Each represents different intellectual genealogies, political and philosophical investments, and motivating questions.
While I think a rapprochement is on the horizon, it would be misleading to collapse the two.
I would like to focus this thought piece, therefore, on analyses of the digital and digital modes of analysis arising from within and in relation to the field of dance studies.
From the outset, I want to distinguish digital research in dance studies, which is an emerging area of inquiry, from the long-established field of dance-technology.
In addition, we release a first-of-its-kind open-source dataset of videos that can be legally used for training and motion transfer.
As an emerging scholar, it is with some trepidation that I describe emerging or “vital” areas of research in my field; I do not have the perspective that some of my senior colleagues might possess.From my perspective, limited documentation, and limited access to what documentation exists, has been Although dancers and dance scholars have labored intensively to articulate alternative value systems, in a culture of knowledge that valorizes disembodied archival records, dance practices have been dispossessed of their histories.The absence of documentation has presented a greater barrier to the legitimacy of dance as an academic field of study than, for example, puritanical fears of the body, the steady decline of physical and arts education arts in primary and secondary school curricula, or institutionalized discrimination (dance being a field dominated by women and racial and sexual minorities).Dancers and dance practices have generally been intertwined, with dancers implicated in the perpetuation of practices by carrying the layered histories of movement in their bodies, both as personal biography and as communal choreography.Not only skill, then, but also lineage has been important to a dancer’s overall valuation.Moving among these fields and finding co-articulations around shared concepts of performance, improvisation, and embodiment, for example, and mobilizing concepts such as choreography beyond the field of dance proper, scholars have extended the reach of dance studies from dancers, dances, and dancing to include all sorts of human and non-human movements and movers.Generally, however, analyses of movement in dance studies intersect with analyses of bodily techniques, that is to say, as a matrix of relations that is both the enabling and the constraining condition of possibility for performance.Its research areas therefore emphasize critically framed historical and cultural analyses of dance and movement practices.A multi-disciplinary field, dance studies is greatly informed by scholars’ travels among theater and performance studies, folklore and ethnomusicology, popular culture and media studies, ethnic and area studies, gender and sexuality studies, political theory, economics, and corporeality studies.Nonetheless, the tethering of physical practice to scholarly product in practice-informed research has always energized dance studies, which has made a virtue out of an institutional necessity.Dance is not like music, visual art, or literature, where colleges and universities segregate historians and cultural critics from creative practitioners, housing them in separate programs, departments, or even schools.