Contact Improvisation: An Intimate Dance - Documnetary Project: "It is a form of empathy that is very direct - you have to deal with each other. What are my needs right now and what do I percieve of my partners, moment to moment needs."
Contact Improvisation is a dance form that is well loved by those who practice it...and virtually unknown to those who do not. Imagine combining tango, martial arts and meditation, and you get an approximation of this wonderful dance form.
A recent study at the University of Cambridge found that children that partake in music activity in a group setting are more prone to developing one of humankind’s noblest traits: empathy.
The research, though preliminary, may have an impact on how school systems, policymakers, and music educators view music as being integral to the development of children.
The year-long study, conducted in the U.K. by Tal-Chen Rabinowitch and Ian Cross, who are both on the music faculty at Cambridge, found that children between 8 and 11 years old involved in different types of group musical activities were more likely to develop empathy than those in control groups where music was not included.
Empathy is like water, it flows and takes any shape. The opposite of empathy is like cold hard ice. In the dance we begin with self-empathy, by feeling into ourselves, melting the stress points, finding out what is going on in our bodies.
We get away from the words and can feel our breath and gravity. We can then start to feel and empathize with others. Our drop of water merges with others and we become a third body.
This panel of guest artists from the fields of dance, music, theater, and design, shared their personal insights of how empathy plays a vital part in their various art forms. The artists also outlined how they would make empathy front and center in our culture through their art form.
We’re proud to have been involved with Capital’s second iteration of the Empathy Experiment, an innovative program that addresses the question “Can empathy be taught?”
This year, we helped recruit students through a website and on-campus marketing, documented their experiences learning about nutrition, and produced a final event that shared the results with the community. See the short documentary videos we created below, and learn more at
i spent some time over the weekend creating response art, or empathy art, for my art therapy clients. empathy, of course, is the idea of sharing the feeling of another — to feel with, or to feel alongside someone else. empathy art (which can be called “response art” interchangeably) is defined by art therapist joanne kielo as “post-session artwork created by the art therapist to develop empathic capacity with a client, responding silently by rendering feelings into form.” this sort of practice is not only useful for therapist-client relationships, but it can also be very helpful for both parents and children.'
Want a happier, easier to calm infant and a more empathetic child? Three new studies suggest that teaching even the youngest children to make music with others can not only reduce distress and make infants smile and laugh more but also enhance brain development and boost empathy....
Researchers found significant increases in empathy in the children who made music together. They were not only better able to understand and mirror the emotions felt by actors in a short film clip they watched, but they also improved in their empathetic responses to statements like “It makes me sad to see a girl who can’t find anyone to play with” or “I really like to watch people open presents even when I don’t get a present myself.”...
Sometimes I like to geek out with social media people. Yesterday I spoke at the "State Of Now" 140 Conference here in Montreal... So here's ten minutes of me talking about "The Animation of Empathy" wherein I use my drawings to get the audience to do funny deeply meaningful things.
Lynn Johnson is CEO of Glitter & Razz Productions and theater artist dedicated to building strong connections with creative & compassionate people to bring about positive social change.
Using the expressive arts and theater to promote and teach empathy to children and adults. We believe that play lights us up and connects us. We believe that compassion is a skill that can be taught and practiced.
I believe that any group activity that emphasizes self-other interaction can contribute to increasing social-emotional capacities, such as empathy, but that musical group interaction may be substantially more effective in doing so.
This may be due to the many mental, social, and emotional skills specifically required for playing music together, and which appear to also be necessary for empathic behavior. It is almost as if the purpose of music making is to train us to become more empathic.
by Tal-Chen Rabinowitch is a doctoral student at the Centre for Music and Science at the University of Cambridge.
New research from the U.K.suggests certain types of group music-making can help kids develop empathy...
Music education produces myriad benefits, strengthening kids’ abilities in reading, math, and verbal intelligence. New British research suggests it may also teach something less tangible, but arguably just as important: The ability to empathize.
In a year-long program focused on group music-making, 8- to 11-year old children became markedly more compassionate, according to a just-published study from the University of Cambridge. The finding suggests kids who make music together aren’t just having fun: they’re absorbing a key component of emotional intelligence.
By Tom Jacobs
Reasearch by Tal-Chen Rabinowitch Darwin College, Cambridge
I thought I start my blog with some thoughts on how I see my relationship with art and tthe place of empathy in artistic creation. I believe that art is the universal visual language of empathy. Not empathy as we understand it today, but rather empathy in its original meaning. So let’s talk about how it all began.
Einfühlung, the German word for EMPATHY, means: infeeling. In was first use, in l873 by German psychologist Robert Vischer, Einfühlung names the placing of human feelings into inanimate things, plants, animals, or other humans in a specific way. So originally Einfühlung fused a human’s experience with an object’s experience that it no longer felt like the human’s own experience but instead like that of the object.
At an IPA event on Tuesday, Saatchi’s Head of Planning Richard Huntingdon commented that “beyond all else, what we do is empathy.” It’s true – the comms we create should be an act of empathy towards our audience. When the problem is just right, empathy itself can be the answer.
Complicated issues of debate – particularly around things like social justice, where the topic is one we don’t like to discuss – can lose people in the discussion. When the most important measure of success is understanding, the quickest route to the head is through the heart, as empathy. Parents know this. When they try to convince children of the wrongness of a situation, the phrase you’ll most often hear is: “well, how would you like it if…?”
The book Kinesthetic Empathy in Creative and Cultural Practices, Edited by Dee Reynolds and Matthew Reason is published by Intellect Ltd.
A key interdisciplinary concept in our understanding of social interaction across creative and cultural practices, kinesthetic empathy describes the ability to experience empathy merely by observing the movements of another human being.
ncouraging readers to sidestep the methodological and disciplinary boundaries associated with the arts and sciences, Kinesthetic Empathy in Creative and Cultural Practices offers innovative and critical perspectives on topics ranging from art to sport, film to physical therapy.
About the editors Dee Reynolds is Professor of French at the University of Manchester. She has written two books, Rhythmic Subjects (Dance Books, 2007) and Symbolist Aesthetics and Early Abstract Art (CUP, 1995). She is Principal Investigator of ‘Watching Dance: Kinesthetic Empathy’ (www.watchingdance.org), a collaborative, interdisciplinary project funded by the AHRC 2008-2011.
Matthew Reason is a senior lecturer in Theatre and Head of MA Studies in Creative Practice at York St. John University. He has written two books, Documentation, Disappearance and the Representation of Live Performance (Palgrave 2006) and The Young Audience: Exploring and Enhancing Children's Experiences of Theatre (Trentham 2010) and is currently working on a collaborative AHRC funded project on kinesthetic empathy.
'Watching Dance: Kinesthetic Empathy' uses audience research and neuroscience to explore how dance spectators respond to and identify with dance. It is a multidisciplinary project, involving collaboration across four institutions (University of Manchester, University of Glasgow, York St John University and Imperial College London).
On Empathy... Artist Statement In searching to understand my everyday, I realized two things: What happens in my life widely differs from day to day, and one thing remains the same... that I live my life intentionally through the filter of empathy. We each are molded by our experiences. We learn what fits and what we need to cast off.
When schools need to make cuts to save money, music is often top of the list. In the UK, funding for music in schools and the training of music teachers continues to be cut...
In today’s modern world, we exert our own powers of selection via culture: for better and for worse. If we want our children to grow up with more ‘empathic concern’, to be less disruptive and more cooperative, then maybe music should be as essential throughout the school curriculum as math and English.
Musical group interaction (MGI) is a complex social setting requiring certain cognitive skills that may also elicit shared psychological states. We argue that many MGI-specific features may also be important for emotional empathy, the ability to experience another person’s emotional state. We thus hypothesized that long-term repeated participation in MGI could help enhance a capacity for emotional empathy even outside of the musical context, through a familiarization with and refinement of MGI empathy-promoting musical components (EPMCs).
Tal-Chen Rabinowitch - University of Cambridge, UK Ian Cross - University of Cambridge, UK Pamela Burnard - University of Cambridge, UK