If life is what happens to our plans, then dance is what happens to our steps.
ideas sometimes when you wait they come to you.

Preparation for starting with BAPP

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Thinking about Dance Literature

Paula asked me to think about literature to do with dance. It is such a wide subject and there are so many perspectives. I am currently writing a chapter for my research - the Literature Review. I start by locating my position (perspective) with in the mind / body paradigm through looking at the different thoughts on and values for the body. I think finding a location within the mind/body paradigm is a good starting point for exploring dance through reading texts. Anna Pakes wrote a paper 'Dances mind/body problem' in Dance Research Journal. Volume 24.2 winter 2006. This article started me off on an interesting journey of asking myself what dualism means to me as a dancer.

Next, I think it is important to acknowledge that some dancers would say you understand dance by dancing - practise based knowledge. This is an epistemological question and it is interesting to look at dance through general epistemological standpoints. Graham McFee wrote 'Understanding Dance' which is a philosophical look at what 'dance' means. And many well known choreographers and dancers have written about their creative process this also leads to analysis of dance - Larry Lavender - 'Dancers Talking Dance - Critical Evaluation in the choreography class' and Doris Humphrey -'The Art of Making Dances'

I have read some of Ann Cooper Albright - 'Choreographing Difference'. I liked the way she writes theoretically and as a practising dancer also. Peter Brinson - 'Dance As Education' is a great history of recent dance in UK. Miranda Tufnell (UK) has written a number of books that look at and support the creative process (in dance). Theresa J. Buckland has edited 'Dance in the field - theory, Method and Issues in Dance Ethnography'.

Surrey, Rohampton, Laban and De Montford have extensive libraries and Cecil Sharp House, English Folk Dance and Song Society has a wonderful library.

For my research chapter - having located the research approach in the mind/body paradigm. I go on to look at literature that is not specific to dance. This because I feel that text and movement are not alternatives to each other so something understood in dance cannot be verbalised in text but strategies for 'understanding' and 'communication' in subjects that are text based can express the feeling and thoughts of movement 'understanding' and 'communication'. Therefore I tend to build bridges between 'subject areas' to create the theoretical framework I am working within. With one all important understanding I need to dance to understand what I think!!! So it is just as important for me to make sure I take two or three classes a week as it is that I go to the library to read. This is not to be elitist, anyone can use this process to understand dance by finding their own relationship with dancing - Bollywood classes, salsa classes, not just professional classes.

So I in my literature review I go on to look at:
Image, language, and presentation of self (Barthes, Saussure, Goffman).

The place of experience in learning (Dewey)

How movement and space are linked (Rasmussen)

Excuse spellings, I think I got most of them

Sunday, 10 January 2010


I love Amazon! The strength of the dollar / pound means they can find me any book I look for!!! and tell me what other people read (!) making some really interesting links I would not have thought of.

I am keeping a personal citation library with Endnote. This is also so helpful. It means you can retrieve quotes, ideas and authors very quickly while you are writing.

Saturday, 9 January 2010


I am watching 'The Ghost and the Darkness' it is the only scary movie I can watch because I am sort of on the bad guys (lions) side. I was thinking how I would describe the story and how it is advertised are so different. Understanding is a perception.

Friday, 8 January 2010


I am just reading a Saussure for beginners (!). (Because of my interest in Roland Barthes). Saussure lectured on language. One interesting idea is the how communication through language involves two part, a concept (the 'thing') and an acoustic image ("the mental image of a name that allows a language-user to say the name" Gordon, T). These are called the Signified (concept) and Signifier (acoustic image). I won't go into why this is really exciting for my research! But two other things:
1) My Dyslexic self does not always seem to have a link between these two. I can have a thing/concept in my head and not be able to find the word (acoustic image) to say the write word and/or I can read a word and know its meaning by its shape but not how to say it, or know how to say a word but not know what it would look like to write. Do any of you other dyslexics have this??
2) It raises some cool questions about the same process in movement. One of my ballet teachers always said decide how many turns you are going to do, then do them. Is that a concept followed by a physical 'image'? So if I feel dance is a language then can linguistics provide ways to explain the action of dancing to non-dancers or is it just different?

Lastly, getting back to my last blog about trying to better understand the network, "Its about sharing of knowledge not call and response". Part of this is a very vulnerable process because you have to share with no idea of the VALUE that will be placed on what you write. I watched "Julie and Julia" on the plane. (only the first half hour or so when it got to the lobster bit I had to turn it off) I think it has changed my attitude to blogs though. (That and all the research into networks I did over the winter break.)

Can you wordle text and put the image straight onto the blog? I wish I had a picture of what I just wrote here, right under it.

Thursday, 7 January 2010


Hand-in From Alan's blog:
"The bad weather is causing severe difficulties with travel, and is likely to continue for the next few days. This may mean work posted to the University will arrive later than expected. Campuses are closed today (Wednesday 6th January) and may remain closed further into this week.

If you have already posted your work, you need take no further action. Work arriving late due to difficulties with postal deliveries will not be penalised.

If you intended handing in your work to Cat hill campus today (Wednesday 6th January), please keep your work with you and check the University web page after 9.30am (www.mdx.ac.uk) each morning to see if the to see if Cat Hill is open. If the Campus is open, please deliver your work to the Student Office if you are able to do so. Please do not take risks travelling if the conditions are dangerous. When conditions permit, please deliver your work to Cat Hill campus. Do not post work after today (Wednesday 6th January) as deliveries are likely to be delayed.

Please note that you will not be penalised for late delivery of work for assessment. We ask that you make reasonable effort to deliver work if the campus is open. Realistically this may be towards the end of this week when the forecast suggests a slackening of snowfall."

Me (Adesola): I have been in the Snow in NYC and just got back! One of my new year re-thinks is to write more on my blog regardless of whether I see comments. It is about a network of travelling info not a call and response.

Hope everyone is keeping warm.