Choreographic analysis from the perspective of aesthetics
Namaste! I am from India and by profession I'm a classical dancer. I want to start my PhD on the above said topic. Can you please help me to understand about choreographic analysis? So that I can choose my topic properly.
Dear Sangeeta, Namaste!
One thing you should remember is that analyzing choreography is something that you can do from different perspectives or by the use of different theoretical frameworks. One of the frameworks that I know better is the one defined by Rudolph Laban in his pointing of the components of movement: Effort (space, time, weight and flow) and Shape (space, time, body and weight). These are abstract components that you can distinguish in choreography and through which you can do one type of analysis.
However, I see you aim to have an ‘aesthetic’ perspective. That word alone will not define the components of choreography that you’ll try to isolate. You’ll need to define that, in the lack of a theoretical framework. For example, you can analyze the expressive components of one choreography, its stylistic characteristics or its emotional content. Those are examples of aesthetic perspectives.
Yet, whatever perspective you choose, I recommend you to start by picking up the concrete choreographic material you’ll work on. This may be one piece by a choreographer or company, a group of pieces by one same choreographer or a specific training technique, for example. Your choice will be very possibly guided by the particular topic or components of choreography that you intuitively want to discover or highlight in that piece of movement. Once you have chosen your group of data (choreography), formulate the question or intuition you feel about that content. Then, define the aspects of movement you want to analyze and start writing down what you see in that dance. A good trick at this stage is to compare the choreography with others. That will help in the process of identifying the content.
Sounds like soft and easy, but sometimes this process is achieved only after a good time of turning and turning around your thoughts and ideas. But that’s the work. Go for it and the analysis will emerge step after step.
Warm regards, Maria.