Knowing When to Break the Rules = Winning!
Are there any Adele fans out there? Any Grammy fans? If so, you may have heard that Adele’s six Grammy wins this year have people taking a scientific look at the cause of her magic. Guess what? It’s formulaic and can be repeated! (That’s what I love about knowing theory and the technical bits of artistry). What that means is that knowing when to break the rules = winning!
The nutshell version of what happens was identified 20 years ago by British psychologist John Sloboda. He basically had people listen to music and point out that parts that reliably gave them goose bumps or brought tears to their eyes. Sloboda looked at those passages and found that the vast majority contained a note which clashed with the melody just enough to create dissonance (clashing or what is unexpected). This generates tension in the listener. When the music goes back to the melody (what is expected), the tension releases and it feels pleasurable. The greater the tension, the more the pleasure. When this occurs several times in a row, it is even stronger.
So, what does this have to do with dance? Well, my friend, the same thing happens in dance. So, when I urge you to learn the structure of music and dance, follow it, then learn how and when to deviate from it, THAT’S WHY! You need both conformity and strategic rebellion to create a piece with emotional impact.
Learning about theory isn’t just about acquiring knowledge so that you can talk about it from some lofty position with your egghead friends and feel superior. It’s about acquiring whatever tools it takes to make you the best dancer and teacher you can be. I’ve said over and over that some people just have a knack. I believe Adele’s style emerged organically, not as a result of a plan to win Grammy’s, so you don’t need to learn this stuff if you are naturally gifted. But if you want consistent results and to be able to lead others there, it sure does help.
My advice, learn the rules and break them in an informed way.
The BDT certification program teaches basic dance and music foundations. To get started, click here.