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Archive for the ‘Body conditioning’ Category

Here is an interesting look into the long day of a ballet dancer at The Australian Ballet (@TheAusBallet). Their love of dancing and performing is clearly behind their motivation. However, how does this “love” feel in the mind and bodies of the dancer?

 

 

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This video from “The Atlantic” shows a Pas de Deux from the visual perspective of the dancers. However, without experiencing other senses such as embodied movement, position in space, and the physical presence of the partner, etc, it is impossible for the viewer to substantially feel the dance. As a complete novice to dancing ballet (a few classes only), I find the video is jarring to my senses – as the introduction warns. It gives me no real feeling of what it is like to dance. I would expect the viewer’s sensual response to the video would depend significantly on their own experience of ballet dancing. It would be interesting to hear from professional and student dancers what they experience when they watch this video. Tell me how it makes you feel and what your level of dance experience is. Also, what do you think of the argument I have made?

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This is fascinating. It is an accessible 20 minute neuroscience talk (first 5 minutes is enough to get the idea) that explains the complexities of the brain related to movement. It pretty much compliments social science/humanities explanations including: anthropology on habitus (Mauss, Bourdieu), human evolution (Darwin), and phenomenology (Merleau-Ponty). Its relevance to any form of dance is self evident.

www.youtube.com

http://www.ted.com/ Neuroscientist Daniel Wolpert starts from a surprising premise: the brain evolved, not to think or feel, but to control movement.

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I was listening to David McAllister, Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet talking about what he looks for in a new dancer for the company and he mentioned above all that he looks for turnout and flexibility. As someone who has had no ballet training (soon to be rectified), I would have thought that any dancer who has been through enough years of classes would have good turnout and flexibility. I understand that turnout is something that has individual physical constraints, but would someone continue to dance to professional level who does not have near 100% perfection in turnout? What do dancers think of turnout? Are they happy with their abilities in this regard? I guess I could ask the same questions of flexibility.

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Amongst other things like technique etcetera, I assume that ongoing ballet classes and exercise build and maintain physical capabilities of the body. Once a high level of capability is achieved by a dancer, which attribute or attributes are the most difficult to maintain or require the most attention? I am thinking of body conditioning in the areas of flexibility (stretching), balance and strength. Are there other attributes you could mention? Are there differences between males and females in this regard?

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