Measuring and Understanding Dance
March 21, 2016 3:11 PM   Subscribe

This is fantastic, but as a technically-minded choreographer myself and a general wet blanket I am actually deeply interested in the consideration of dance "measurement" and I was a little bummed that the symbolism went the way it did.

Because frankly, dance isn't taken seriously and meaningful engagement with its critics could go a long way towards building the ideological bridges absent in western culture (bridges whose absence was alluded to during the introduction above!)

I think it's fair to ask "why measure dance?" or imply that the desires of measurement (and really objectivism more broadly,) are not axiomatically sufficient towards relating to the performance art of dance.

I think it's also fair to ask why 10 times out of 10, dance fails to exhibit more than a mere aesthetic of semantic rigor, since I do wholeheartedly believe in both its efficacy and its relevance as a medium and genre of human experience.

Perhaps I am on the wrong side of its history. Perhaps my own yearning for a certain attention to certain intellectual paradigms is what's holding it back. At least I want to have that conversation, with someone, ever.

But really this is a fantastic example of screendance and I'm delighted to see it here on the blue.
posted by an animate objects at 5:54 PM on March 21, 2016 [5 favorites]

This is great, thanks for posting. :)
posted by Dr Ew at 2:15 AM on March 22, 2016

One of the big problems with 'measuring' dance in any meaningful fashion and engaging in more systematic analysis of dance is the lack of a widely-accepted and easily-legible form of notation, similar to modern Western staff notation for music (or tabulature, or 'piano roll' interfaces in DAWs). Sure, there's Labanotation, but it's hardly intuitive and not all that widely practiced. In my experience, many choreographers rely heavily on ideosyncratic mnemonic writings (i.e., personalized jottings that only jog the memory rather than describe things in 'objective' detail), so that still poses a problem. That said, from my dabblings in ethnochoreology during my PhD, I recall that pretty much everyone and their dog was trying to propose a new system of dance-notation that would finally provide this sort of descriptive richness…
posted by LMGM at 2:19 AM on March 22, 2016

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