An Argument for Investigation into Collaborative, Choreomusical Relationships within Contemporary Performance: A Practical and Theoretical Enquiry into the Distinct Contributions of a Collaborative, Co-creative Approach

doi: 10.26913/80s02017.0111.0017

Jess Rymer
School of Performing Arts,
University of Malta


This paper argues that for both creators of a choreomusical work, a collaborative creative process must be worthwhile, enjoyable, or contribute something unique to motivate artists to collaborate at a time where, to some degree, technology negates the necessity to do so. Therefore, the scholar interested in choreomusical relationships should also be interested in collaborative, creative methods.

The research considers cross-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary working processes in music and dance in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to enquire into the ways that choreomusical relationships have developed for composers and choreographers working collaboratively. It asks whether there are factors which should be considered in a collaborative working method between composer and choreographer to achieve a co-creative endeavor which is satisfactory for both parties. Satisfactory, co-creative results are defined by the satisfaction of both collaborators throughout the creative process, regardless of the end result.

These questions were addressed both through historical analysis of collaborations within contemporary dance, and exploration of how choreomusical collaboration can be successful or unsuccessful in terms of co-creation and the satisfaction of each party within current artistic practice. Informed practical research and the use of journals coincide with a grounded theory approach: through analysis of both sets of data, factors which help and hinder choreomusical collaboration in terms of co‑creative approaches were identified. The results of this analysis are presented in a spectrum model of possible working relationships between composer and choreographer; this paper applies this to case studies identified within the research in terms of cognitive innovation.

Keywords: choreography; choreomusical; collaboration; music.

Cite as: Rymer, J. (2017). An argument for investigation into collaborative, choreomusical relationships within contemporary performance: A practical and theoretical enquiry into the distinct contributions of a collaborative, co-creative approach [Special Issue]. AVANT8, 181–191. doi:10.26913/80s02017.0111.0017

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