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2011, Vol.34, No.34

  • 1.

    Dancer’s Body and the Open Structure of Contemporary Dance

    MalborgKim | 2011, 34(34) | pp.1~27 | number of Cited : 14
    Abstract PDF
    This study examines different modes of dancer’s body featured in current contemporary dance. ‘Contemporary’ is a tricky word to define. The term “contemporary dance” is sometimes used to describe dance that is not classical jazz or traditional folk/cultural dance. But contemporary dance is used here as the current world dance happening in the span of 20~30 years up to now. Through the survey of various functions and styles of dancer’s body in contemporary dance, this study aims to understand the changing environment of world dance in the 21st century. There are many ways that dancer’s body can be portrayed or used in dance. Dancer’s body can be used when a choreographer is trying to represent something or to convey his or her ideas to the viewers. And dancer’s body can be used as the medium to express emotions or feelings of choreographer. Dancer’s body and movement can be designed to portray abstract images other than human forms or meanings. After post modern dance, ordinary body that is not trained technically and daily movement that is not dancy appeared in contemporary dance. They are used as the experimental representation of the choreographer’s ideas. They were chosen to raise a question to the traditional condition of dance existence. Also there is a formalist dance style which takes formal beauty of dancer’s body and movement as the prime value of dance. These various modes of presenting dancer’s body covers from traditional way of dance existence to current avant garde style dance. From these findings, the most outstanding characteristics of contemporary dance are discussed and explained in the end as a conclusion. The most characteristic feature of contemporary dance is that they have an open structure in its narrative and construction. For an instance, Twylar Tharp’s Catherine Wheel shows an open ended mosaic structure of telling the story of that piece. In this work, traditional linear structure of story telling are deconstructed and gathered in a new sensitive and deconceptualized way. Also Tanztheater and William Forsythe and Montalvo’s way of producing dances are discussed as an instance of showing the crossover tendencies and deconstruction of dance movement and stage space, and the convergence of dance genre, technique, media, culture and races happening in a current world dance scene.
  • 2.

    Ideological Background Indicated by Language and Expression for Explaining Body Movement in Baroque Dance Literature and a Biomechanics Research in 17-18 Century Europe

    Kim Sue In | 2011, 34(34) | pp.29~60 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    This study aims to identify common modes of expression shared by French Baroque dance masters and a scientist in biomechanics developed in early modern Europe. Building on my previous research on Cartesian concepts of body and Baroque dance, I focus on how the abstract concepts were applied to actual studies of body movement in practice. In particular, the birth of biomechanics as a field of study in the seventeenth century signifies that a new scientific approach to a study of body movement were emerging. To provide an analysis of concrete examples, I select Raoul Feuillet’s Choregraphie (1700) and Pierre Rameau’s Maître â Danser (1725) for two representatives of Baroque dance literature that reveal mechanical natural philosophy of Descartes. Also, Giovanni Borelli’s De Motu Animalium (1680), being the founding work of the field, presents an excellent example of a study of body movement applying principles of physics and mechanics. These treatises share characteristics as follows. First, they express the body as an inert object deprived of agency. The dance masters’ narrative use the word body(le corps) as objectives of actions; Borelli straight forwardly asserts that the body is an inert machine like a dead body. They designate the body, particularity in terms of joints and their tension and extension. Also, their focus on equilibrium and weight support implies their understanding of the body as object with mass. Second, they rely on geometry to convert body movement into abstract concepts. The dance treatises as well as De Motu Animalium emphasize line, angle, and figure to perceive body posture and movement. Moreover, the treatises meticulous mark the body and space with alphabet letters which represent the objects stripped of any contextual significance. The similarity of modes of expression shared by dance masters and Borelli helps to recognize underlying premises of the dance practice as a peculiar tendency closely related to the academic atmosphere of the time period.
  • 3.

    Meanings of Gendered Body Represented in Dance Works -Bill T. Jones’s Ghostcatching -

    김주희 | 2011, 34(34) | pp.61~89 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    This paper aims to examine the aspects and meanings of gendered bodies in dance. For this, I analyze Bill T. Jones’s Ghostcatching (2000) in terms of body,movement, space. Gendered bodies in the work have three characteristics in common. First, they make it possible for viewers to focus on the bodies as it really is, without sexualitybased ideological gaze. In short, the work offer an opportunity to reconstruct the traditional understanding of the bodies by representing them other than generalized social gazes on stage. The gendered bodies redefine the bodies in a dichotomic gender ideology as those in de-centered, non-linear attributes. Second, they suggest communicable bodies. They show the intertextual bodies that can create sociopolitical discourses by displaying unbalanced fat bodies rather than well-balanced beautiful bodies. The distorted bodies become an independent body by offering an opportunity to communicate autonomously. Third, the stage space, which is seen as an elistist space, is transformed into a democratic space. Ghostcatching arranges a democratic open space - a virtual space - in which everyone can share and participate. These spaces deconstruct the ideological thoughts, thereby making it possible for viewers to understand the essentials of human beings. Gendered bodies in the three works don’t work as a place for politics or direct power, but the bodies are represented as strategical bodies which reveal the essence of power by deconstructing the traditional understanding of the bodies and presenting a new understanding of the body. The gendered bodies in the works perform a gender in real stage space. They challenge to power relationships by creating cultural discourses. This research could confirm that dance itself is political. In other words, dance does not reproduce a specific political incident, but expose political aspects in gendered bodies. ·
  • 4.

    The Study on Gestalt Interpretation of Contemporary Dance -Focusing on Shenwei’s 「Connect Transfer」 -

    Hye Ra Kim | 2011, 34(34) | pp.91~131 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this study is to interpretate the complex meaning of the contemporary dance which can not be easily understood at once using Gestalt’s perception. This study try to figure out the phenomenal meaning of the contemporary dance through seeing expression structure of the art work. Therefore,this is the trial to understand the actual dance work by Gestalt’s main concept and visual perception. First of all, this study set up the concept through Gestalt psychologist’s experimental examples. “Allness, simplicity and structural properties” are these. Through these concepts, th visual perceptive tendency are adjusted to the analysis of dance. In detail, adjusting to the dance phenomenon and structural character of the dance, directing to simplicity, to organic texturing and psychological changing factors in dynamic field could be captured as visual perceptive principle. Connecting to Gestalt’s concept and the art work’s visual perceptive principle, based on allness meaning change which is one of the main concept of Gestalt, it is adjusted to the dance work analysis as a semi-premise. Fist, the main phenomenon in whole work, the title phenomenon was set. Find the meaning of the work through the strongest perceptive topic by Gestalt. Secondly, analyze the characters of the structural parts which consist the main phenomenon. Therefore, figure out the detailed structural phenomenon which form theme images. Then, find the resulted meaning through the relationship. Thirdly,recombinate the medial property and relationship. It can find the total conformational sense and expressional character via recombination between each parts properties and relationship’s meaning. Forthly, I try to find the form of total structural texture and the meaning’s relationship. Therefore, this study try to figure out the total form image and structure. Finally, based on all the setting and adjusting, I try to find the work’s phenomenal meaning via choreographer’s reasoning and previous work’s expression. I actually use these concepts to ShenWei’s Connect Transfer . In detail, this study described the physical space’s phenomenal meaning sensed as co-relationship between the dancer’s motions and background space and interpretate that the sensing experience’s meaning based on expressivity and artistic space’s meaning which sensed by total structural formality and expressivity. This study try to interpretate the dance as an experience which is a communication between audience and choreographer rather the relationship via formal one through composing all the mentioned factors. As a conclusion, through the discussion by Gestalt perspective experience, this study suggest the vital understanding of dance via phenomenal experience of total artistic work, propose the easier way to understand complex contemporary dance through this method which give new possible dance interpretational method.
  • 5.

    A Study on the Dramatic Functions of the Dances Featured in the Musical

    EuiSook Chung | Mijung Roh | 2011, 34(34) | pp.133~159 | number of Cited : 4
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this study is to examine the dramatic functions of the dances featured in the musical West Side Story , which was first put on the stage in 1957,based on an analysis on the piece, with regard to the fact that the dances in the said musical above not only function as a decorative element but also have, to some extent, some influence on the delivery of the story and the expressions thereof. It is essential in producing a musical piece to understand the importance of the functions and the roles of the dances, as it helps using other elements of the piece more efficiently when organizing them as a whole. Since musical is a performing art in which the dances, performances, and the music are joined together to deliver the theme of the drama, the dances can take a very importance position in the production of the pieces and delivering them to the audience as they are of universal nature as a body language and at the same time unique in their expressions. As we analyzed the dramatic function of the dances in the musicals based on the four theories by Lisa Jo Sagolla, an American academic, we found out that, firstly,in its function in unfolding the plot, the dances in the musical are illustrative and help expressing the drama in a more interesting and easier manner, since the dances are universal languages. Secondly, in describing the characters, the dances in the musical present the inner world to the audience where it cannot be done effectively with other means of expressions, such as the lines and verbal languages. Also, in its moodbuilding feature, the dance uses historically evidenced movements in terms of the time and space to build the kind of mood required in a specific context over a very short time. The dance also plays the role of giving shapes to the theme of the piece,visualizing the complicated themes of the pieces to present them in elaborated manners. As we can see here, the dances in the musicals are of course important as they are, but also they help other genres in the piece bond together with each other to make it a more robust experience. Therefore, in order to facilitate such functions of the dances, it is necessary that not only the choreographer, but also any other staffs involved in production need to understand what they are all about. To let the dances restore theses functionalities, it is a priority to establish specialized training institutes to train choreographers or develop separate programs to train them within the university curriculum. If there are professional training courses available to be a musical choreographer, it would be of great assistance to train and educate those experts.
  • 6.

    The character of Yin Yang and Chi in Contact Improvisation

    안신희 | 2011, 34(34) | pp.161~189 | number of Cited : 4
    Abstract PDF
    The aim of this study is, with harmony and creativity as a base, to find out the correspondence of Chi and Yin Yang with Contact Improvisation. Contact Improvisation usually takes place as a duet. Regardless of whether man or woman,tall or short and heavy or light, it leads the dance with new movements coming from harmony through interactive relationships. Contact must be accompanied by a partner. They move as one mass. It is individual but also a collective energy, and creates new energy by transcending You and I. The researcher of this study focused on ‘two entities’, ‘change’, ‘harmony’ and ‘another creation’ which are the unique characteristics of the contact. These features are very similar to keywords of Eastern Philosophy , “Yin Yang of the two elements and One as a Taiji” and “extreme harmony and creation”. Hence, this study examined Chi and Yin Yang aspects dissolved in Contact Improvisation. Firstly as a result, Contact Improvisation was born in the norm of nature, harmony, and equality which are the backgrounds of Eastern Philosophy that influenced the intellects and artists of that period. It was also developed from performance of oriental martial arts, such as Aikido and Tai shi chuan that Steve Paxton, thecreator, and the dancers of Contact Improvisation practiced. Therefore,Contact Improvisation fundamentally includes the characteristics of Chi and Yin Yang. Secondly, In Contact Improvisation when some power, which originated from cooperation and interaction creates unpredictable movements, it is called ‘it’ or ‘the third power’, and it can be considered as ‘Chi’ of the oriental martial arts. Chi is the kinematic origin of the universe, and makes life and characteristic of all livings and phenomenon of the nature through its diverging and converging characteristic. From Chi’s perspective, even though performers have different body structure and spirit,the moment they become one as they make contact is status when the individual’s Chi diverges and re-integrates. This is creation of another character beyond You and I, and the stage of Chi’s extreme harmony. Thirdly, various movements occurring from improvisation by the contact, have characteristic elements of activeness,passiveness, request and response in common. However, these four characteristics are quite contrastive. This distinctiveness isn’t much different from the characteristic of Yin Yang where the two of the contrast exist as one. From a perspective of Yin Yang, activeness and request are at the side of Yang, and passiveness and response are at the side of Yin. The four characteristics of movement which has Yin Yang aspects generates a new movement by situationally circulating and harmonizing one another. In the end, a union of Contact Improvisation’s activeness, passiveness,request and response parallels with a Yin Yang law of all things and phenomena are created by the harmony of Yin Yang. Thus, Contact Improvisation Dance contains the ‘Yin Yang’ law of the eastern and the aspects in relation to operation of ‘Chi’
  • 7.

    Study on Changing Developments of Syokyokusai Tenkatsu’s Dance

    LeeJuHee | 2011, 34(34) | pp.191~213 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    Tenkatsu troupe was a magic performance team that wanted to communicate with the audience by combining magic with other genres of performance. It appealed to the audience of the time when people were not familiar with the Western culture and goods. Tenkatsu troupe was sometimes seen as a circus troupe or a group of entertainers because of its program structure that accommodated diverse dances and reflected the trend of the time. However such structure played a big role in establishing itself as a public performance art group and a messenger of modern stage performance. Tenkatsu troupe enjoyed a huge popularity from its founding in 1911 to the retirement stage in 1935 not only in Japan but also in Korea(then Chosun),Twaiwan, Manchuria, and the US. With its focus on technique and magic, Tenkatsu troupe embraced genres such as dancing, play, and music while it pursued splendid stage that is both interesting and modern by reflecting the trend of the time. To achieve modern and splendid performance, Tenkatsu troupe organized Chosiren(죠시렌) and trained its performance to learn Western dance, Japanese dance, acting,singing, playing instruments as well as magic. Chosiren(죠시렌) has gradually evolved into a revue group that backed the smooth and splendid stages of Tenkatsu troupe and played a key role as an integral part of Tenkatsu. Tenkatsu troupe introduced most famous directors, choreographers, writers, staff, and actors(actresses) to prepare a perfect stage. Choreographers played the role of enhancing the quality of performance by training Tenkatsu and Chosiren(죠시렌). The performances of Tenkatsu troupe were splendid and lavish. And at the center of the performance,there was always dance. Style of dance has changed over time reflecting the time and society, affecting the stage of Tenkatsu troupe. In Seoul(then Kyongsung) between 1911 and 1935, various dances took places and they include modern dance, ballet, Jazz dance, and Japanese dance. By time, they include Woo Yui dance in 1913, Woo Yui dance Girls Dance, Butterfly Dance, Youth Dance in 1921, an applied magic play “Salome” in 1915, an applied magic dance play “Goddess of peace” in 1918, an applied magic dance play,“Dream Butterfly, Nerve Puppet, Girls Dance, Youth Dance” in 1921, and Jazz dance and three dances(gypsy dance, puppet dance, oriental dance) in 1926, Jazz dance, sketch revue, a Japanese court dance and music “La Mort Du Cygne” in 1929, and rumba, Jazz, Russian dance, trendy dance. Although Tenkatsu danced and experienced dancing throughout her life, it is hard to say that she has created a new world of dance to say strictly. However, she overwhelmed the audience with the inborn beauty and power of her dancing. As stated above, Tenkatsu introduced staff and actors(actress) from outside her group and it is reflective of her open-mindedness. Still her presence was so significant because the time she lived was one that has changed fast under the strong influence of Weatern culture. Tenkatsu attracted audience from Japan and nearby region as a leader even without creating her own dancing due to the aggressive openness and the human appeals.
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