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‘The cycle of creativity’: a case study of the working relationship between a dance teacher and a dance musician in a ballet class
Research in Dance Education  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-08-26, DOI: 10.1080/14647893.2021.1971645


ABSTRACT

Research on the role of the ballet pianist is limited. A gap in the literature concerns the ways in which dance instructors and accompanists ‘make sense’ of their collaboration. The working relationship between a dance teacher and a dance musician in a ballet class was investigated. The researcher, a ballet pianist, conducted a semi-structured, in-depth interview with a ballet-teacher colleague who is also a musician and composer. The data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), a methodology which takes into account the interpretations of the participant (dance teacher) and the researcher (dance musician). This single case study presents three higher-order themes: ‘the cycle of creativity’ between the teacher, musician, and students; ‘a tonic sense in the body’ facilitated by the musician’s playing; and ‘the ideal situation’ regarding the musician’s sensory awareness during the class. It also reveals two subordinate themes that challenge effective relationships: the students’ perceived response to percussion; and the teacher’s use of recorded music. The results offer insight into specific perceptions and understandings that are transferable to dance teachers and dance musicians engaged in continuing professional development.