Beardsleyx_Carrollx_Banes_Dance - "What is Going on in a...

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"What is Going on in a Dance?" by Monroe Beardsley 1982 Monroe C. Beardsley 1915-85 "American philosopher of art and literary criticism. While having contributed importantly to the philosophy of action, Beardsley developed extensively and defended articulately the twentieth century's most influential aesthetic theory since John Dewey. Growing out of the desire to provide a philosophical foundation for the New Criticism as well as a sense that the arts have a distinctive social and cultural place, the body of Beardsley's aesthetic theory is supported at the heart by a conception of aesthetic experience or an experience having aesthetic character …and aesthetic value." Donald Callen in A Companion to Aesthetics ed. David Cooper (Blackwell, 1992) Aesthetic writings: The Possibility of Criticism (Detroit, 1970), Aesthetics: Problems in the Philosophy of Criticism (Indianapolis, 1981) and The Aesthetic Point of View (Ithaca, 1982). 1) George Beiswanger's theory: a) physical capacity are the means made available for the imagination of the choreographer b) in dance, muscular moving becomes metaphorically a doing or "goings on" c) dances are not made out of movement but upon movement d) movement is the metaphor by which muscular material is made available for the designed goings on of dance 2) Beardsley: borrows from theory of action [likes “goings-on” but has trouble with metaphor idea] a) bodily motions are basic actions, the foundation of other actions (esp. in dance) b) actions build upon and grow out of other actions i) hammer-wielding becomes driving a nail becomes building a house ii) one generates the other (according to generating conditions) iii) in swinging the hammer in a certain way the carpenter drove in the nail: example of causal generation generating a new action iv) sortal generation: action of one sort becomes an action of another sort too: an act of marrying can become an act of bigamy c) dance is sortally generated by those motions: the motions take on the character of a dance movement: he calls these actions "movings" d) [prelim. definition] dance is sortally generating movings by bodily motions and posings by bodily pauses 3) Haig Khatchadourian: dancing consists of movements and not of actions 4) Beardsley: no, it consists of actions generated by motions -- and bodily motions are actions too: a) we do not dance all of the time b) practically any kind of motion can be dance i) Marcia Siegel's description of Sokolow's Rooms : drooping in chair seats etc. ii) "Sokolow gives these ordinary movements a dancelike character by exaggerating the dynamics of the timings" "intensified way everything is carried out" 1
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iii) Beardsley: they actually are dance: of two motions that may be classified as "raising an arm" one may be dance and the other not, one generates moving and the other not c) we explain how to do a pirouette by saying that the dancer rapidly turns on her
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Beardsleyx_Carrollx_Banes_Dance - "What is Going on in a...

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