Moving the music : dance, action, and embodied identity

Slee, SM 2017, 'Moving the music : dance, action, and embodied identity' , in: Music/Video: Histories, Aesthetics, Media , Bloomsbury Academic Press, pp. 147-162.

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Discourse on music videos widely views and examines the image within the video, along with the visual animation and consumption of music. Yet music videos often incorporate dance, movement and embodied action as fundamental, constituent elements, expanding the experience of consumption from the eyes and ears into the whole body. The integration of dance in music videos seems intuitive: across histories, aesthetics and traditions, much of popular music has sought to evoke physical response (from moshing to the Macarena, tribal trance to twerking, aerial aerobics of swing dance to a Saturday night boogie around your handbag). Both popular music and its associated dance have served as enactments of the distinctive values, symbols and aesthetics of varied “youth subcultures” (Epstein 1994). However, the design and integration of movement and embodied action in the music video plays a much deeper role in connecting the artist with his/her audience. Reynolds et al (2012) offer insight into an audience’s experience of watching dance as widely kinaesthetic (as opposed to visual) response, termed as ‘kinaesthetic empathy’. Add to this Thomas’s (1997) classification of social dance as forms where roles of performers and spectators are fluid and interchangeable. Movement offers a potent tool to both the video maker and the consumer, a potential medium to transform the viewer from a passive spectator into active participant of the music. Dance becomes a kinaesthetic, action-based instrument to formulate the embodied identity of the artist (and song): an identity that can be observed, experienced, consumed, extended or transferred. This chapter intends to examine the role of dance and the dancer’s embodied identity within the music video: the use of dance and embodied action in the constructed identity of the singer, the embodied experience of the song, and the methods in which video makers support the spectator’s transition from passive to active.

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Arnold, G, Cookney, DJ, Fairclough, K and Goddard, MN
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic Press
ISBN: 9781501313929; 9781501313912; 9781501313905
Depositing User: Sarie Mairs Slee
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2017 11:56
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 21:48

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