Dance Aesthetics, Digital Media, and Commercialization

Dance Aesthetics, Digital Media, and Commercialization

Before my introduction to topics such as dance studies and dance aesthetics, as a young ballroom dancer I thought that there was a universal concept of beauty that every dance form had to adhere to, and I was under the impression that I was building my body to achieve it in my field. As I grew and saw other forms of dance as well as other forms of expression, I came to realize that the aesthetics of movement are very subjective and beyond having a human body vary widely between cultures and styles.  Take for instance the form of Butoh a Japanese form relaying on improvisation and inner expression rather than on form or outward focus. It became clear to me that like many other aspects of culture and human expression dance and movement and general are largely affected by context the same way our ideologies are. The proliferation of mix-style dance performances in the US through programs such as So You Think You Can Dance for example are a result of the digital mediation of dance styles in North America, its cultural melting pot philosophy, and the capitalist ethic that drives television production into artistic output. I am curious to see where this journey will take us but meanwhile let’s not lose track of what really matters to us, the creators of this expression…

Below I discuss some of these topics with an internationally recognized dancer and theatre performer, the recipient of Jacob’s Pillow scholarship and apprentice of Chet Walker, Milos Jadzic.


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