partnerdanceonline.com
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 23, 2014, 09:24:48 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
A lot of people are visiting Smiley Smiley
Undecided Undecided but not many are posting....
please say hi Cheesy
116434 Posts in 1855 Topics by 221 Members
Latest Member: EVE_Dance
* Home Help Search Calendar Login Register
+  partnerdanceonline.com
|-+  Partner Dancing
| |-+  Partner Dances
| | |-+  Ballroom dance -advanced (Moderators: Rugby, cornutt, ZPomeroy)
| | | |-+  technique vs. expression
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 Print
Author Topic: technique vs. expression  (Read 5114 times)
elisedance
Administrator
Blackpool Finalist
*****
Posts: 34997


ee


« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2011, 08:35:26 PM »

[I also just remembered a world finalist I've had lessons with who says she wasn't aware of her feet or legs.  As far as she was concerned, she had stumps that stopped above the thighs.  So I wonder what it is that we call "technique" that these folks at the top don't place that much emphasis on. 

Yes - but was that the product or the origin?

I mean the whole point of learning technique IS so that you can forget it.  There are umpteen examples of this - and thats how a child learns too, it stumbles at first while it concentrates on standing up and taking a step until that 'technique' is mastered, it does it automatically and it can turn its attention to the next challenge, say climbing out of the crib Wink

Even I don't think about my footactions any more (least untill I have to modify something incompletely learned) - but that does not mean I didn't have to think about it when I learned it originally. 

Technique is almost by definition training to the point where you can forget it - which is why learning correct technique is so important: if its wrong it will haunt you throughout your dancing.
Logged

If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
Some guy
Intermediate Silver
*
Posts: 1462


« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2011, 01:51:56 AM »

Yes - but was that the product or the origin?
Origin. 

It could just be that we have a difference definition of technique. 
Logged
elisedance
Administrator
Blackpool Finalist
*****
Posts: 34997


ee


« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2011, 05:01:29 AM »

Yes - but was that the product or the origin?
Origin. 

It could just be that we have a difference definition of technique. 

I think so.  If we are talking about the same coach Smiley I know she had to do lots and lots of drills.  Drills are to me a way to establish technique - even if you don't know what that technique is specifically. 
Logged

If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
Some guy
Intermediate Silver
*
Posts: 1462


« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2011, 02:00:35 PM »

Drills are to me a way to establish technique - even if you don't know what that technique is specifically.  
That's the point I'm trying to make.  Going back to your earlier mention of how babies master "technique", I don't think there needs to be an awareness of technique for you to master it. What I've experienced and what I'm seeing is far too much emphasis on technique followed by the question, "well, when can I stop thinking about technique and just dance?".  I think dancing should come first.  Technique is a by-product of the training, a term given to the end result.  It's like "turning" in ballroom.  You don't turn, you are turned.  However, people spend years trying to perfect the balance and technique of a spot turn or a simple under arm turn because they're trying to master the technique of turning.  Where do I first place my foot, where do I initiate the rotation of my body, where does my weight transfer to, what is *this* muscle supposed to do?  How many degrees do my shoulders rotate? ... and hence, 10 years later you get dancers like the ones you find in my neck of woods: ones that will still happily spend 2hrs of lesson time (for the 99th time) learning how to do a turn because they still can't stick a turn.  When you don't worry about the technique, just change direction, the turn happens and so does the technique.  The more you practice that, the better your turn becomes and observers will look at it and say you turn very well.  Really?  I'm not turning.  Then they'll say how good the technique and footwork is.  Really?  I have no feet and I didn't ever once think about what you call technique: "turn leg 45 degrees, turn shoulder 32 degrees, go up on toe on count 2&..."  It's a term given to what you observe me doing.  Not the action of what it is I'm focusing my attention on.  

When we were babies, we didn't master the techinque before we could walk.  We just learned to walk, and an observer can comment that we mastered the technique.  At least I don't ever recall what the technique I worked on was: I just know I learned to walk, and today, I could write books about the technique just by observing what I'm doing.  Same with riding a bike: I never concentrated on technique.  I just learned to ride.  Once I could ride it people could look and say my technique is better.  However, at no point did I have to make the decision to abandon technique and just ride.

I think the point of my post is to get the point across that technique is learned indirectly as a result of focusing on the picture.  Focusing on technique before dancing, to me, is akin to trying to form the picture in the paint and then lifting up the picture from the paint and placing it on the paper.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 02:02:33 PM by Some guy » Logged
elisedance
Administrator
Blackpool Finalist
*****
Posts: 34997


ee


« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2011, 02:52:49 PM »

I think I finally understand.  All I had to do was to go to the outcome
...
...

.......
........ Smiley
Logged

If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
Some guy
Intermediate Silver
*
Posts: 1462


« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2011, 03:34:26 PM »

I believe that's the next quantal shift!   Cheesy

At first it can be very scary to abandon technique as one immediately thinks one becomes "sloppy".  That might be the case if the dancing wasn't creating the technique.  So it's important to learn to dance, to learn to perform the outcome.  In order improve the observer's perception of technique the actions needed to produce the outcome might have to be tweaked.  That action is very different from what the observer perceives as technique.  

The best example I can think of is the closing of feet.  Our feet should close if we have enough motion or move in a way that one foot is dragged into the other foot.  Those that just perform the technique of closing the feet, if they decide to abandon their technique, might not have enough motion to actually produce a closed set of feet.  So they will be sloppy in that their feet won't close.  That's when the teacher will tell you how to create enough motion or move in such a way as to make your free foot run into your standing foot.  When you get the body motion down, the closing of feet will occur.  So you mastered the technique of neat footwork when closing your feet because you learned how to dance your feet to a closed position.  Not because you closed your feet (the technical aspect that an observer will see).  Same with a lock step: the feet locked because you moved diagonally across your standing leg, not because you locked your feet.  The technical aspect of a lock step will be observed if the body is danced diagonally across the standing leg.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 03:39:05 PM by Some guy » Logged
elisedance
Administrator
Blackpool Finalist
*****
Posts: 34997


ee


« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2011, 05:10:54 PM »

So what you are basically saying is that the body motion should be learned first then ballance and lastly, if there is a residual problem, the actions of a body part are addressed; not the opposite order as is typical.  Hence, at danger of sounding trite, the body school.
Logged

If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
Some guy
Intermediate Silver
*
Posts: 1462


« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2011, 05:34:41 PM »

So what you are basically saying is that the body motion should be learned first then ballance and lastly, if there is a residual problem, the actions of a body part are addressed; not the opposite order as is typical.  Hence, at danger of sounding trite, the body school.
I believe so.  What's interesting is that I had a discussion about this with two very prominent and knowledgeable Round School judges and they seemed to agree with the same thing.  Certain principles are different, like moving around your partner rather than through, but using the body to create the technique appears to be common ground.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 05:40:35 PM by Some guy » Logged
drj
Bronze
*
Posts: 334



« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2011, 07:11:28 AM »

An article in the NY Times today about what makes music expressive. On the NYT website, there is a related test http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/04/18/science/20110419-music-expression.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=thab1, in which you can listen to three examples of performance of a Chopin passage, one by a pianist, two by a computer that stripped out various elements: timing, volume, etc. You choose which performance you think is most expressive.

The gist of the article, and the test, was that the most expressive performances were those that had greatest variation in volume and/or timing, and those variations were in themselves what made expression in music. This is so self-evident to me that I wondered that it was necessary to write the article; I mean, duh. What I found on topic to this discussion was the clear difference in expression made by the human performer -- who, we assume, has years of technical training but also the ability to exercise his/her musical/artistic taste -- intelligently. The computer was technically perfect, but without expression (no surprise here, at least not to me).

When I play piano, I have no technique, but I am very musical, so people listen to me anyway. In the immortal words of Oscar Wilde, "I don't play accurately -- anybody can play accurately -- but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte." Bringing this back on topic: I have had the good fortune to be taught dance by a teacher who understands that dance comes first, and technique will follow. Move the body; the feet will go where they need to go. I fought him for a while, b/c I believed that it was important to know, frex, if there should a 3/8 turn or a 1/4 turn in my left foot. Hah. Once I stopped worrying about that, it became easier to dance.

« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 10:14:34 AM by drj » Logged

ancora imparo
elisedance
Administrator
Blackpool Finalist
*****
Posts: 34997


ee


« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2011, 07:16:13 AM »

drj - what a fantastic post.  Expression is, of course, dangerous so people tend to hide in technique, thinking it will make them excellent withouth having to take a chance.  Of course many people either never had, or have lost, the ability to express.

I have the same thing in my playing - my technique leaves a lot to be desired (and I'm working on it) but people always comment on my expressiveness and musicality. 

Hey, wanna play together some time? Grin
Logged

If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
pruthe
Bronze
*
Posts: 274



« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2011, 12:02:08 PM »

I know for this topic, there are those who feel deeply one way or the other. For myself, when watching others dance, I'm looking for both technique and expression. If the technique is good, I tend to notice the expression better. If the technique is not good, it detracts from my feeling of expression. Kind of like a pianist who is playing a classic work and hits the wrong keys during the performance. The pianist may think they are playing with expression, but for the listener, it may be diminished because of technical errors.

For me, the technique does not just happen. Many times when I do without some understanding, it just doesn't look good. Even if does initially look good, I'm not sure what I'm doing and it may look bad later. Therefore for my training, I'm trying to put emphasis on technique with goal to later add expression. If I were to give a dance performance though, I would do my best to give expression along with the technique. I think having a phased approach to learning technique and expression (or vice versa) is probably a good thing.
Logged

"It's not what you do, but how you do it."

"The Truth in Ballroom Dance is found in the Basic steps."

A.S.
elisedance
Administrator
Blackpool Finalist
*****
Posts: 34997


ee


« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2011, 02:03:37 PM »

In dance I think the whole point is to not see technique at all.  the best dancers seem to require no effort and no technique...
Logged

If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
Some guy
Intermediate Silver
*
Posts: 1462


« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2011, 02:44:23 PM »

Completely agree.  

"Any technique, however worthy and desirable, becomes a disease when the mind is obsessed with it". - Bruce Lee.

"Art is the expression of the self. The more complicated and restricted the method, the less the opportunity for expression of one's original sense of freedom. Though they play an important role in the early stage, the techniques should not be too mechanical, complex or restrictive. If we cling blindly to them, we shall eventually become bound by their limitations. Remember, you are expressing the techniques and not doing the techniques. If somebody attacks you, your response is not Technique No.1, Stance No. 2, Section 4, Paragraph 5. Instead you simply move in like sound and echo, without any deliberation. It is as though when I call you, you answer me, or when I throw you something, you catch it. It's as simple as that - no fuss, no mess". - Bruce Lee.

"A martial artist who drills exclusively to a set pattern of combat is losing his freedom. He is actually becoming a slave to a choice pattern and feels that the pattern is the real thing. It leads to stagnation because the way of combat is never based on personal choice and fancies, but constantly changes from moment to moment, and the disappointed combatant will soon find out that his 'choice routine' lacks pliability. There must be a 'being' instead of a 'doing' in training. One must be free. Instead of complexity of form, there should be simplicity of expression" - Bruce Lee.

"The highest technique is to have no technique. My technique is a result of your technique; my movement is a result of your movement" - Bruce Lee.

"Too much horsing around with unrealistic stances and classic forms and rituals is just too artificial and mechanical, and doesn't really prepare the student for actual combat. A guy could get clobbered while getting into this classical mess. Classical methods like these, which I consider a form of paralysis, only solidify and constrain what was once fluid. Their practitioners are merely blindly rehearsing routines and stunts that will lead nowhere" - Bruce Lee.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 02:53:01 PM by Some guy » Logged
Some guy
Intermediate Silver
*
Posts: 1462


« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2011, 02:58:08 PM »

"... A guy could get clobbered while getting into this classical mess..." - Bruce Lee.

"Clobbered", that's how I felt at competitions. Cheesy  
Logged
elisedance
Administrator
Blackpool Finalist
*****
Posts: 34997


ee


« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2011, 03:01:46 PM »


"Too much horsing around with unrealistic stances and classic forms and rituals is just too artificial and mechanical, and doesn't really prepare the student for actual combat. A guy could get clobbered while getting into this classical mess. Classical methods like these, which I consider a form of paralysis, only solidify and constrain what was once fluid. Their practitioners are merely blindly rehearsing routines and stunts that will lead nowhere" - Bruce Lee.

Wow, that bears repeating.
Logged

If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!