To me teaching an appreciation of music to dancers is as vital as teaching an appreciation of light to painters.
I remember a night at Denny’s many years ago when a young dancer asked me what he needed to improve. “your moves are nice,” I said “but you need to listen to the music.” Since then he has gone on to be a world-famous instructor and has been lauded for his musicality. To this students I didn’t need to say much. Others need more.
I don’t feel that the phrases “musicality” and “creative vision” are mutually exclusive, though I can imagine some students and teachers approaching these counter-productively. As well I can see the opportunity for synergy in the exploration of both. To sum that up, it may be possible to learn to appreciate music and to dance creatively in a way that fosters something even more powerful.
I’ve seen a musicality class that I could have summed up in one sentence: “don’t use your limbs like percussive instruments.” That’s really not much of a lesson in my opinion. Another musicality class taught musical structures, which I think is more important, especially at the beginning phases of study. The best experience I had as a student was in a hip hop class when the teacher stopped us and forced us to pull the music apart before allowing us to dance again.
Those are just some examples. More are coming.
By the way, I think Dance World Takeover is a really fun blog and am recommending that you read it now.
What are your thoughts on the subject?