Looking at the Music-to-Movement Relationship

As a part of my focus curriculum I am taking Music and Choreography, a composition course looking to explore the ways in which music and movement interact in space and time. I took the course because I am very much a person who understands based off of visual and kinesthetic information, less so with aural. Therefore I often forget to consider music as my compositional partner when creating.

To introduce the course, we began with listening to Sonata in B Minor, K27 by Domenico Scarlatti. We then scored the music, however we heard it. This helped us to realize that everyone hears music slightly differently. When there are many layers, one individual may hear an emphasis that another may not. In our scores we accepted our differences and just wrote down what we heard. In the picture of my notes, the top and bottom thirds of the page show two different ways in which I scored the Sonata.

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After scoring the music, we created movement that went TO the music. How my movement unfolded may be seen through my drawings in the mid-third of my page of notes.

With the choreography set TO music, the second part of the assignment was to use that same musicality and set the movement to a pop song. This was not as thrilling for me. I got bored with the 8-count structure quickly and found my Scarlatti-inspired movement to outmatch the pop songs. I tried many different pieces of music and never really felt like I connected to any of them.

Parts 1 and 2 of this study may be viewed through my Vimeo account by clicking HERE.

In part 3 of our assignment, not included in my video, we were instructed to let go of the phrasing of the movement as we put our choreography to electronic music with a more minimal structure. We listened to artists such as Songar, alva noto, and Aoki Takamasa and chose music that we could use to expand the structure of our already existing material. What I liked about part 3 was how it allowed me to track the evolution of material from being exact to the music, to now existing in a more open-ended timeframe. It showed me how a phrase created to music has material that can exist in forms past the music under which it was created. Moving forward, this is a tool I can use for composition.

Diving Down the Rabbit Holes

Part of where I believe “sophomore hell” comes in to play is that as second-year students in the dance department, we are required to take the intro level courses to the multiple aspects of dance we began to see emerge through Freshman Seminar. IMG_3642For me this includes History Theory Literature 1 (Dance History), Kinesiology, Movement Analysis, and Composition 2 alongside my movement practice classes. I’ve begun to call this “diving down the rabbit holes”, as I feel myself looking down deep pockets of possible exploration and knowledge as I take in each course. While I am busy with work, and face the challenges of accepting dance’s applications through desk work, I love my courses.

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It Takes Time to Change

Throughout the last week or so, our freshman class has been focusing on dance wellness. When first told that we would be taught about “wellness” I was not sure what to expect, but I was excited to learn. We had lectures on flexibility and strength, posture structure and choice, mapping the body, and nutrition and body image. Some of the information was new to me, and some I had heard before, but what I took away from all of these different lectures was that we (as humans) have the ability to change. Continue reading