amandapalmer

From Science Daily
Going Through the Motions Improves Dance Performance
July 23, 2013 — Expert ballet dancers seem to glide effortlessly across the stage, but learning the steps is both physically and mentally demanding. New research suggests that dance marking — loosely practicing a routine by “going through the motions” — may improve the quality of dance performance by reducing the mental strain needed to perfect the movements.


The new findings, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggest that marking may alleviate the conflict between the cognitive and physical aspects of dance practice, allowing dancers to memorize and repeat steps more fluidly.
Researcher Edward Warburton, a former professional ballet dancer, and colleagues were interested in exploring the “thinking behind the doing of dance.”
"It is widely assumed that the purpose of marking is to conserve energy," explains Warburton, professor of dance at the University of California, Santa Cruz. "But elite-level dance is not only physically demanding, it’s cognitively demanding as well:
Learning and rehearsing a dance piece requires concentration on many aspects of the desired performance.”
Marking essentially involves a run-through of the dance routine, but with a focus on the routine itself, rather than making the perfect movements.
"When marking, the dancer often does not leave the floor, and may even substitute hand gestures for movements," Warburton explains. "One common example is using a finger rotation to represent a turn while not actually turning the whole body."
To investigate how marking influences performance, the researchers asked a group of talented dance students to learn two routines: they were asked to practice one routine at performance speed and to practice the other one by marking.
The routines were relatively simple, designed to be learned quickly and to minimize mistakes. Yet differences emerged when the judges looked for quality of performance.
Across many of the different techniques and steps, the dancers were judged more highly on the routine that they had practiced with marking — their movements on the marked routine appeared to be more seamless, their sequences more fluid.
The researchers surmise that practicing at performance speed didn’t allow the dancers to memorize and consolidate the steps as a sequence, thus encumbering their performance.
"By reducing the demands on complex control of the body, marking may reduce the multi-layered cognitive load used when learning choreography," Warburton explains.
While marking is often thought of as a necessary evil — allowing dancers a “break” from dancing full out — the large effect sizes observed in the study suggest that it could make a noticeable difference in a dancer’s performance:
"Marking could be strategically used by teachers and choreographers to enhance memory and integration of multiple aspects of a piece precisely at those times when dancers are working to master the most demanding material," says Warburton.
It’s unclear whether these performance improvements would be seen for other types of dance, Warburton cautions, but it is possible that this area of research could extend to other kinds of activities, perhaps even language acquisition.
"Smaller scale movement systems with low energetic costs such as speech, sign language, and gestures may likewise accrue cognitive benefits, as might be the case in learning new multisyllabic vocabulary or working on one’s accent in a foreign language."

From Science Daily

Going Through the Motions Improves Dance Performance

July 23, 2013 — Expert ballet dancers seem to glide effortlessly across the stage, but learning the steps is both physically and mentally demanding. New research suggests that dance marking — loosely practicing a routine by “going through the motions” — may improve the quality of dance performance by reducing the mental strain needed to perfect the movements.


The new findings, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggest that marking may alleviate the conflict between the cognitive and physical aspects of dance practice, allowing dancers to memorize and repeat steps more fluidly.

Researcher Edward Warburton, a former professional ballet dancer, and colleagues were interested in exploring the “thinking behind the doing of dance.”

"It is widely assumed that the purpose of marking is to conserve energy," explains Warburton, professor of dance at the University of California, Santa Cruz. "But elite-level dance is not only physically demanding, it’s cognitively demanding as well:

Learning and rehearsing a dance piece requires concentration on many aspects of the desired performance.”

Marking essentially involves a run-through of the dance routine, but with a focus on the routine itself, rather than making the perfect movements.

"When marking, the dancer often does not leave the floor, and may even substitute hand gestures for movements," Warburton explains. "One common example is using a finger rotation to represent a turn while not actually turning the whole body."

To investigate how marking influences performance, the researchers asked a group of talented dance students to learn two routines: they were asked to practice one routine at performance speed and to practice the other one by marking.

The routines were relatively simple, designed to be learned quickly and to minimize mistakes. Yet differences emerged when the judges looked for quality of performance.

Across many of the different techniques and steps, the dancers were judged more highly on the routine that they had practiced with marking — their movements on the marked routine appeared to be more seamless, their sequences more fluid.

The researchers surmise that practicing at performance speed didn’t allow the dancers to memorize and consolidate the steps as a sequence, thus encumbering their performance.

"By reducing the demands on complex control of the body, marking may reduce the multi-layered cognitive load used when learning choreography," Warburton explains.

While marking is often thought of as a necessary evil — allowing dancers a “break” from dancing full out — the large effect sizes observed in the study suggest that it could make a noticeable difference in a dancer’s performance:

"Marking could be strategically used by teachers and choreographers to enhance memory and integration of multiple aspects of a piece precisely at those times when dancers are working to master the most demanding material," says Warburton.

It’s unclear whether these performance improvements would be seen for other types of dance, Warburton cautions, but it is possible that this area of research could extend to other kinds of activities, perhaps even language acquisition.

"Smaller scale movement systems with low energetic costs such as speech, sign language, and gestures may likewise accrue cognitive benefits, as might be the case in learning new multisyllabic vocabulary or working on one’s accent in a foreign language."

fastcompany
fastcompany:

If you don’t want to slam the brakes on your next brainstorming session, avoid these idea-killing phrases.
Ideas are fragile—they’re easily shattered by snubs, smirks, and scorn. And brainstorms are equally delicate. The wrong words at the wrong time bring brainstorming to a screeching halt.
The function of brainstorming has received its share of badmouthing in recent years, often for good cause. And many of those problems stem from statements made before or during brainstorming sessions.
For healthy brainstorming and bountiful ideas, always steer clear of these seven sentences:
Read More>

fastcompany:

If you don’t want to slam the brakes on your next brainstorming session, avoid these idea-killing phrases.

Ideas are fragile—they’re easily shattered by snubs, smirks, and scorn. And brainstorms are equally delicate. The wrong words at the wrong time bring brainstorming to a screeching halt.

The function of brainstorming has received its share of badmouthing in recent years, often for good cause. And many of those problems stem from statements made before or during brainstorming sessions.

For healthy brainstorming and bountiful ideas, always steer clear of these seven sentences:

Read More>

fastcompany
fastcompany:

I have a lot of ideas in my head. And for the most part, that’s where they used to stay.
In my head. Where other people couldn’t see them, interact with them or build upon them. Where they were safe and untested and uncriticized. All mine.
Sure, I’ve created some. Some might say I’ve created plenty. But that’s only because they can’t see what I’m not creating. For example, this very post sat dormant for at least a month while I pondered, waited and nitpicked at it.
Because the riskiest, most dangerous and potentially most interesting ideas are the easiest to hold back. I would pin them down like butterflies on a mat, like art at a museum. They were in spreadsheets, in notebooks, on scrap paper around my desk.
And while it might feel creative to think of these ideas, they were dying a lonely death when I wasn’t doing anything with them. They didn’t get their chance to add anything to the world. To affect someone. To spark something.
I lost out, too, with this arrangement. I didn’t push myself to think deeper and harder. I lost out on the feedback or insight or even criticism of others. I missed the chance to discover uncharted territory within myself. I stopped before I could start.
It wasn’t the best life I could give my ideas—or myself.
So I decided to change. To find a way forward, I cataloged all the things that had ever stopped me from creating so I could shoot them down, one-by-one. It turned out to be a helpful exercise, so I thought I’d share. 
Do any of these reasons for not creating something sound familiar to you?
Read More>

fastcompany:

I have a lot of ideas in my head. And for the most part, that’s where they used to stay.

In my head. Where other people couldn’t see them, interact with them or build upon them. Where they were safe and untested and uncriticized. All mine.

Sure, I’ve created some. Some might say I’ve created plenty. But that’s only because they can’t see what I’m not creating. For example, this very post sat dormant for at least a month while I pondered, waited and nitpicked at it.

Because the riskiest, most dangerous and potentially most interesting ideas are the easiest to hold back. I would pin them down like butterflies on a mat, like art at a museum. They were in spreadsheets, in notebooks, on scrap paper around my desk.

And while it might feel creative to think of these ideas, they were dying a lonely death when I wasn’t doing anything with them. They didn’t get their chance to add anything to the world. To affect someone. To spark something.

I lost out, too, with this arrangement. I didn’t push myself to think deeper and harder. I lost out on the feedback or insight or even criticism of others. I missed the chance to discover uncharted territory within myself. I stopped before I could start.

It wasn’t the best life I could give my ideas—or myself.

So I decided to change. To find a way forward, I cataloged all the things that had ever stopped me from creating so I could shoot them down, one-by-one. It turned out to be a helpful exercise, so I thought I’d share.

Do any of these reasons for not creating something sound familiar to you?

Read More>

fastcompany
fastcompany:

Yeah. We know. To get to great ideas, you have to create a culture that values them.
But you can have the best culture in the world and your people aren’t going to spontaneously combust into fireballs of Da Vinci-level inspiration. You’ve got to work at it.
And, frankly, much of that work isn’t terribly difficult, although some of it is counterintuitive. If you’re ready to harness the power of great ideas in your organization, try these tips.
Read More>

fastcompany:

Yeah. We know. To get to great ideas, you have to create a culture that values them.

But you can have the best culture in the world and your people aren’t going to spontaneously combust into fireballs of Da Vinci-level inspiration. You’ve got to work at it.

And, frankly, much of that work isn’t terribly difficult, although some of it is counterintuitive. If you’re ready to harness the power of great ideas in your organization, try these tips.

Read More>

jacobwren

ARTISTS AGAINST ADMIN. ( AAA ).

A Manifesto

We the undersigned believe in the power of action. We believe in the present not the future. We believe that constantly thinking about the future changes the nature of our present action and will no longer deal in future tenses.
We will delete all requests for plans, plots and deals.
We will filter out all demands for a bureaucratically filled package of work.
We resist all contractual contras and petty form filling.
We abhor the mission statement and the tag line.
We dismiss all notions of quantification.

We hereby declare and restate our intent on action and action only.
From this moment our only intention is : to think about and make work.

We demand honest conversations, quick decisions,economical organisation and cheap publicity.
We demand simple applications, straightforward dialogue and templates for all.
We demand fast payment for work and transparency for fees.
We demand a streamlined system.
We demand spontaneity and life.

No to target audiences.
No to contractual contras.
No to slow responses from promoters.
No to idiotic emails.
No to the proliferation of management and marketing.
No to admin.

WHAT DO WE WANT ? TO LIVE IN THE PRESENT.
WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW.

Wendy Houstoun (via jacobwren)