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Practice Makes Perfect: The Effect of Dance Training on the Aesthetic Judge

Barbara Montero (2011). Practice Makes Perfect: The Effect of Dance Training on the Aesthetic Judge. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:-.

Abstract. According to Hume, experience in observing art is one of the prerequisites for being an ideal art critic. But although Hume extols the value of observing art for the art critic, he says little about the value, for the art critic, of executing art. That is, he does not discuss whether ideal aesthetic judges should have practiced creating the form of art they are judging. In this paper, I address this issue. Contrary to some contemporary philosophers who claim that experience in creating art is irrelevant to one’s ability to judge that art form, as well as to some dance critics who see dance training as possibly even detrimental to one’s aesthetic judgment, I suggest that having practiced dancing makes one a better observer of certain aesthetic qualities of dance. Dance training, I argue, can facilitate a kinesthetic experience upon watching dance without which some aesthetic aspects of a dance performance—such as grace, power, and precision, as perceived kinesthetically—may go unnoticed. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-10 DOI 10.1007/s11097-011-9236-9 Authors Barbara Montero, Philosophy Program, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, 365 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA Journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences Online ISSN 1572-8676 Print ISSN 1568-7759.