Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘research’

Hi, I am Mike and I am pursuing anthropology as an interest in my retirement. In September 2011 I started this blog and have been calling it a research blog. The purpose was to engage with professional ballet dancers and ballet companies to get a feel for developing a useful research question and potentially find contacts to make proposals to for research fieldwork before enrolling in a research degree. With the passing of time I have discovered a lot more about ballet dancers but have also come to the realisation that doing a research degree at my age is just not going to happen. As a result, my blog has become largely inactive. One of the problems I have wrestled with is the fact that many people seem to read the blog but very few comment. I have invited guest posters from the field of dance who have authored for me with some small success. I am now in the process of looking at how this blog may look going forward; how to engage with its intended audience; and how to find motivation to write more and relevant posts.

cheers… Mike

Read Full Post »

A friend at Macquarie University is running an introduction to human evolution course online as a MOOC. It runs for four weeks starting tomorrow and is called ” Becoming Human: Anthropology (BeHuman)” (link). Dancers may find this course of interest as it takes a look at how we “evolved from primates and became human.” I was a tutor for an extended on-campus version of this course several years ago and can highly recommend this online version to anyone with limited time available. MOOC courses are free and prerequisites not usually required.

UPDATE: Please note that if you missed it, this course is running multiple times, the next 27/05/2013 to 23/06/2013.

Read Full Post »

I have been wrestling with the meaning of one word related to my dance research for a while now. “Motivation”

There are many sources that describe motivation from a psychological perspective. But I don’t want to go there. Often when I speak about motivation, people tend to think about how one individual can motivate another. Certainly when I use the word as a # tag I seem to draw in plenty of commercial enterprises trying to flog motivational blogs, presentations, books and speeches. Again this is not what I am really wanting to look at.

A little closer to my interest is how dancers motivate themselves. Discussions I have had on social media would suggest that many dancers don’t think consciously about what motivates them. This is hardly surprising since most of us think about what we are doing a lot more than why we are doing it. So one little question could open up the whole point I am trying to make, when a dancer says they dance professionally because “it is their life”, “it makes them feel good”, or “it is in their being”; I ask myself why? They are motivated to feel this way and I would like to discover what various forms this takes.

 

Read Full Post »

About this time last year, a wonderful gentleman from The Australian Ballet named Colin Peasley welcomed me to the Sydney Opera House to watch the company behind the scenes. I spent three hours or so talking to him, and watching the dancers in class and rehearsal. And whilst I did not know it at the time, I was watching Darcey Bussell from the Royal Ballet conducting the class – more here. Twelve months on, it is time for me to take stock of what continues to motivate me to do research into professional ballet dancers. Since motivation is the theme of my study, it stands to reason that I should examine my own changing circumstances.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Mike writes about social networking and dancers for “Bulletinpointe”

Bulletinpointe.

Guest post by Mike Barnes (“Anthropology En Pointe”)

Mike is an independent researcher who as a mature age student in Australia was awarded an honours degree in 2004 with a major in cultural anthropology. Mike has until recently been active teaching tutorial classes for “introductory anthropology”, “human evolution”, and “sociology”. In 2011, Mike started research with an interest in professional ballet dancers.

Dolly has been very kind and shared her experiences of dance and career in a guest post for my blog  http://wp.me/p1OYEJ-cc). We decided it would be a good idea for me to write for her blog about my experience as an independent researcher.

I have been asked how this all started (http://wp.me/p1OYEJ-bx). My interest in ballet is a fortunate amalgamation of two interests. I have been a subscriber to The Australian Ballet for a number of years. I have very much enjoyed their performances…

View original post 1,422 more words

Read Full Post »

Several days ago saw the posting of the very first guest to write on this blog. He is Gregory Day a well known dancer in the Chicago area. He has a long career spanning ballet to ballroom; performance to competition and teaching. His post can be found here. Over the next several days, an article by a very well known anthropologist who specialises in many forms of dance will be posted. Watch this space. If at any time you wish to find all guest posts, click on “Contributions by guest posters” in the side bar. A big welcome and thank you to Gregory and all my future contributors.

Read Full Post »

A reader recently asked me how I developed my interest in ballet. It is not that I ever danced when I was younger, so why the sudden interest? The answer I gave him has reminded me how much I have missed out on by only now discovering the joy of dance. Last year, I took some absolute beginner ballet classes and really loved it. Unfortunately I have left it a bit late in life and my co-ordination is not up to taking my dancing seriously.

But that is not the end of my interest since my research will enable me to live vicariously through the dancing of others. Here is a version of how I answered the reader who I mentioned earlier.

My interest in ballet, is a fortunate amalgamation of two interests. I have been a subscriber to The Australian Ballet for a number of years and have seen every performance of theirs’ in this time. I have very much enjoyed it. However, it took on a far more interesting turn when I decided I could blend this interest with my other love, cultural anthropology. As a very mature age student, I received an honours degree in anthropology in 2004 and started tutoring undergrad courses in the subject. All this time I was looking for a cultural setting I could research for a postgrad degree. After a number of false starts looking at topics that led to little interest on my part, it occurred to me the middle of last year that I could study professional ballet dancers as a cultural group. I started doing a lot of reading and working through social networking groups and this blog and discovered that as a cultural grouping, professional dancers in general have not received the attention they deserve from ethnographic research. By this I mean, a great deal can be learned from spending an extended period of time observing and interacting with dancers in an extended fieldwork setting. With this in mind I have contacted local full time ballet companies and I am looking at others overseas.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: