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From Ear to Foot: How Intuitive Choreographers Interpret Music.

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/20796

From Ear to Foot: How Intuitive Choreographers Interpret Music.

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Title: From Ear to Foot: How Intuitive Choreographers Interpret Music.
Author: Wilden, Sabine
Advisor(s): Bashwiner, David
Committee Member(s): Hinterbichler, Karl
Pyle, Pamela
Repar, Patrice
Bashwiner, David
Department: University of New Mexico. Dept. of Music
Subject(s): Music Dance Intuitive Choreography
LC Subject(s): Music and dance
Choreography
Degree Level: Masters
Abstract: What is the relationship between music and dance? Specifically, when choreographers interpret music with movement, what in the music are they responding to? When faced with ambiguities in the music, such as conflicting meters, how do choreographers choose which paths to pursue? With the aim of addressing these questions, fourteen professional choreographers from Europe, Brazil, and the United States were recruited to participate in a survey. This included a) general questions about how they use music when choreographing, and b) specific questions concerning four short musical tracks taken from the second movement of Maurice Ravel´s String Quartet in F Major. Regarding the general questions, responses revealed that choreographers have very different approaches to incorporating music in their working methods. Nevertheless, regarding the specific questions, answers showed striking consistency in how individual musical passages would be interpreted. In a second, exploratory study, aimed at achieving ecological validity, five student choreographers (undergraduate and graduate students at the University of New Mexico) were asked to create and perform a solo dance to the complete second movement of Ravel´s String Quartet. These performances were videotaped, and each video was analyzed (somewhat following Hodgins, 1992) for rhythmic, dynamic, textural, structural, and articulative qualities. The music was then analyzed along similar dimensions, and the results were compared. Musically ambiguous passages (e.g. those with conflicting meters) were of special interest, as they demonstrate the variety of interpretations that choreographers have, and presumably that listeners do too.
Graduation Date: May 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/20796

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