Why Do We watch dance? an inquiry into contemporary dance audiences in Singapore

Ho, Kah Yee, Jacklyn (2020) Why Do We watch dance? an inquiry into contemporary dance audiences in Singapore. Masters thesis, LASALLE College of the Arts.

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Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Title: Why Do We watch dance? an inquiry into contemporary dance audiences in Singapore
Synopsis:

Growing new audiences has become a critical area for the performing arts sector in Singapore as ticketed audience numbers have been declining year on year. The dance sector in particular sees an urgent need to expand their audience base as it saw a sharp 30% decline in ticketed audience numbers within a span of five years from 2013 and 2015 according to statistics from the Ministry of Communications, Culture and Youth. In order to cultivate new audiences, audience research is a complex but necessary step. Current literature available on dance audiences, particularly in Asia and Singapore, is minimal. Most of the existing studies on performing arts audiences also tend to take a broad-based approach and do not account for the possible nuances within dance audiences, much less contemporary dance audiences.
For local contemporary dance companies and artists, the task of developing new audiences might prove more inherently challenging as the art form itself tends to be unfamiliar to most, given the abstraction in its “movement vocabulary” as well as the absence of a “narrative framework” within most contemporary dance performances (Reynolds 20). Through a mixed method approach, utilising both quantitative and qualitative data from surveys and interviews with current contemporary dance audiences and selected dance companies, this research aims to provide a clearer profile of contemporary dance audiences in Singapore. It seeks to better articulate audience motivations as well as their experience of watching contemporary dance and identify what the current gaps are in the efforts to cultivate audiences for the local contemporary dance scene. In doing so, it hopes to give dance companies insights on the measures required to engage more meaningfully with their audiences.

The findings have shown that the primary motivations and benefits of local audiences of contemporary dance do not differ greatly from those that have been identified in existing studies of performing arts audiences. These motivations include – ‘Aesthetic Growth’, ‘Recreation’, ‘The Experience of Something New’, ‘Intellectual Stimulation’ and ‘Connection to Performers’, all of which are influenced strongly by a complex range of background factors that play a crucial role in determining the accessibility and relatability of the show as well as its impact on the individual’s viewing experience. The paper concludes that in order to fully capture the nuances of their own audience base, dance companies as well as funding bodies need to re-shift priorities and channel more resources towards audience research and their efforts to develop the contemporary dance audience base in Singapore for a more sustainable future.

Subjects: Faculties > Faculty for the Creative Industries > Thesis - MA Arts and cultural management
Faculties > Faculty for the Creative Industries > Thesis - MA Arts and cultural management
Divisions: Faculty for the Creative Industries > Thesis - MA Arts and cultural management
Depositing User: Ms Ashalatha Krishnan
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2021 08:19
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2021 08:21
URI: http://drlib.lasalle.edu.sg/id/eprint/835
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