Figure 1 - uploaded by Tejaswinee Kelkar
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sequence of four dance positions (stills from the video recording and 3D motion capture rendering, with motion history trajectories)

sequence of four dance positions (stills from the video recording and 3D motion capture rendering, with motion history trajectories)

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Conference Paper
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This paper presents an exploratory production study of Bharatanatyam, a figurative (narrative) dance. We investigate the encoding of coreference vs. disjoint reference in this dance and argue that a formal semantics of narrative dance can be modeled in line with Abusch's (2013, 2014, 2015) semantics of visual narrative (drawing also on Schlenker's,...

Context in source publication

Context 1
... the analysis, the recordings were post-processed in the Qualisys Track Manager software (QTM 2.16). This software generates a 3-dimensional (3D) rendering based on the multi-camera recording of the reflective markers, as illustrated for four dance positions in Figure 1. ...

Citations

... Signed languages implement prosodic groups visually using the proximity rule (mainly for manual signs) and possibly similarity rules (for non-manual signs; see Fenlon and Brentari, 2021 for an overview). Charnavel (2019Charnavel ( , 2022 and Patel-Grosz et al. (2018) argue that the structure of dance also makes use of Gestalt visual grouping. And Spelke (1994) explains why certain principles of spatial cognition and object recognition, some of which are related to proximity and similarity, are likely to give rise to ecologically valid inferences about objects in the world. ...
Article
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This paper reviews evidence concerning the nature of grouping in music and language and their interactions with other linguistic and musical systems. I present brief typological surveys of the relationship between constituency and acoustic parameters in language and music, drawing from a wide variety of languages and musical genres. The two domains both involve correspondence between auditory discontinuities and group boundaries, reflecting the Gestalt principles of proximity and similarity, as well as a nested, hierarchical organization of constituents. Typically, computational-level theories of musical grouping take the form of a function from acoustic properties through grouping representations to syntactic or interpretive constituents. Linguistic theories tend to be cast as functions in the opposite direction. This study argues that the difference in orientation is not grounded in principled differences in information flow between the two domains, and that reconceptualizing one or both theories allows for gains in analytical understanding. There are also obvious differences between musical and linguistic grouping. Grappling with those differences requires one to think in detail about modularity, information flow, levels of description, and the functional nature of cognitive domains.
... The very general goal of the present article is to adopt this approach for dance and thus inquire into the human capacity for dance perception (see Charnavel, 2016;2019;Patel-Grosz et al., 2018, 2022. This implies not only building a grammar of dance by determining its units, structure and meaning, but also comparing dance with other cognitive systems. ...
Article
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The specific goal of the article is to investigate the principles governing the perception of rhythmic structure in dance and music—taken separately and together—on the basis of a case study. I take as a starting point Lerdahl and Jackendoff’s (A generative theory of tonal music. MIT Press, 1983) conception of musical rhythm as the interaction between grouping and meter, and I examine to what extent it can apply to dance. Then, I explore how the rhythmical structures of music and dance interact in a single event. I conclude that dance and music perception largely share the same abstract system, and the differences in the properties of their structure derives from the different (visual vs. auditory) modalities in which they are perceived; their modality difference also affects the perceived structure resulting from their combination in dance-music events. The exploration is guided by a detailed examination of the opening of Stravinsky’s Augurs of Spring (1913) as choreographed by Nijinsky (1913), Béjart (1970) and Bausch (1975). By comparing these minimal pairs of dance-music events, I adapt the formal methodology of linguistics to other cognitive systems. The general goal of the article is to shed further light on the organizational principles of mental representations by comparing several cognitive systems in order to distinguish between general cognitive properties and modality-specific or domain-specific properties.
... Although signals communicate simple meanings (the shake of the rattlesnake's tail means you are in danger), music communicates complexes of meaning, supporting a semantics with a richness different from but rivaling that of language (Schlenker, 2019). This may also be true of dance (Charnavel, 2019;Patel-Grosz, Grosz, Kelkar, & Jensenius, 2018). What could possibly get us from the mechanistically and computationally simple raw material of reward-learning and signaling to the confoundingly meaningful playground of music as-we-know-it? ...
Article
We propose that not social bonding, but rather a different mechanism underlies the development of musicality: being unable to survive alone. The evolutionary constraint of being dependent on other humans for survival provides the ultimate driving force for acquiring human faculties such as sociality and musicality, through mechanisms of learning and neural plasticity. This evolutionary mechanism maximizes adaptation to a dynamic environment.
... Although signals communicate simple meanings (the shake of the rattlesnake's tail means you are in danger), music communicates complexes of meaning, supporting a semantics with a richness different from but rivaling that of language (Schlenker, 2019). This may also be true of dance (Charnavel, 2019;Patel-Grosz, Grosz, Kelkar, & Jensenius, 2018). What could possibly get us from the mechanistically and computationally simple raw material of reward-learning and signaling to the confoundingly meaningful playground of music as-we-know-it? ...
Article
Savage et al. argue for musicality as having evolved for the overarching purpose of social bonding. By way of contrast, we highlight contemporary predictive processing models of human cognitive functioning in which the production and enjoyment of music follows directly from the principle of prediction error minimization.
... Thus, a complete study of dance cannot prescind from the role of music. In fact, music and dance are tightly connected in several cultures [20]. ...
... In this paper, we briefly summarize mathematical theory of musical gestures [19,17,16,3] and basics of categories, and we show their possible application to dance. This approach may be useful to investigate formal and cognitive studies about dance [20]. Fig. 1. ...
... We can just say that a mixture of symmetry, balance, proportion, and smoothness of movements can be overall thought of and mathematically investigated as 'beauty' in dance. 20 In a nutshell, a monoidal category, also called a tensor category, is a category C having a bifunctor ⊗ : C × C → C, that verifies pentagonal and triangular identities [12]. See [21,8,16] for examples of monoidal categories in music. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Can we use mathematics, and in particular the abstract branch of category theory, to describe some basics of dance, and to highlight structural similarities between music and dance? We first summarize recent studies between mathematics and dance, and between music and categories. Then, we extend this formalism and diagrammatic thinking style to dance.
... The present article differs from both of these approaches: its general goal is neither to study the structure of dance as art, nor to describe the structural specificities of various dance traditions, but to examine the natural grammar of dance by determining the simplest and universal units of human movement and the way they are combined (cf. Napoli and Kraus, 2017;Patel-Grosz et al., 2018, for recent applications of linguistic methodology to dance analysis 1 ). ...
Article
Full-text available
The general goal of this paper is to investigate the structure of our unconscious mental representation of dance: we do not perceive dance as an unanalyzed flow of movement, but we unconsciously create a mental representation regulated by structural principles. Specifically, this article examines local grouping principles in dance perception inspired by Lerdahl and Jackendoff's (1983) approach to musical grouping. I spell out the basic perceptual dimensions at work in basic human movement perception, and on that basis, I propose six principles of change that determine group boundaries in dance (change of body part, orientation, level, direction, speed, quality). I experimentally test the relevance and interaction of these principles, and find that they are organized on a scale of relative strength. This experiment thus supports the hypothesis that grouping is a general cognitive capacity applying across domains and modalities, and shows how specific grouping principles are stated in relation to modality-specific and domain-specific dimensions. More generally, it takes a step toward the development of a generative theory of dance that should help extend the research avenue of comparing complex temporal cognitive activities across modalities (visual, auditory) and purposes (referential, non-referential), which so far involves spoken language, signed language and music.
... In a range of other studies, the application of linguistic methodologies and theories to the analysis of dance has proven to offer insights into articulation across these two distinct types of activities and, more broadly, into human cognition (Ramesh 2013(Ramesh , 2014Napoli and Kraus 2015;Charnavel 2016;Patel-Grosz et al. 2018). In the present paper we use information about how the drive for ease of articulation is realized in sign languages to analyze how it is realized in dance. ...
Article
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Sign languages exhibit the drive for ease of articulation found in spoken languages, particularly in fast and casual conversation, where the methods that reduce effort are shown here to be limited by the need to maintain recognizability. Participatory dance, which uses the same articulators as sign languages plus additional ones, also demonstrates methods of reducing biomechanical effort, analogous to those seen in sign languages, and, again, limited by the need to maintain recognizability of the dance figures/phrases. However, when we look at performance language (here, sign poetry) and performance dance, we find a contrast: sign language poetry uses reduced and enhanced forms, while performance dance does not use reduced forms but often uses enhanced forms. We attribute this contrast to the different functions of the different types of language and dance, with attention to the notion of intention in performance dance.
... Thus, a complete study of dance cannot prescind from the role of music. In fact, music and dance are tightly connected in several cultures [20]. ...
... In this paper, we briefly summarize mathematical theory of musical gestures [19,17,16,3] and basics of categories, and we show their possible application to dance. This approach may be useful to investigate formal and cognitive studies about dance [20]. Fig. 1. ...
... We can just say that a mixture of symmetry, balance, proportion, and smoothness of movements can be overall thought of and mathematically investigated as 'beauty' in dance. 20 In a nutshell, a monoidal category, also called a tensor category, is a category C having a bifunctor ⌦ : C ⇥ C ! C, that verifies pentagonal and triangular identities [12]. See [21,8,16] for examples of monoidal categories in music. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Can we use mathematics, and in particular the abstract branch of category theory, to describe some basics of dance, and to highlight structural similarities between music and dance? We first summarize recent studies between mathematics and dance, and between music and categories. Then, we extend this formalism and diagrammatic thinking style to dance. THE ATTACHED DOCUMENT IS A PREPRINT. THE FINAL PAPER CAN BE FOUND HERE: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-21392-3
Article
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As part of a recent attempt to extend the methods of formal semantics beyond language (‘Super Semantics’), it has been claimed that music has an abstract truth-conditional semantics, albeit one that has more in common with iconic semantics than with standard compositional semantics (Schlenker 2017, 2019a, b). After summarizing this approach and addressing a common objection (here due to Leonard Bernstein), we argue that music semantics should be enriched in three directions by incorporating insights of other areas of Super Semantics. First, it has been claimed by Abusch 2013 that visual narratives make use of discourse referents akin to those we find in language. We argue that a similar conclusion extends to music, and we highlight it by investigating ways in which orchestration and dance may make cross-referential dependencies more explicit. Second, we show that by bringing music semantics closer to the semantics of visual narratives, we can give an account of the semantics of mixed visual and musical sequences. Third, it has been claimed that co-speech gestures trigger characteristic conditionalized presuppositions, called ‘cosuppositions’, and that their semantic status derives from their parasitic character relative to words (Schlenker 2018a, b). We argue that the same conclusion extends to some instances of film and cartoon music: it may trigger cosuppositions that can be revealed by embedding film excerpts or gifs in sentences so as to test presupposition projection. We further argue that under special discourse conditions (pertaining to certain Questions under Discussion), pro-speech gestures and pro-speech music alike can trigger cosuppositions as well. These results suggest that new insights can be gained not just by extending the methods of semantics to new objects, but also by drawing new connections among them.