Tuesday, November 27, 2007

final project..ahhh....

Boy, do I need help. The only time that I had to brainstorm for my final project is during Biosystems and signals today when my professor lost me talking about using the Laplace transform to change into the complex frequency domain. During that hour I started choreographing a dance routine in head. I started dancing when I was three and it has been one of my passions ever since. Thus, this idea is so far freaking fetched and I should probably stop while I’m ahead. However, I’m really hoping that someone out there will give me some advice that will make this project work in some round about way.

I was thinking about writing a paper on dancing and how it allows for the dancer to tell a narrative through their expression and movements. There are certain moves that are consistently done to expresses the type of mood the dance is suppose to display. Moreover, the music and type of lighting also adds to the mood of the dance.

The best possible way I could come up with to display this method is by having the reader watch a certain dance (or multiple and compare) on the internet (i.e. youtube) and then write a paper how the movements in that dance(s) write a story and share the expression of the dancer. I guess I could upload one/some of my dances but I don’t know how to do that.

So… raise your hand if you think this idea is far fetched (I’m raising mine). However, I’m really hoping you guys will throw some ideas my way and I can hopefully develop this idea thoroughly so it work out for a final project. Maybe, if I’m lucky, I will have another class that I can daydream in and possibly think of another final project. As of now, though, this is all I have… help, lol.


LSack said...

Narratives in the form of dance? How is that far-fetched? Start popping E at 3 in the morning and expect to write a paper on how the texture of tortoise shells compares to A Connecticut Yankee and we'll talk about far-fetched.

In any case, maybe instead of writing a straight paper on how movements in dance can be used to form a narrative, you could choreograph dances you would use for a particular piece of fiction we've read in class, video tape it, and then write a paper on what you're trying to express with each particular block of dance moves and how it compares to whatever work of fiction you've decided upon.

You could also look at plays done on Broadway versus works produce in movies. For example, The Lion King on stage versus in its movie form and then its script form. While this eases the locus of your essay from dancing exclusively, it is related. Your thesis might be something like "Broadway performances (specifically those that involve heavy reliance on singing and dancing) express more of the symbology involved in a story than a less-immersive, traditional novel style production of a story."

A. Benevent said...

Here's what I'm thinking:

I don't even want to know what 'biosystems' class is. That sounds like you're building some sort of horrible monster. And it definitely makes me glad I'm a film major. Go go liberal arts degrees, even if I don't have a job after I graduate.

But on to the real issue. My idea for your project was this: just like there's obviously a lot lost in translation between what Zampano wants to write, what he actually writes, what Johnny gives us, what's missing from Johnny's revision of the book, and what Johnny doesn't tell us, (if that long string of things even makes any sense) in House of Leaves, how does this apply to dancing?

This might be a little abstract of an idea, but that's how I think sometimes, so here's this:

What's the mood of the music for a certain dance? Does/do the dancer(s) accurately convey that emotion? The performance of the dancer, the very act of dancing, is like a way of interpreting and revising what's written in a song. Maybe the choreographer is just making their thoughts on a particular piece of music known?

Does this make any sense? Am I off on too many tangents? Let me know if I am, I'll clarify.

Basically, what I'm saying is that can dancing serve as a method of changing or adding on to what a particular piece of music is saying?

Show us videos, maybe even research what a particular composer wanted his song to be indicative of or what each song evokes emotionally in you personally. For example, Beethoven's Piano Sonata 14 (moonlight sonata) is about being in love. Find someone dancing to it. Are they accurately depicting what love is? How it feels?

I don't know, I feel like I've taken a simple concept and made it a royal pain in the ass. Let me know what you think.

Nik said...

This is probably as far-fetched as your original idea, but work with me here.

Maybe, you could find different dances that tell the House of Leaves story. Or like Lance said, another work that we read in class. The most story-telling form of dance I can think of (other than ballet, which has always been awesome to be as long as I'm not participating) is hula.

Anyway, though, maybe you could find clips of hula and salsa and ballet and that awesome Siamese dancing with the big shiny hats (please know what I'm talking about) and like Adam was saying with the dancing in India and say how you think they tell parts of the narration of a piece from class.


Tell a story of your own using those clips. That'd be awesome. And you could also make it really funny. It'd be like watching Telemundo on mute and interpreting their lines by their actions. That's always hilarious.

Adam said there might need to be a research element, so you could use Alex's idea and research the piece being used and see what it's supposed to mean and then compare and contrast.

Adam Johns said...

I'm in over my head here, although I'm thoroughly interested in Emily's original idea and all of the other ones as well. This reminds me, too, that I forgot to talk about John Cage today (but that's just an aside).

I'll just boil down my quick perspective. It's obvious to everyone posting that dance has, or can have, narrative characteristics, which can partially be formed, as Alex points out, through interaction with music (much like HOL itself). So there's nothing far-fetched at all.

But it's still a huge topic. Do you want to do a research project, a creative project, or a blend of the two (perversely, I'm imagining Mike's midterm project, with the characters _dancing_ instead of all the other things they do)? Are you interested in dance as such, or _representations_ of dance (I've tried to read ballet criticism, but it's just impenetrable to me, but obviously _some_ people understand it)? Or in creating a new one rooted in HOL or A Connecticut Yankee or Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

If you want to do a research project, of course, you need some kind of argument.

I'm very curious where this will end up, but I think you need to narrow it down a little before anyone can be of much further assistance to you.

Also, like Alex, I'm curious about what Biosystems is.