- 舞踊學 (ISSN:09114017)
- vol.2017, no.40, pp.1-13, 2017 (Released:2019-12-05)
In this article, I illustrate the relationship between dance and music based on ‘dance ethnography’,
a newly developed method in dance studies including dance anthropology. Through it, I try to open
a new arena on exploring the relationship between dance and music. Defining dancing as separated
from music and keeping similar condition in academic division between dance and music in my mind,
I examine how nonprofessionals ballroom dance participants and musicians feel in Japanese ballroom
From dance lovers’ perspectives, standardized music wouldn’t be more than one option of the
music to dance. But most of dance lovers in Japan tend to see standardized music as a canon. The
practice of a few dance lovers in this article can be considered as a challenge to authorized dance
practice, namely standardized ballroom dance.
Ballroom dancing is practiced by a pair of individuals with different bodies. They cannot dance
on one’s personal plan alone and thus have to pay close attention to each other. But standardization of
ballroom dancing, especially in Japan, ‘emancipated’ dancers from troubles such that occurre when one
can’t predict next move along one’s partner or when one tries to inform partner of what to step next.
Even among nonprofessionals, the majority of ballroom dance his/her players must learn from their
teachers about the ‘correct’ ways of dancing. Also, the music played in the background while dancing
has been reduced into an instrument for counting steps. That has made it difficult for ordinary people,
particularly those in old age, to enjoy dancing without taking formal lessons.