The Artist as Critic: Dance Training, Neuroscience and Aesthetic Evaluation

Barbara Gail Montero, “The Artist as Critic: Dance Training, Neuroscience and Aesthetic Evaluation,”  Published in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Volume 71, Issue 2, pages 169-175, May 2013

The published version was revised significantly from this earlier version, which might nonetheless be of interest. The Artist as Critic

It is exactly because a man cannot do a thing that he is the proper judge of it (Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist).

It is difficult, if not impossible, for those who do not perform to be good judges of the performance of others (Aristotle, The Politics).

Abstract. Despite the recent flurry of interest in ballet after the release of the psychological thriller, Black Swan, dance is suffering at the box office.  Yet while interest in attending live performances wanes, interest in dance as a tool for scientific research—in particular, for the purpose of understanding links between action perception and action execution—is burgeoning.  In this paper, I address some of this rapidly developing research and suggest a way in which it may be relevant to the question of how dance training affects one’s perception and aesthetic evaluation of dance.

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