GO BEBIS!, Ah hallo bebis och Prassel : Om danskonst för den allra yngsta barnpubliken
The overall aim of this thesis is to explore how the art of dance for the youngest children can be understood as a Children´s Culture phenomenon. The empirical data mainly consists of observations of the project GO BEBIS! and the dance performances Ah hallo bebis and Prassel. In addition, the study includes a dance analysis of the performances and a text analysis of advertising and reviews of the performances. The view of the child is discussed from childhood sociological, phenomenological and aesthetic performative perspectives. The texts present a view of a curious, calm and creative child and the dance analysis shows that recognition from the child’s life-world, mixed strategies of focus and a still and quiet form is recurrent in the performances. Focus (both visual, bodily and spatial) is used to control the child’s attention and it is likely that the choice of movement can inhabit the child and affect the experience. In the observations it is clear that the dancers and the audiences have a bodily dialogue that could be understood as a never ending feedback loop. However, co-presence or the way of turning to the other is crucial for a successful feedback loop to occur. The dancers’ staging strategies affect the co-presence and if it is supported by a general view of the child that doesn´t comprehend with the actual child in front of them, the feedback loop can fail. For example, the study argues that children´s lively movements can be understood as strong contributions which, if not comprehensive with the ideal image of the child, may pose a threat to the performer and the performance. The adult´s bodily advantage can then be used as a way to regain control over the situation. The adult can lift the child, stand up so that the child can´t reach or verbally control the child’s attention. The result shows that how the dancers and accompanied adults handle the child’s contribution can be affected by the view of the child, theatre-norms, the child’s rhythm, the staging of the performances, instructions, the dancers’ strategy and the accompanied adults’ wishes.
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