PETER LOVATT

DANCE
PSYCHOLOGIST

Dr Dance Blog

Psychology of Watching Dance @ Sadler's Wells

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.


it's FREE


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.



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1 Comment

Reply Maggie
1:59 PM on November 30, 2014 
Dear Mr. Lovatt,

I am a high school student currently working on my senior project. Needed to graduate this June, the topic is on Dance Psychology. I was wondering if I would be able to interview you for my report. My thesis is as follows: "When music is accompanied by a classical dance form such as ballet, or thoughtful, poetic lyrics, that are pleasant to the ear, the listener is not only engaged , but utilizes more of his or her senses and brain activity increases." My plan is to explore how one is able to discern the meaning of a composition through one's emotional state.

I apologize in advance for using your blog as a means of contact but I was unsure as to how to proceed as I would not be able to comment the needed information through twitter, and assumed that I should not use the media contact in order to get a hold of you.

Thanks for your help!
Magie
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