Unfurling the wings of flight: Clarifying 'the what' and 'the why' of mental imagery use in dance
Number of pages
SourceResearch in dance education, 18, 3, (2017), pp. 252-272
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
Research in dance education
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control; DI-BCB_DCC_Theme 2: Perception, Action and Control
This article provides clarification regarding 'the what' and 'the why' of mental imagery use in dance. It proposes that mental images are invoked across sensory modalities and often combine internal and external perspectives. The content of images ranges from 'direct' body oriented simulations along a continuum employing analogous mapping through 'semi-direct' literal similarities to abstract metaphors. The reasons for employing imagery are diverse and often overlapping, affecting physical, affective (psychological) and cognitive domains. This paper argues that when dance uses imagery, it is mapping aspects of the world to the body via analogy. Such mapping informs and changes our understanding of both our bodies and the world. In this way, mental imagery use in dance is fundamentally a process of embodied cognition.
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