This chapter offers an overview of how popular-screen dance mobilizes the concept of value through matters of intellectual worth, cultural capital, social value, and economic exchange. Drawing upon a range of screen dance examples, this review-style chapter considers what might be central to the way in which we study popular screen dance, what ought we to value and what still requires some investment in our intellectual efforts. It examines the issues and trends that shape screen choreography across its vernacular and theatricalized styles of presentation, and its production of idealized and spectacular dancing bodies; it provides a discussion of critical reading strategies and the relationship between audiences and the production of meaning; and it reflects on the economics of popular screen dance. These perspectives may provide a potential methodology for this diverse field of study.
This chapter examines music censorship in post-revolutionary Iran, from the 1979–1989 revolutionary period to the reconstruction period (1989–1997), the period of political development (1997–2005), and up to the Ahmadinejād era (2005–2013). After providing a brief background on music censorship in Iran prior to the revolution of 1978–1979, the chapter chronicles developments in music censorship in the country, from Ayatollah Khomeini’s ban on all concerts, and especially the radio and television broadcasts of foreign and Iranian classical and popular music, to the relaxation of strict policies on music under President Hāshemi Rafsanjāni. It also discusses Iran’s cultural policy under President Mohammad Khātami and the emergence of a new regime of censorship under President Mahmud Ahmadinejād.
This article explores the musical culture of Venda children in Limpopo, South Africa. Their perspective is examined from three primary points: a historical vantage point—that of ethnomusicologist John Blacking; the current perspective of the author as researcher; and the perspective of the children themselves, as creators and propagators of their own distinct and collective musical cultures. It shows that children have their own ideas about of what their musical cultures sound like, and what they should sound like. Music grounds them in their quest to understand what it means to be Venda, to be South African, and to locate themselves in a global culture.
This chapter deals with the aesthetic paradigms in opera theory that concern the issue of verisimilitude. This issue has been the object of discussion and debate since the earliest days of opera until today, e.g. in music films. The importance of verisimilitude is mostly considered in regard to the function of music and the “reality” of singing. It was particularly prominent for such operatic genres in which two different media exist side by side, as, for example, in opéra comique. The chapter focuses primarily on the specific interplay of different media and the correspondent theoretical approaches by philosophers, writers, and scholars. By the example of opéra comique and its mixture of singing and speaking, the issue of verisimilitude could be detailed, since the evolving theoretical paradigms maintain their usefulness for later discussions, especially of the function of the orchestra or the issue of communication in theater.
To a nineteenth-century opera composer, the related terms of versification and prosody implied not only a set of rules to which to adhere but a set of rhetorical choices with distinct dramatic consequences. This chapter discusses samples from the French, German, and Italian repertory, focusing on Verdi’s I due Foscari, Les vêpres siciliennes, and Don Carlos; Adam’s Le brasseur de Preston; Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg; and Weber’s Der Freischütz, interpreting the choices at a composer’s disposal. It shows that these choices can underscore the rhetoric of an aria or phrase, contribute to the caricature of a character, play a role in determining what version of a particular text should be the principal one, and contribute to an understanding of the reasons that an opera is more effective in its original language than in translation.
This article appears in the Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics edited by John Richardson, Claudia Gorbman, and Carol Vernallis. In rehearsing the history of video in Latin America, this chapter focuses on the social rather than the individual, on video as a collective medium where audio and visual are placed in a new relationship of equal simultaneity, and thus where video functions more as a form of collective speech than individual expression. In the Latin American experience, which built on the radical film movement of the preceding decades, community activists became aficionados of video, often under the most inimical circumstances, but by exploiting video’s potential for alternative, small scale, low profile, subcultural uses. Using examples from Chile in the 1980s, indigenous video in countries like Brazil and Bolivia, and the movement of video activism in Argentina in the early 2000s known as cine piquetero, the chapter sketches a concept of video speech as a form of audiovisual utterance answering to the socialized conditions of its production, in a dialogical relationship with its audience.
This article appears in the Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media edited by Carol Vernallis, Amy Herzog, and John Richardson. This chapter investigates the digital games Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and DJ Hero, all of which aim to integrate kinesthetic engagement with audiovisual experience. Game designers have long understood that mutually reinforcing audio and visual stimuli set the stage for immersive gameplay. These music-oriented games go a step further by making physical engagement with the game controller meaningful and viscerally persuasive: whereas most games draw players into the on-screen gameworld, allowing them to master and forget the controller in their hands, these games draw attention to the controller as instrument and the living room as performance space. Through a comparative analysis of game reception, this essay shows how compelling gameplay experiences rely on prior musical and cultural knowledge.
Robert M. Geraci
Religion began appearing online in the 1990s, and it naturally segued into virtual worlds enabled by the Internet in the twenty-first century. Virtual communities now proliferate in virtual worlds and video games such as Second Life and World of Warcraft. Naturally, as increasing numbers of participants have joined such worlds, they have brought religious ideas and practices with them. In order to study religious communities in virtual worlds, we must account for the many constituents—both human and nonhuman—of those communities. Although sociologists occasionally presume that their field of study can be limited to human subjects, it is necessary to see how individual people are frequently tied together thanks to the objects employed by and circulated within their groups. Using actor-network theory, it is possible to see how virtual objects work, in conjunction with physical objects and human beings, to stabilize religious and quasi-religious groups in virtual worlds.
Living on a circus train, in a space of four by eight feet, may not be the ideal recording studio, but between 2007 and 2009 Ryan States hired and produced musicians entirely via the Internet to create his album Strange Town. The album was recorded and mixed in States’s private car on a circus train in dozens of U.S. train yards and during long train runs. States presents his unique voice as a gay man during the recording of the album, writing songs about his journey across the USA, living in a train, and making his dream of playing music a reality despite the many obstacles. Through personal interviews with States, this chapter describes his process of recording asynchronous musical performances via the Internet and completing and releasing his project.
Mirella Misi and Ludmila Pimental
Based on the studies of Don Ihde on the “embodiment relations” between the body and technological artifacts, Gretchen Schiller’s concept of “kinesfield,” and revisiting Merleau-Ponty’s (1945) concepts of “body schema” and “flesh of the world,” this chapter examines the forms of relation that are established in the bodily experience of mediadance, promoting new sensorial and perceptive experiences for dancers and for the public/participant/user, such as innovative forms of body re-presentations and new ways for the public to experience dance. Examples include intermedia performances that allow the performer to make changes to sound and light on the stage or in videos that, through cameras and software, translates movements into sound, light, or graphical patterns. Interactive user-computer software, like Wii and the Sony motion controller, allow the capture (by video) of the movement of the user transmitting it to a virtual body and environment. And dance telematics creates virtual encounters between remote dancers.