Bereit für einen Selbstversuch?

Screenshot SelbstversuchIn den letzten Wochen haben wir von dem Forschungsprojekt berichtet: wie es zu diesem Projekt kam und wie es sich entwickelt hat. Außerdem kamen die Probanden des Experiments zu Wort und berichteten von ihren Erlebnissen. Nun haben Sie, liebe Leser, die Möglichkeit, selbst Proband zu werden und das Experiment auszuprobieren.

Ab sofort gibt es in diesem Blog den neuen Navigationspunkt „Selbstversuch“. Dort werden Sie durch das Experiment geführt.

Der Selbstversuch beinhaltet das Original-Stimulusmaterial. Prof. Jenny Coogan und Prof. José Biondi von der Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden haben dieses Material entwickelt und aufgenommen. Die Erstellung des Materials entpuppte sich als Herausforderung. Es galt, zwei Bewegungssequenzen von gleicher Länge und Komplexität zu erstellen und diese sowohl als Video als auch als Text aufzunehmen. Prof. Jenny Coogan berichtet über die Entwicklung des Materials, die damit verbunden Schwierigkeiten und Dinge, die sie beim nächsten Versuchsaufbau anders machen würde:

I would like to share with all you readers and experimenters our processes of constructing the visual and verbal material used for the experiment and reflections about what we learned from it.

The two 25 seconds long phrases of contemporary dance which the dancers were asked to learn were created by José Biondi and me. Both phrases, though each with an individual choreographic signature, contained the same catalog of elements that included the actions of turning, flexing and extending of limbs, pausing, suspending and releasing weight as well as changes in spatial orientation and movement happening simultaneously and in succession. In constructing the material we had to consider that the dancers would be learning and performing the phrases in a very limited space with 20 vicon markers attached to their bodies. Therefore the phrases could not involve any floorwork, percussive movements or expansive jumps that might send the vicon markers flying through the space. The aim was for both phrases to be not only of equal length, but also of equal complexity. The choreography was performed and recorded on video by a male, freelance contemporary dancer. We did not want to work with a dancer from the immediate Palucca community, but rather with someone unfamiliar to the group of participants. Ideal would have been for the same dancer to both perform the material and narrate the verbal instructions. Unfortunately we did not find a male dancer that could perform the material in a stylistically neutral manner and speak the English language texts with ease and without accent in our given time frame. The English language was chosen as the language for the texts as the primary language of teaching for the participant group is English.

After the phrases were recorded the texts were constructed. Each text is equal in length and is longer that the videotaped phrases by a factor of three. In the construction of the texts it was important to consider the differing levels of language comprehension among the participants. Therefore the texts are constructed in a functional manner using a simple vocabulary. Eliminated is the use of any dance terminology that specifically labels the action, like for example plié and tendu. Creating the texts proved far more challenging than creating the movement phrases as the language had to be precise without being extraneous, ordered logically and understandably, without the use of labels and compromised in time.

In constructing the texts it became evident that in fact the movement phrases were not equal in complexity, but that in one of the phrases simultaneous actions happened much more frequently and therefore required more words for instruction. Therefore the texts are equal in length but not equal in the number of words spoken. As the narrator, a native English speaker, needed to speak one text more quickly, the pacing of this text is far more rushed thus making its comprehension more difficult.

If this experiment were to be carried out again under the same set of conditions, I would certainly create the texts and movement simultaneously, rigorously paying attention to the equality of complexity of the dance phrases, and to the phrasing and musicality of the spoken texts.

An example of learning through doing!

Jenny Coogan, 10.07.14

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