Finding freedom in sounds and steps: employing choreomusicology as a dramaturgical tool
Burg, Lisa van den
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A meeting of music, movement, and meaning-making This thesis demonstrates how ideas about the body as a site of political struggle are embedded in choreomusical relationships. Choreomusicology, a term that is coined by musicologist Paul Hodgins in 1992, is a contraction of the terms choreography and musicology and describes the connection between the two disciplines of dance and music in the performance field. This term addresses both a discourse on the relation between dance and music and a framework for choreomusical analysis. Drawing from analytical methods on choreomusical relationships proposed by Hodgins and dance scholar Stephanie Jordan, in this thesis I create a framework that addresses intrinsic and extrinsic relationships, music visualization, and rhythmic counterpoint. Subsequently, working with this framework, I combine choreomusical analysis with dramaturgical analysis, looking at how new meaning emerges in the encounter between music and dance. Drawing on theatre scholars Joe Kelleher and Colette Conroy’s theory on politics in theatre studies and the body as a site of power, I demonstrate on basis of the self-established themes of the body in relation, the body struggling, and the body in submission how choreomusical relations can carry political meaning. To specify, I explore how choreomusical relationships carry ideas about the body as a site of political struggle. Choreomusicology as a method is hardly used in the field of dance studies, since most dance scholars today study dance from a more contextual approach. Conversely, dramaturgical analysis does not address the compositional aspect of a performance in as much detail as choreomusical analysis. Therefore, by bringing these two methods of analysis together in analysing the contemporary dance performance any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones by Jan Martens, I aim to contribute to a deepening of both approaches. By looking at the cooperation and distribution of power of choreomusical relationships from a relational political point of view, this performance shows that the dramaturgical message of any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones is grounded in detailed layers of composition. Consequently, based on the results of both choreomusical and dramaturgical analysis, I argue that ideas about the body as a site of political struggle are embedded in choreomusical relationships in any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones by Jan Martens.