Can memory recall for dancers and the learning process of routines be influenced or affected by the use of mirrors or a videotape when memorising movement combinations?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Abstract: Mirrors have a distinctive affect on a dancer’s practice, and how dancers learn and recall within a class or rehearsal environment. The purpose of this research is to examine whether learning and recalling movement in mirrored or nonmirrored situations will affect the dancer’s movement memory, impact on their learning and affect performance. This auto-ethnographic study draws on my own experiences working professionally as a dancer for a ‘Lady Gaga’ tribute act where rehearsals consisted of learning the routines from a videotape that presented the dance as viewed by the audience. This is compared with the experience at University where mirrors are not part of learning within a technique class. My experience at University draws upon different learning and teaching approaches where mirrors are not used and students are encouraged to work with the given movement to find ownership of the material. This study also considers how learning class material and recalling routines in different dance styles can impact on the dancer mentally and physically. These contrasting experiences were recorded over a period of fifteen months by the dancer in this story. The data was collected through the use of diaries, action plans and field study notes. Through reference to existing theories, it was found that there was a distinctive relationship between the dancer and the mirror as well as the dancer and the videotape. It is suggested that alternative learning strategies are required for the teaching of different styles, and dancer’s memory recall can be affected by their individual learning type.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS (HONOURS) DANCE
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