The corporeality of sound and movement in performance - an alternative approach to analyzing dance-music interrelations

Seye, E. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


When looking at dance-music interrelations, most researchers have assumed that the dance movements reflect or visualize musical elements, and have concentrated on easily identifiable structural elements such as rhythm and phrasing in their analyses, often proceeding from musicological methods of structural analysis. In this paper, I am suggesting a new kind of approach for analyzing dance-music interrelations, taking the corporeal basis of both dance and music as the point of departure. The focus on the human body – understood here as a “cultural body” (e.g. Thomas & Ahmed 2004) – shifts the analytical emphasis from (visible and audible) structural elements, such and rhythm and phrasing, to the ways these structures are produced and how sound and movement intertwine in the perception of performers and audiences. Simultaneously, this approach challenges the rather simplistic understanding of music as sound and dance as movement and reveals the permeability of these two phenomena. I will present the theoretical basis of the proposed corporeal approach to choreomusical analysis, developed by Ako Mashino and myself (forthcoming), and demonstrate its potential with examples of my own research on the Senegalese sabar tradition.
Period12 Jun 2020
Event titleUrban-Related Sensoria: Environments, Technologies, Sensobiographies: International Conference on Sensory Transformations
Event typeConference
LocationJoensuu, Finland
Degree of RecognitionInternational