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Ailamazjan A.M. (2021). Free dance as a cultural-historical practice of improvisation. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], 2021, (41)1, 175-192. doi: 10.11621/npj.2021.0114


Background. Plastic, expressive aspects of human behaviour remain underresearched by psychologists. The focus on practices of improvisation is determined by the fact that they show most vividly how expressive movement comes into being.

Objective. The aim of the study is to provide psychological analysis of improvised dance action, to identify the conditions of its generation. The hypothesis put forward concerns the formation of overall personal attitude that makes one ready to perform expressive movement in the context of musical-motional improvisation. It seems probable that the principles of movement organisation within free dance practices concern the formation of attitude that lets one perceive spontaneous, involuntary impulses to movement, changes of tonus and breath.

Design. The study is a piece of theoretic-psychological analysis of improvisation dance practice. In terms of methodological and theoretical basis the study relies on cultural-historical psychology and theory of action, as well as on N.A. Bernsteins conception of movement building. There theories allow to reconstruct the conditions of expressive movement generation in the context of musical-motional improvisation.

Results. The analysis performed has shown that the principles of movement organisation, the technical aspects of the practices studied are aimed at increasing the degree of freedom of movement. It allows to enhance the receptivity to spontaneous reactions and impulses and to widen the orientation within the context of musical-motional improvisation. It makes one move in a more meaningful way and to integrate the personality into improvisation.

Conclusions. Alongside with the practices of structured dances and reproductive approaches to mastering expressive movement, there are cultural-historical practices of improvisation dances. The analysis of such practices allows to single out psychological conditions and and peculiarities of movement organisation that make one generate spontaneous actions, find and try new objectives, plastic forms. Generation of spontaneous movement and musical-plastic improvisation are possible due to tuning up the whole human personality. Openness as personal attitude has its meaningful as well as motional component.

Received: 11/04/2020
Accepted: 12/18/2020
Pages: 175-192
DOI: 10.11621/npj.2021.0114

Sections: Psychology of creativity;


Keywords: dance practices; improvisation; spontaneity; expressive movement; meaningful attitudes; symbolic movements; pose; live motion

Available Online 30.03.2021

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For citing this article:

Ailamazjan A.M. (2021). Free dance as a cultural-historical practice of improvisation. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], 2021, (41)1, 175-192. doi: 10.11621/npj.2021.0114

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