Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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I am still making slow progress with finding a company that will agree to me conducting fieldwork. I have received rejections from two ballet companies regarding fieldwork with them. I still have two more proposals outstanding with other companies but I am having trouble making contact with the persons who may be able to approve me spending four to six months with their company of dancers. So far I have only tried ballet companies in Australia and New Zealand. There are any number overseas that I could consider but they would need to be English speaking since the degree I am considering has no time available to learn another language. Do any of my readers have any thoughts on the matter? Is anyone willing to suggest this proposal to their company? If so, contact me and we will chat. Research overseas will cost a lot more in expenses, so if anyone is aware of any scholarships that may support such research I would be very interested.

UPDATE: Mike Barnes – Fieldwork Proposal document. This proposal mentions the first half of 2013, but it may have to slip to the second half at this late stage.

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I would like to extend an invitation to pre-professional ballet dancers to participate in discussions in this blog. Whilst the primary focus of my research is with professional dancers, the thoughts and aspirations of pre-professionals about to embark on their career are most welcome. There are already followers here from the professional and academic ranks, along with teachers and retired dancers. The voice of pre-professionals would provide the broadest perspective to the motivations of ballet dancers today.

So jump in and make a comment, test the water, it is warm and friendly here, just like the world of dance in general.

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This trailer is a wonderful portrayal of what dance can mean to all of us. What does it mean to you?

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Just a quick update to let my readers know that I received a rejection letter today regarding fieldwork at the ballet company I applied to. It is back to the drawing board. I need to consider if I am willing to try this with another company. There are others in Australia and there are any number of overseas companies that I could consider. Do you have any thoughts on the matter? Is anyone reading willing to suggest this to their company? If so, contact me and we will chat. For now, I will start finding out a bit more about some other companies.

UPDATE: Mike Barnes – Fieldwork Proposal document.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: My circumstances have changed with plans for fieldwork hitting a wall. Please see this later post.

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Thank you to Dolly Williams for this post on her iamdollywilliams blog. It brought to our attention a video that I have included below from The Royal Ballet on the subject of motivation. Since my research interest is in the various forms of motivation through the career of a  ballet dancer, the video makes a good starting point from which to discuss this subject.

It has been my observation that when you ask a dancer what motivates them, two possible approaches are given as answers. The first is mostly reflected by this video and many of the interviews that I read. The question is answered along the lines of what motivated them to start thinking of becoming a (professional) ballet dancer. Interestingly, this approach addresses a snapshot in time and the video talks to the subject of how dreams turn into hard work.

The second approach to answers to this question look at what keeps a dancer motivated and will be a larger part of my research. This form of the question/answer usually result in responses that refer to a dancer’s perceived need to dance. Answers in this category include, “I need to”, “provides me with meaning”, “it is how I communicate”, “movement is a part of my life”, “it is my true self, my spirit”. All of these answers internalise how they feel and consequently I could suggest they have in common that they make the dancer feel good. Many careers make their practitioners feel good, but many more are ambivalent on this point. Even when they do make a person feel good, it may vary with degree and through time. For dancers, this may be more constant.

However, to be respectful to those who choose dance as a career, I suspect there is a lot more to a dancer’s motivation than a simple addiction to feeling good. What makes a dancer keep going when they fail to get that role or promotion that they have been working so hard for? More so, what keeps them elevated after the initial euphoria of successfully getting a coveted role or promotion? All of these ideas are central to my research and I welcome any thoughts or anecdotes that readers may have. Anonymity is possible if you want to contact me directly.

The Royal Ballet on Motivation

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VIDEO: Specialist school for blind ballet dancers in São Paulo | Discovering São Paulo.

Brazilian ballet school teaching the blind by Zoomin_UK

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