watch a piece of dance and do we have to understand the choreographer's intention to fully understand what we're watching? and Is reading dance the same as reading words? If so, can I learn to get over my dyslexia for dance?
This all sounds a bit heavy, but its not. I'm going to talk about the Psychology of Dance. I'll show some videos of people dancing and we'll discuss what we see. No previous knowledge of dance or psychology required.