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Intersecting shapes in music and in dance.
BARNARD, P.J. and deLahunta, S.
In: Music and Shape. Editors: D. Leech-Wilkinson and H. Prior. Oxford, Publisher: Oxford University Press. pp. 328-350.
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The idea of shape figures widely in discourse about both dance and music. This chapter focuses on how shared understandings might facilitate developments of theory and practice. It first examines the nature of ambiguities that underlie references to the idea of shape. Those ambiguities create problems when we come to address the issue of how music influences the way dance is created and performed. The chapter draws on two analytic lenses explored over ten years of cumulative, interdisciplinary collaboration within R-Research, a team working alongside the contemporary dance company Wayne McGregor | Random Dance. These two lenses were extended in that context to help locate issues, clarify problems and situate what we can learn from choreographic practice and empirical studies of dance. The first lens is a framework for describing what goes on in the making of an artwork or design processes in general. The second lens is that of mental architecture applied here to examine how the multiple components of the human mind work together in creative and performance contexts. Each of these can provide some insight into the multiple facets of choreo-musical relationships and, in doing so can offer some modest augmentations to choreographic practice.