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Title: How a Creative "System" Learns: The Distributed Activity of Choreography
Authors: Fournier, Janice E.
Issue Date: Jun-2004
Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Citation: Fournier, J. E. (2004). How a Creative "System" Learns: The Distributed Activity of Choreography. In Kafai, Y. B., Sandoval, W. A., Enyedy, N., Nixon, A. S., & Herrera, F. (Eds.), International Conference of the Learning Sciences 2004: Embracing Diversity in the Learning Sciences (pp. 198-205). Santa Monica, CA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Abstract: Although the arts, and dance in particular, are underrepresented in studies of cognition, they provide rich opportunities to enlarge our understandings of how people learn, think, and accomplish tasks, individually and collectively. In an ethnographic study of professional choreographers and dancers composing in their studios, I sought to understand choreography as a case of distributed cognition, embodied knowledge, and creative work. In this paper, I present a model of the interactions between choreographer and dancers as a system of activity. I explain the specific contributions of each of these roles to the function of the system, and how both individual and joint cognitive activity help to move a composition from initial conception to final performance. I argue that the creative relationship between choreographer and dancers represents a unique model of collective learning, one that is not addressed in current research on cognition in practice.
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2004

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