Mason’s piece, Music, Dance and the Total Art Work: Choreomusicology in Theory and Practice, was a very insightful piece that opened my eyes to the unique relationship between music and dance. Dance and music are two arts that are complete in itself, yet they can alter one another. Dance and music are powerful arts because there movements attempt to visualize human emotion. Mason explains that it is crucial to understand the relationship between dance and music because this understanding can help a choreographer to better convey their message to their audience. Mason spoke about Russian choreographer Fedor Lopukhov’s four stages of a developing relationship between music and dance which I found to be very interesting. In the first stage, dance and music standalone from each other. The second stage uses music in the dance piece, but the dance dominates over the music. In the third stage, the music becomes the focus of the piece, and the dance becomes subordinated. In the final stage, dance and music are in harmony with each other. Overall, I found Mason’s piece to be very informative and intriguing.
I also found it interesting how both readings emphasized the idea that music and dance can create different dimensions for similar expressions. Dancers must feel the music, and by doing so must become musicians. In the same sense, composers must become “dancers” by understanding the body’s movement. Making Music for Modern Dance explores some of the limits music can have on the creative process of dance; music can be a repetitive while dance rarely repeats because dance is “unfolding” work. I found this to be interesting because I have never thought about how repetitive music could have limitations on a dance.
One “theme” that stood out in the reading for me was the idea that dance is all about taking risks. Some of the world’s greatest dance achievements occurred because dancers like Doris Humphrey and Isadora Duncan took an artistic risk, but because of that risk, their work became master pieces. I find it comforting to know that these amazing choreographers took risks in their work; this gives me a sense of comfort when it comes to my choreography because I will be taking risks all the time. This is my first experience working with choreography, and just like what we said in the first day of class, it is okay if you don’t know what you’re doing. “Messiness is part of the fun” (Professor Mathern).