Practice makes perfect: the effect of dance training on the aesthetic judge

Abstract

According to Hume, experience in observing art is one of the prerequisites for being an ideal art critic. But although Hume extols the value of observing art for the art critic, he says little about the value, for the art critic, of executing art. That is, he does not discuss whether ideal aesthetic judges should have practiced creating the form of art they are judging. In this paper, I address this issue. Contrary to some contemporary philosophers who claim that experience in creating art is irrelevant to one’s ability to judge that art form, as well as to some dance critics who see dance training as possibly even detrimental to one’s aesthetic judgment, I suggest that having practiced dancing makes one a better observer of certain aesthetic qualities of dance. Dance training, I argue, can facilitate a kinesthetic experience upon watching dance without which some aesthetic aspects of a dance performance—such as grace, power, and precision, as perceived kinesthetically—may go unnoticed

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Author's Profile

Barbara Gail Montero
CUNY Graduate Center

References found in this work

Utilitarianism.J. S. Mill - 1861 - Oxford University Press UK.
Utilitarianism.John Stuart Mill - 1863 - Cleveland: Cambridge University Press.
The Metaphysics of Beauty.Nick Zangwill - 2018 - Cornell University Press.
Utilitarianism.John Stuart Mill - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press.

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