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Special Issue : “Rhythm in social interaction”, Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa, vol. 8, n° 3, December 2015

Article publié le 25 May 2016

Pour citer cet article : Rhuthmos , « Special Issue : “Rhythm in social interaction”, Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa, vol. 8, n° 3, December 2015  », Rhuthmos, 25 May 2016 [en ligne]. http://rhuthmos.eu/spip.php?article1814
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Special Issue “Rhythm in social interaction”

Edited by Chiara Bassetti and Emanuele Bottazzi

Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa, vol. 8, n° 3, December 2015



Chiara Bassetti and Emanuele Bottazzi: Introduction



Kenneth Liberman: The logic is made to dance: Rhythm in Tibetan debating


Abstract: Based on an ethnomethodological study of public Tibetan philosophical debates, the paper describes how rhythmic resources can be employed to make thinkers more attentive, stimulate the intellect, improve the clarity of the propositions being considered, and energize philosophical work. When a debate bears a seamless rhythm, each party can know just-how and just-when to fit in their contribution with the others’ remarks. For that to happen, philosophers must listen attentively, and good philosophizing happens when people are listening closely to what their colleagues are saying. It is the objective of Tibetan formal public dialectics to orchestrate the mental flows of the contesting parties so that they can be conjoined into one, and in this task rhythm plays a leading role. The aim is to produce rhythmic synchronization that keeps the parties in intersubjective alignment. Their rhythmic tools enhance the clarity of the debate and the debaters’ communication, i.e. help them to make seen the thinking they are doing. There is thus a direct relationship between rhythm and clear philosophical thinking. The merit of rhythmically well-ordered debates lies not only in their beauty, but also in the fact that a well-constructed rhythm can provide orderliness to dialogue and facilitate the thinkers’ capacity to really hear what the others are saying. In this way, what is aesthetically satisfying can also be good philosophizing.


Keywords: Intersubjectivity, logic, objectivation, rhythm, Tibetan philosophical debate.



Saul Albert: Rhythmical coordination of performers and audience in partner dance. Delineating improvised and choreographed interaction


Abstract : This paper explores rhythm in social interaction by analysing how partner dancers and audience members move together during a performance. The analysis draws an empirical distinction between choreographed and improvised movements by tracking the ways participants deal with variations in the projectability and contingencies of upcoming movements. A detailed specification of temporal patterns and relationships between rhythms shows how different rhythms are used as interactional resources. Systematic disruptions to their rhythmical clapping show how audience members work with dancers to sustain the accountability and relevance of mutual coordination; this reveals how dancers initiate, sustain and complete distinct phases of spontaneous movement as embodied social action.


Keywords: Interaction, dance, ethnomethodology, rhythm.



Dafne Muntanyola-Saura: Partnering in dance rehearsals: The place of listening and rhythm


Abstract: What happens when we move with others? Within a video-aided ethnography of dance, we observed and interviewed members of the Wayne McGregor-Random Dance Company in London from 2009 to 2014. The aim of this paper is to define the nature of artistic partnering, moving past the phenomenological subjectivity that dominates theoretical production in the dance field. Through the analysis of an episode of making, a type of instruction in rehearsal, partnering and, more specifically, the location of rhythm, are investigated. The point of departure is listening, a term that dancers use frequently to label their work in duets, trios and quartets. Inertia, body consciousness and flow are all dimensions of rhythm. However, we claim that partnering in dance is more accurately explained by moving beyond synchronization with a parametrical other. This change in the level of analysis has already been made by Schutz (1971) with his concept of togetherness in musical practice. The transcription of words, moves and gestures with ELAN software is part of the analysis of the filmed interviews and rehearsals. The findings include the definition of the rhythm of partnering as a socially-localized activity and not only a phenomenological experience of the body. Rhythm is an artful practice that is shaped by the company habitus as an element of focused interaction among dancers.


Keywords: Dance, rhythm, partnering, interaction, company habitus, musicality.



Chiara Bassetti, Emanuele Bottazzi : The power of rhythm: From dance rehearsals to adult-newborn interaction


Abstract: This is a theoretical and empirical contribution on rhythm in social interaction, meant to enlighten its role in the situated, interactional «management» of power relations in ordinary situations and culturally-specific contexts. To this aim, we adapt the Weberian notion of charisma to the realm of micro-interaction, connecting it to the dialectics between conceptual and nonconceptual aspects of interaction and rhythm. We further characterize charisma as the capability to set the rhythm in interaction, changing others’ beliefs at the conceptual level. This happens by leveraging, on the one hand, the pleasure of being together in a common rhythm, and on the other, the compelling character of the associative dimension of interaction. The contribution is based on two ethnographic research studies: one on the field of Italian theatrical dance, the other on the everyday interaction between a newborn baby, her parents and other members of their intimate circle.


Keywords: Rhythm, power relations, charisma, dance rehearsals, adult-newborn interaction.

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