Moving in Concert: Dance and Music

Noël Carroll and Margaret Moore

in The Aesthetic Mind

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199691517
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731815 | DOI:
Moving in Concert: Dance and Music

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This article applies recent research in cognitive neuroscience to the relationship between music and dance. In particular, we claim that certain kinds of dance can be thought of as choreo-performative interpretations of the accompanying music. This sort of dance exploits the feelings of movement available in the music, and makes those feelings visibly manifest to the audience through the dancers’ movements. We argue that the audience, in turn, detects those feelings of movement through a mirroring response. That is, the dance serves to clarify for the spectator the feelings of movement she intimates in the music. This relationship of clarification has its roots in Collingwood’s expression theory, which we support here only in limited fashion. Empirical evidence for the mirroring response helps lend support to the idea that the aesthetic experience of choreo-performative interpretations of music involves a transmission of feeling from artist to audience.

Keywords: dance; choreo-performative interpretations; mirroring response; feeling

Chapter.  6752 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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