Movement Scores

Purpose
Observe and measure with an ECG the ability of dancers to achieve intentional arcs in heart activity during movement improvisation, based on a prescribed score.

Instructions
-Dancer wears ECG, and improvises movement.
-Dancer receives prompts to accelerate or decelerate heart rate, based on a prescribed score.
-ECG data is recorded to create a graph that illustrates the heart activity over time.
-ECG data from improvisation is overplayed to compare with the model score.
-Each structure is repeated multiple times to access reproducibility of results.

Outcomes & Observations

Please Note: The ECG data in the graphs below is more noisy than in other images on the website, as these experiments were carried out very early in the research process before improvements to the software had been implemented.

ORIGINAL MODEL A: 
60sec              Sustain heart rate at 80bpm
90sec              Raise heart rate to 180bpm
90sec              Lower heart rate to 80bpm

80_180_80-model

 

IMPROVISATION 1A: Follows the score quite accurately. During the descent there is a upwards arc before the heart rate lowers.
80_180_80-run1

 

 IMPROVISATION 1A & 2A: Different movement, but similar results in heart rate behaviour.
80_180_80-runs1-2

 

ADAPTED MODEL A: Based on these observations, one choice would be to adapt the model score (as seen below), such that it correlates more closely to the temporal patterns being observed in of the heart rate of this dancer.  Alternatively, different movement and breath strategies could be explored to adhere to the prescribed pathway.
80_180_80-runs1-2-adj
—–

ORIGINAL MODEL B.
60sec              Sustain heart rate at 180bpm
90sec              Lower heart rate to 80bpm
90sec              Raise heart rate to 180bpm
180_80_180-model

 

IMPROVISATION 1B: Follows the score quite accurately, but does not reach the lower heart rate goal of 80bpm at 150seconds.

180_80_180-run1

 

IMPROVISATION 1B & 2B RESULTS: Different movement, but again the dancer does not reach the lower heart rate goal of 80bpm at 150seconds.

180_80_180-runs1-2

ADAPTED MODEL B: Based on the results from Model B, the score could be adapted (as seen below), to reflect the activity of the heart rate of this dancer, or, alternate strategies for heart rate regulation could be explored.
180_80_180-runs1-2-adj

 

Conclusions

Movement exertion and relaxation can be an effective strategy for heart rate regulation, based on a prescribed score.  The design of intentional arcs in heart activity of dancers will require further performance-based research to develop realistic models and expectations for each performer.  Prescriptive scores may also be used to challenge the potential highs and lows of heart rate to extremes for each performer.

 

Notes for further inquiry
-Integrate respiration sensor to evaluate relationship of movement and heart rate to breath.
-Create much longer structures, to explore sustained periods of extreme highs or lows, as well as long transition periods
-Evaluate more closely the function of biofeedback as a tool for interoception for the dancer