Learning through image

The last 3 years I noticed that lots of my memories creative work and choreographies are coming from a strong image in my head. It gives me inspiration and I often notice that during my teaching my students like the image to work with and lauch about it. Working with different integrated and inclusive dance companies showed me that the use of image in class or in creative sessions is very imporatant. For me it is a very normal thing and i am very used to it, however, some dancers need other support in class. I ask myself often, why is a image or a visual that important?

As I do not know much about the brain or the medical side of it, I hope to discuss the topic trough my eyes and work experience. The first thing to start with is that dance is all about experience. As a dancer, teacher or choreographer we are trying to experience something ourselves or we want our audience to experience something. Then if we do experience a shift that means we engage between mind and body. Probably something between the left and the right hemisphere happens as we involve our creative mind.

Besides the experience of dance through image. The Visual also helps to understand the dynamic, energy, feeling etc. of the movement. It is an associations we make, a story we tell and it might help us to remember or perform the movement better. Sometimes if we focus on technique it doesnt make us dance fluent. In order to achieve a fluent movement we might have to think about seaweed, water or something that has that dynamic.

As Dr. Lynell Burmark P.H.D. Associate at the Thornburg Center for Professional Development and writer of several books and papers on visual literacy, said, “…unless our words, concepts and ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out the other ear.

I remeber reading Ways of Seeing by John Berger. My mum told me to read it because of her Art background. To start with, I didnt want to read it because of all the art topics that passed by at home. In the end I was very happy i had read the book because it made me understand dance and its meaning better. How to reference. (I did’nt have any reading on art during my Dance degree). Well as Berger said: ‘Seeing becomes before reading’. And our brain tells us if we like or dislike it.

At last Lucy Bennett told me about this book and I realy do think it could help everyone!
Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery by Eric Franklin.

Other things to read:
Learning through Visuals 

Joop