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Analyzing and Comparing Choreographic Structure in Dance from Laban Notated Scores: Ballet versus Modern
Mathematics and Statistics
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Ballet and Modern dance are two very different styles with interconnected histories. Ballet was originally founded in the fifteenth century and started to take form in France in the seventeenth century under the rule of King Louis XIV. Ballet emphasized technique as a means to achieve aesthetic perfection. Modern dance was a style that emerged in the early twentieth century as a rebellion against the strict criterion of ballet. The focus of Modern dance was on personal expression instead of the technical focus of Ballet. This thesis compares the styles of Ballet and Modern dance to one another based on a set of Laban notated scores. Laban notated scores are inputted digitally through LabanWriter, and then run through a series of programs in R to extract information regarding the overall make-up of the scores and the level of repetition of the dances. It is expected that this analysis will support the comparisons made between Ballet and Modern: that ballet will have more repetition and modern will have a more random make-up of symbols. This thesis combines the fields of statistics and dance, and the methods used can be applied to other styles of dance for further research.