Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Smyth, Mary

Smyth, Mary

Ratings: (0)|Views: 5|Likes:
Published by Marshall Berg

More info:

Published by: Marshall Berg on Dec 20, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

04/15/2014

pdf

text

original

 
Kinesthetic Communication in DanceAuthor(s): Mary M. SmythSource:
Dance Research Journal,
Vol. 16, No. 2 (Autumn, 1984), pp. 19-22Published by:
on behalf of
Stable URL:
Accessed: 07/10/2011 00:49
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at
.
http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspJSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.
University of Illinois Press
and
Congress on Research in Dance
are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize,preserve and extend access to
 Dance Research Journal.
http://www.jstor.org
 
Kinesthetic
Communication
n
Dance
MaryM.Smyth
"Dance ismovement thathasbeenorganizedsothat it isrewardingtobehold,"writesAnderson(1974, p.9),andmanyofthose who talkorwrite about dance haveattemptedtoexplainthewayin which dance rewardsthe beholderbyconsideringtheprocesses bywhich dancecommunicates.Andersongoeson tosay:"...dancecommunicatesbecause itpromptsresponseswithin us. Dance is notsimplyavisualart,it iskinestheticaswell;itappealstoourinherentsense ofmotion"(p.9).Thisdistinctionbetween visual andkines-theticcommunicationsonewhichmanydancersindappeal-ing.Thekinestheticcommunicationsnotanalyzedfurther,butrather,it becomesaneasywayofstatingthespecialstatusofdanceasanart form.Thatis,thereis aspecialsense forwhichonlydancecanprovideaestheticsatisfaction.Thispaperdrawsona numberofareasdealingwiththestudyofperceptionand communicationwithinpsychologynorder to examinethewaysinwhich wecangaininformationaboutthe movementsof otherpeopleandtoconsider howsuchinformationcouldgiverise tokinestheticexperience.Itdealsfirstwith theuse of the term "kinesthesis"within thestudyofsensationandperception, arguinghatin thiscontextkinesthesisrelatestomovementof one'sownbodywhile themovement of another'sbodymustbeperceivedviaone ormoreof the fiveexteroceptive ystems.Kinesthesisannotbea channelforinputinthewayvision is becausekinesthesisrefers o thenature ofcommunication,not totheperceptualsystembywhich it ispickedup.Thenextsectionpresentsheargumentthatwedonotalwayshavedirectknowledgeofwhereour sensationscomefromso wemaymis-attributethemto"subliminal"nputoreventoperceptual systemswhich arenotin factinvolved.If webelievethatacommuni-cationiskinesthetic,his neednotmean that thereisaspecialinputsystem,butrather,thatsomethinghappensasnormalperceptualnformationcomesnwhich relates tto themove-mentsystemof the observer.Thefinalsectionconsiders howwatchingsomeonedance couldlinktothe movementsystemofthe observer.Onesuggestionisthat theperceptualinputlinks to themotorcommandsystem,which becomesactiveand somehowgivesrise tosensationswhichactuallyare fromtheobserver'sbody,and anotheris thattheinputlinkstostoredmemoryrepresentationsofwhat movementsfeellikewithoutinvolvingthe motorcommands.Bothsuggestionshaveproblemsaccountingor observerswho cannot makethemovementsheywatch,althought ispossiblehatkinestheticimagerysflexibleenoughtomakethisonlyaminorobjectiontothesecondaccount.Theaimofthepaperis toclarifytheissues involvedinkinestheticcommunicationandtosuggestdirectionsnwhich wemightlook in order ounderstandhowdance communicates.The word"kinesthesis"was coined to refer to the senseofmovement(kinein=tomove,aesthesis=perception)of one'sownbody,which isderived frommovement informationpro-videdbyreceptorsnjoints,muscles,endonsand skin. In thiscontext it means "senseof one'sownmovement,"andthereceptorswhichprovidetheinformationcanbeindicated.Theorthodoxivesense ofseeing,hearing, touching, smellingandtastingalsorelatetoparticularkinds ofreceptors. Theygiveus information aboutobjectsand eventsintheworld,and forthis reasonSherrington(1906)called them "extero-ceptors"toindicatethattheywere thesource ofexternalinformation.Sherringtonused"interoceptors"o refer toreceptorswhichweresolelyconcernedwith the internalstateof theorganism,suchaspainandpressurereceptorsn theviscera,andheaddeda third class ofreceptors,"proprio-ceptors"proprius:own)toreferto thereceptorsnthejoints,musclesand tendons.So,ifwefollowSherringtonwecanrefer toparticular receptorsandtheinformationtheypro-vide,andwecanalsospeakof the sensewhichtheyserve(rodsandconesarereceptorsntheretinawhich servevision,Golgitendonorgansservekinesthesis).Morerecently,thisclassification,whichis based onthepositionandnature ofreceptors,has beenchallengedbythosewhoare concernedwith the function of aperceptualsystemrather thanitslocation.Gibson(1966)andLee(1977)botharguethatifanyperceptualsystem providesinformationaboutthepositionand movement of thebodythenit is func-tioningproprioceptively,buttheytooaredealingwiththe
perceptionof one's ownbody.In thisaccount visioncanprovidesuchinformationandthereforeitispossibletospeakof"visual kinesthesis"whichisthe senseof movementof one'sownbodywhenmovementis seen.However,evenifweloosenkinesthesis from itstraditional ties toreceptorsinjointsandmuscle,we are stillreferringtosensingthemovementofone's ownbodyand notasyettosensationswhich arisefromwatchingthe movementsofanother.Informationwhichwepickupfrom theenvironmentmustcome invia ourears,eyes,nose,tastebudsorskin.Ifdancecommunicatestousitmustdosothroughthesemodalities.Ifthereiskinestheticcommunicationsuch thatweexperienceasense ofmovementwhenwe do notmove,thenthismustbemediatedviatheother sensesandweneedtoaskhowthiscanbedone.Itisnotalwaysclearfrom thewordsofdancersand
DanceResearchournal16/2(Fall1984)19
 
writersondance thattheyacceptthatkinestheticcommuni-cationmust be mediatedvia the "external"senses.Royce(1977)writesofchannelsofcommunicationsofwhich thekinesthetichannelisprimary.The otherchannels areseeing,hearing,touchingandsmelling,allofwhichcontributeorcan contributeotheexperienceof dance.Roycesumsupthecommunicationschannelsbysaying:"Itisclearthatdanceutilizes anumberofchannels,thekinesthetic,whichis crucialtoit alone ofall thearts,and thevisual, aural,tactileandolfactory."p.200).Itappearsromthis thatRoyceconsiderskinestheticommunicationo beadirectcommunication,buthowisitconveyed?Ifkinestheticinformation(informationgivingrise toa sense ofmovement)is notvisual,auditory,tactileorolfactory,whatisit?If itisconveyedbyoneorallofthesesensemodalitiesbut thenrequirestranslationintoasenseof movementof theobserver'swnbody,thenitisnot a"channel"nthewaytheexteroceptivemodalitiesare. Itmaybeachannelinadifferentway,buttheuse of theword"channel"bscuresandmystifiesheprocessesof communica-tionrather thanclarifiesthem.Danceis oftencomparedtolanguage,sometimes becauserelationsbetweenstructureandmeaningcan becomparedtosyntaxandsemantics.However,ifwe thinkoflanguageasverbalcommunication,then we canalsocomparet to kines-theticcommunicationandinvestigatetheword"channel"nthiscontext.In ordertoconvey meaning,words mustbeseen,heardor touched.Peoplewithnormalvision andhearingexperiencewrittenandspokenwords,andthesamemeaningmaybeconveyedbyapatternofsoundwavesandapatternofmarksonapage.Ifauditionandvisionare channelsthenthemessagescarriedbythe channelsarequitedifferentbecausethephysicalnature ofthe stimuliisdifferent.Theblindanddeaf canperceivewordsbytouch,the deafbyseeing lipmovementsormanualsigns.All of thesedifferentphysicalstimulicanproducethesameunderstanding,themeaningofa word.If,onthe otherhand,we refertoa verbalchannel ofcommunicationhenwe meanthatunderstandingisconveyedviawords,whateverthe natureof thephysicalstimulusorthesensemodalitywhich receivedit.Inthiscasewecan becomeinterestedinhowdifferentkindsofsensoryinputrelateto anabstractrepresentationofmeaning.Itwould notmake sensetoreferto theverbal,visualandauditorychannelsof communicationbecausewe wouldbemixingdifferentusesof theword"channel,"andthissexactlywhathappensifwe refertokinesthetic,visual andauditorychannelsof communication.Dance,likemanyartforms,doesnot communicatedeasorfeelingswhichareeasilyverbalizable,althoughinsome cul-turesstylizedpatternsofdance haveagreedmeaningswhichmaybe verbalizable.In her treatmentofmeaningindanceRoycereferstoWaterman's1962)distinctionbetweenpat-ternsindancewhichhavesuchadenotativemeaningand"empathicubliminalcommunication"Royce1977,p. 195).Whileshedoes notfind thisdivisionadequate,Royceretainstheideathatdancecancommunicatesubliminallyandshelaterstatesthat"youmaybepresentedvisuallywith onemes-sagewhileyouarehearingorsubliminally experiencingyetanother"p.200).Thismayimplythatsubliminalexperienceisnot mediatedviavisionorhearing,oritmay simplymeanthatdancecanconveyseveralmeaningssimultaneously,andthatwedon'tknowhowthishappens.Theuse of"sublimi-nal"doesnotaddtotheexplanationofhowdancecommuni-
catesbecauseitisnotdefined,andthequestionsimplymovesfrom"Howdoesdancecommunicate?"to "Howdoesdancecommunicatesubliminally?"Asubliminalstimulusforperceptionisonewhich isbelow
the thresholdfor detection(limen=threshold).Ifapersontriesto detectthepresenceof averydimlightandisunable todoso,then thelightis of subliminalintensity.Subliminalperceptionoccurswhena stimuluswhichcannotbe detectedaffectsthe furtherbehaviorof thepersonwho hasbeenunabletodetectit. Suchperceptionis oftenconfusedwithperceptionwithoutawarenessandifwe find thatwe haverespondedtoperceptualcueswithoutbeingaware ofdoingso,wesaythatwepickedupthe cuessubliminally.However,inmanycasesif we are toldwhat theappropriatecuesare,weareperfectlyable todetectthem,thatis,theyare notsubliminal atall.Picking upan"impression"nwayswhichcannotbespecifieddoesnotmean that thepick-upprocessdealtwithsubliminalperceptualcues.IfIspeaktoagroupofpeopleandtheyallmakenormalsocialconversationandsayquite friendlythingsyetIfeelthattheyarehostiletome,itwouldprobablybe incorrectto concludethatthehostilitywascommunicatedubliminally,but theprocessesbywhichIbecomeawareof thehostilitymaynotthemselvesbe availa-ble toawareness.Non-verbalommunicationhas been studiedfor a considerableperiod (Argyle,1975)andwenowknowthat attitudeand emotion canbeconveyed by"bodylan-guage,"eyecontact,distancingandsoon.If apersonwhosenseshostilityis directed to theaspectsofthebehavior ofotherswhichbetrayedthishostilitythoseaspectswould bedetectable becausetheyare above thethresholdforpercep-tion and notsubliminal.The communicationissubtleandseemsmysteriousbut itis effectedviatheordinarysenseorgansoperatingon asupra-liminalnput,and themysteryliesin how we use and understandsignswhich wedo notknowthat weproduceorreceive.Wetendtoassume hatweknowwhetherapieceofinfor-mationreachedus viaparticularreceptorsuchas our ears oreyes,but thisisnotalwaysthe case.Veryfewpeopleknowthattheyareabletomaintain their balancethankstoareceptorsysteminthevestibule ofthe innerear,sotheyarenotable to attributesensationsof tiltandswayto theactivityofthatsystem the pitof the stomachmaybewhere weexper-iencethesensationbutthatis not the site of abalanceorgan).It is alsopossibleto misattribute heoriginofsensationsandperceptionswhen the existenceof the relevantperceptualsystemisknown.Theabilityofsomeblindpeopletodetectand avoid obstaclesand barrierswithoutanytactilecontactwasnoteasilyassignedo oneparticularsense.Many people,includingtheblindthemselves,believed thatavoidancewaspossibleonthebasis of "facialvision."It feltasiftheskin ofthe blindperson'sacepickedupsomeinformationfrom theenvironment,possiblyairmovement.However,a seriesofexperimentsinwhichblindpeoplewereaskedto detectobstacleswitha cloth overtheirfaces,orwhiletheywore earplugs,showedthat itwasnot the skin ofthe facewhichpicked uptheinformation,but the ears.Theblindwereusingechoesproducedwhen thesound oftheirown movementswasreflectedbacktothem,andcouldinfactusethistodistinguishquitesubtledifferencesbetweensurfacesKellogg,1962).Untiltherewasevidencethat"facialvision"was notoccurring,itisunlikelythattheexperienceofblindpeoplewouldhavebeenquestioned.Howcould asightedpersondenytheexperiencewhichsheor he wasunableto share?Thediscoveryhatauditorycueswere theimportantonesdoes notmeanthattheexperienceofthe blindpeoplewasincorrect,anymore thanitis incorrectoexperienceapitchorswayinthepitof one'sstomach.To understandhowinformationistransferredtisnecessarytoconsidermorethantheexperi-enceofthe receiver.Thisexperiencespartofwhat itistobeexplained,nottheexplanationtself.
20DanceResearchJournal16/2(Fall1984)

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->