Analytical approach in Rebel study (V2)
1. Collecting the Video Material
As with Video Group 1 above, the video material for Video Group 2 'Dance', with the case study Rebel Les Caractères de la danse, was collected in various situations, starting with individual experiments ('In Studio'), and leading to rehearsal and teaching situations ('In Rehearsal'), and a series of concert performances.
The 'Dance' section also comprises video material from dance workshops led by the dancer and choreographer Deda Cristina Colonna (LINK to a short bio), organized in cooperation with the singing class of the Malmö Academy of Music, in connection with the opera performance which was part of my 25% seminar.
In these projects, my agency is that of a musical director and teacher. The dance workshop with Deda Cristina has the form of critical dialogue, where Deda Cristina comments on my intuitive musical understanding of the dance forms from a dancer’s point of view.
2. Timeline of the Rebel productions and analytical work
Two projects with Rebel’s Les Caractères de la danse were realized in September 2011. The first project comprised four days of rehearsals and a series of four concerts in the south of Sweden with the Malmö Academy string orchestra. The second project consisted of three concerts with the professional Danish baroque ensemble Baroque Aros, including two days of rehearsals
About six hours of rehearsals with the Malmö Academy string orchestra were captured on video as well as all four concerts (with approximately 50 minutes of video material from the concerts).
Video material from Baroque Aros amounted to 3 hours of rehearsals and ca 40 minutes from the concerts.
Further material was collected in the dance workshops with Deda Cristina Colonna in two separate three-day sessions in November and December 2011. Each workshop consisted of lectures as well as dance practice.
3. Analytical procedure and outcomes
The experimental procedure 'In Studio' in the Dance V2 section (individual practise) was similar to the procedure in V1 'Mimetic action' with one crucial difference. I can throw things up in the air (V1a), I can also swing a sword (or at least I did my best at the session with Andrew Lawrence-King, see V1bT3). Not least, I can certainly produce a deep passionate sigh (particularly, one in despair at the upcoming deadline of my thesis…). But as a dancer, I was on a very thin ice…
Therefore, in the 'In Studio' procedure, I attempted to establish an intuitive musical interpretation of the dance structures, based on my distinction of Soundist and Gesturist strategies of musical interpretation. I imaginatively employed my playing body movement vocabulary to construct a character for each dance based on my reading of the musical score and on historical information from the musical treatises.
My musical conception of the individual dance structures was then confronted by a dancer, Deda Cristina. The strategy for the comparative dialogue was as follows. First, I played a dance 'in my way'. Deda then commented on the tempo and character, demonstrated the basic step-units and body movements, and finally, I played the violin to her dancing, absorbing the kinaesthetic quality of Deda’s dancing into my playing movements.
In addition to the still camera, I invited the documentary film maker (at that time also a PhD candidate) Cecilia Parsberg to record the entire session on a hand-held camera. In this way I could combine two versions of video material: a static version where the only movement is provided by Deda and I in a lively interaction; and a 'moving' version, controlled by Cecilia’s movements based on her own interests and attention. The recorded session was ca 2 hours long.
Similarly, as in the V1 Group, I constructed the Dance video essays from a comparison of Gesturist and Soundist strategies, combining and repeating short excerpts of gestural and musical interest.
This is the final text of Video group 2 'Dance'.
The next study, Video group 3 'Poetic imagery', can be accessed from the Introductory page 'From Gesture to Sound', linked below.