Despite the snow, tonight’s lecture (2 March) is on!

March

2nd – Nancy Sherman

Dancers and Soldiers Sharing the Dance Floor: Emotional Expression in Dance

When we talk about emotional expression in ordinary interaction, what typically comes to mind is showing what you’re feeling. To express emotions often means to give a “read out” of the heart.  This was in no small part the mission of modern dance. “To make visible the interior landscape,” was how Martha Graham described the modernists’ reaction to the mannerism of ballet. But expression as showing what you’re feeling is far too narrow a view of the presentation of emotion in both ordinary interactions and performative space. Thinking about modern dance as a reaction to ballet, and ballet and its commingled roots in court etiquette and military drill sheds light on a broader view of emotion expression as communicative and the critical role of dynamic movement of the body proper in that expression.