In this study,in order to answer the question of what are being shifted with the identity shifting process, This paper has been organized in three section based on philosophical framework, which is the shifting of movement, the shifting of knowledge and the shifting of interpretation. The first section of this paper sets out to investigate the movement shifting as the change of the way of body move.
This section will determine the differences of technique and the essential of movement in ballet and contemporary dance as the symbol of body shifting by the theory of anthropology, in particular, through an in-depth study of the sense of touch, kinaesthesia and the essential of movement in ballet and contemporary dance to further explain the movement shifting. As Caroline Potter(2008) points out that the sense of kinesthesia is essential for dancer and dance student.
In Potter’s research, she profounds the importance of kinesthesia, a sense of motion to dancer and dance student , and puts forward a point of view that the enhancement of kinesthesia enable dancer and dance student to adapt to the professional dance community. The traditional human sense includes sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. On top of this five sense , the sense of motion is one of important multiple sensation for people who engaged in dance.
The definition of the sense of motion, also called kinesthesia, as the author suggested is that , “ a dynamic sense of constantly shifting one’s body in space and time in oder to achieve a desired end. ” For a ballet dancer, the identity shifting from ballet to contemporary dancer also requires a shifting of the sense of motion. In ballet and contemporary dance, there are tow of totally opposite feeling of movement. In contemporary dance, for instance, one of the main point of movement is focusing on the relationship between body and weight.
Gravity of body and movement plays an important role in contemporary dance. The weight of the body gathered in the pelvis, so as to realize the connection of body and ground in order to achieve the ideal movement texture, technique and contemporary style. Whether it is the floor sequence, standing combination or jumping, contemporary dance is always highlighted the real weight of body and the weight are always heavy and grounded . Therefore, the conversion of a ballet dancer in contemporary dance performances and training have to go through a movement quality shifting rom lightness to weightiness and the body gravity shifting from up to down.
Because in classical ballet, the emphases of each steps, gestures and postures are continually extend toward to the sky. Furthermore, the movement must be lightsome and effortlessly with walking, turning and even jumping. In classical ballet, dancers are required to raise the torso, extend the upper body, resisting the force of gravity and striving to light and graceful.
The ballet dancers have to control the body’s weight in order to achieve a fast and agile quality of movement and the felling of floating in the air. Besides, another common but crucial sense in contemporary dance is touch. This kind of touch especially is used by contact improvisation. According to the author’s interpretation, contact improvisation is “movement are generated through the improvement of physical contact of one body with another. ” In classical ballet, the contact movement is mainly present in Pas de deux.
However, the touch in ballet and contemporary dance have completely different concept and feeling. For example, in contact improvisation class, the movement is happening randomly, the any part of body can be connected and touched, and the weight of contact between the two dancer is determined by themselves. This kind of touch is difficult for ballerina because contact improvisation requires to feel the weight of dancer self and partner, one have to focus on the resistance and absorption of the weight and change the movement or posture to maintain the contact of bodies.
Dancer must let the weight to lead the change of movement, rather then the individual initiative to produce the steps. On the other hand, the touch of ballet in Pas de deux is another concept. Ballerina needs to keep their balance and control of the movement, they cannot be the same as contact improvisation to exert weight and touch to their partner. The touch movement in ballet in based on lift and turn, other times, male dancer just hand gently to maintain the stability of the modeling and moving of the ballerina.
In ballet, the touch can be understand as the achievement of ballerina’s perfect movement by the help of male dancers, so that ballerina can move elegantly and airily. But the touch in contemporary dance, especially in contact improvisation, valuing more about the transition of contact and weight shifting between two body. In pas de deus, what ballerina need to do is just keep the control of self and specification of movement, and they don’t rely on partner too much or impose their weight.
In contact improvisation, it is need to change the center of movement and mind, and the attention should be shifted from its own movement and body to the interaction of weights and listening to the body’s moves. Therefore, from the perspective of anthropology, to achieve the transformation of the identity of the dancers, ballerina must first understand the two kinds of different movements essentials because the sense of motion is the most distinct character of any style and type of dance.