Mohammad Talebi | Dance-music communicology: interaction of dancers with musical rhythm for
narrative embodiment in classical ballet variations | Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam | Supervisor: Prof. Alan Cienki | Co-supervisor: Dr. Vincent Meelberg | 2018 to 2024 | m.talebi[at]vu.nl
Classical ballet is a European technical dance theater genre using various dramaturgic elements such as libretto, music, and choreography to share a nonverbal narrative with the audience. Dancers integrate textual, aural, and visual components of the ballet using various corporeal articulations and expressive gestures to represent a new multimodal narrative from each element. Dancer-music communication for narrative visualization is embedded within a complex dynamic system that has received less attention.
We conducted this study to better understand this multimodal system by addressing the
- How do principal dancers communicate with the music to embody a story’s narrative in
classical ballet solo dances?
- How does the situational context of music influence on entrainment?
- To what degree does the prediction deal with dancers’ beat induction and error reduction?
- How do the dancers’ sensorimotor synchronization with music as a form of metaphorical corporeal articulation help the narrative embodiment?
The aim of this study is to develop a multi-perspective of how classical ballet principal dancers interact with music to represent a new multimodal narrative in solo dances. The insights gained from this study can help us understand the body language and narrative discourse of ballet and other dance forms. This knowledge can ultimately contribute to choreomusicology studies and ballet artists, including choreographers, directors, and dancers, for better presentation and communication with their audiences during performances.
We use literature study, video observation, and interviews. We also record the dancers’ movements accompanying the musical stimuli using the Motion Capture system for quantitative analysis.