The Performer-Audience Connection

[ Film, Media, and Popular Culture ]

The Performer-Audience Connection

Emotion to Metaphor in Dance and Society

By Judith Lynne Hanna

A pioneering foray into one of the major puzzles of human communication: the communication of emotion in dance.



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6 x 9 | 286 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-76480-4

The Performer-Audience Connection is a pioneering foray into one of the major puzzles of human communication: the communication of emotion in dance. It is the first attempt of its kind systematically to investigate what performers wish to convey and what audiences perceive in the performance of dance.

The centerpiece of this provocative book is an examination of performer intentions and audience response at eight dance performances in Washington, D.C. Part of the Smithsonian Institution Division of Performing Arts Dance Series, these concerts featured a variety of dance genres and cultures: American tap dance, Kathakali dance-drama from Kerala, India, Japanese Kabuki, contemporary avant-garde dance, Philippine folk dance, the Indian classical tradition of Kuchipudi, and modern dance to an AfroAmerican spiritual.

How did dancer and audience interact at the emotional level on these eight occasions? What affected performer-audience rapport? Through interviews of both spectators and dancers, Judith Lynne Hanna explores the performers' ways of imparting emotion through movement and audience members' expectations and responses. In doing so she casts new light on important issues of cultural identity, sex role, historic attitudes toward dance, and even marketing the arts today.

A landmark work not only for performers who wish to reach their audiences more effectively but also for choreographers, anthropologists, specialists in nonverbal communication, behavioral scientists, educators, and all who are fascinated by the arts and the special magic of the "performer-audience connection."

A leading dance scholar and critic, Judith Lynne Hanna is Affiliate Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland. She has written hundreds of articles and numerous books.

" … thoroughly original, sound, and stimulating. Judith Hanna has successfully established the nexus between dancer, dance, and audience, and to my knowledge this is the first time that has been achieved.

"I think that anyone who has anything to do with dance would want to read this book … "
—Ashley Montagu

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