This research project focuses on the relationship between choreographed dance and the voice, and seeks to discover how dance can co-exist alongside a classical vocal performance as an additional channel or avenue of personal and musical expression. This research was motivated by my desire as a classical vocalist to become more connected with my body, and to better understand and train my voice as a living, breathing instrument. Additionally, this research was motivated by the possibility for dance to provide me with a wider range of expressive possibilities. In this research project I therefore explore how I, as a classical vocalist, could experiment with contemporary dance in a vocal-dance performance of Ravel’s Shéhérazade, which served as the final artistic result of this research. In this report, I first provide an overview of my musical and dance preparation. Second, I provide an analysis of the effects of dance on my musical expression and vocal technique. Third, I examine the use of improvised dance elements versus structured choreography. Lastly, I examine and discuss how I was able to bring all of these elements together and further develop my skills as an interdisciplinary performer. In my discussion and analysis, I draw on a variety of sources of data, including experimentation, interview data, personal coaching, and literature research This report also provides a complete overview of the research ‘intervention cycles’, which explain in detail the research process and development of my final artistic result. As the contemporary performance environment increasingly demands innovative and multifaceted performers, this research can help to inspire and encourage other classical vocalists to consider the incorporation of dance as a valuable way to develop their vocal technique and musical understanding.
Furthermore, for classical vocalists already interested in incorporating dance into their vocal performance, this research can provide a number of valuable practical tools and insights, and help them to become more interdisciplinary performers.