How can a dancer’s own choice of clothing affect their performance in a contemporary technique class?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This study takes a qualitative approach into investigating whether or not clothing has an effect on a dancer’s movement performance. How can a dancer’s own choice of clothing affect their performance during a contemporary technique class? The purpose of this study was to look at how a dancer’s choice of clothing can potentially develop their technique; to enhance or hinder their movement aesthetic and kinesthetic awareness. Identified as an area of study that is fairly under researched the framework for the investigation was purposefully designed and included observation; completion of clothing diaries and a focus group. The second year dance students studying a BA (Hons) dance degree were observed over six weekly sessions participating in contemporary dance classes. Eight students were identified to complete clothing diaries over six weeks and those same participants took part in a focus group discussion on completion of the diaries. The research uncovered that having a choice of dance clothing for a dance class can enhance and hinder the dancers personal development and onlookers interpretations of their movement. It allows the dancer to feel relaxed in classroom environment focusing their attention to the thought processes and sensations of the movement instead of the exterior appearance. However in some situations, allowing a dancer to choice their own clothing meant body alignment got lost due to clothing covering dancer’s lines whilst moving. It was also suggested different clothing styles belonged to different styles of dance which help in preparing the mind and body to engage to the specific movement.
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