Dance & Music
Being both a musician and a dancer, I have constantly been interested in my commitment to both disciplines, as well as the relationship between the two. I became interested in researching the different processes that have been utilized in collaborative efforts between choreographers and composers. Cunningham-Cage and Balanchine-Stravinsky are two of the most prolific collaborations, and these are well documented by written accounts of their collaborative processes. Both pairs of men had specific processes while creating work and each had his own theories on how music and dance should relate to one another. Each also gave thought about how the audience should view their work, and the relationship between the movement and the sound.
This made me question how the audience views the relationship between what they see and what they hear while observing a dance work, and how much the process behind the product is apparent. I could find many written documents on the processes of choreographers and composers, but not on audience views of music and dance relationship. I wanted to be able to pose questions in which I could begin to start to answer this from the perspective of the viewer to find out if the process is able to be read in the product. I was interested to see if the music/dance relationship initiated by the choreographer and composer is actually comprehended by the audience.
Since a reaction to a dance work is extremely personal, it is hard to accurately judge a collective thought process by just asking each member of the audience what their view of the music-dance relationship is. My thoughts on this relationship, led me to pose the following questions related to my research:
What is the audience view of the relationship between the movement they see and the music they hear?
Does the brain automatically try to make a connection between what it is seeing and hearing, even if there is none?
Does the process of a collaborative effort read in the product?
How does the relationship between the dance and the music inform the audience as to the meaning of the work?
How does the relationship between the music and the movement affect the process of the dancers learning material?
Why is the relationship between music and dance important?
I hope that through these questions I would be able to formulate a sturdy to explore this dance/music relationship and begin to open the door to further research in this field. I believe that the audience would not be able to tell which pieces were choreographed with music and which were choreographed without music. The music would be important in their viewing of the dance, but that the process would not be of importance when viewing a dance work. I had set up a survey in a past performance to test this theory and will discuss the results and implementation in future blog posts.