Browsing by Subject "Qualitative audience research"

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  • Moisio, Saara (2021)
    Purpose–This article examines how spectators describe their expectations of contemporary dance by referring to action. Through discussing a qualitative audience study, the article argues that spectators always have an expectation of being affected by performances they attend. This expectation can guide their interest in attending performances of certain genres instead of other possible ones on offer. Additionally, the article points out how spectators can actively manage their expectations in order to be affected. Design/methodology/approach–The study is based on 21 in-depth interviews with spectators at a dance venue, a company and a festival in Finland. The analysis of the interviews combines thematic analysis with metaphor analysis. Employing the paradigm of enaction and the concept of affordances, this article approaches expectations as embodied and dynamic, created in interactions between artists, producers and spectators. Findings–The analysis shows that when speaking about their expectations of performances, spectators use bodily and spatial metaphors. Focusing on metaphors reveals how, for the spectators, performances afford a possibility for action that affects them. The interviewed spectators describe that contemporary dance is“not set in its ways”, and therefore it keeps them“awake”and their thoughts do“not fossilize”. This way, they understand contemporary dance as a genre that affords a possibility to be affected by allowing a freedom of own interpretation and surprising experiences if they desire such. Originality/value–Concentration on the metaphors of language offers a deeper understanding of the active nature of spectators’ expectations. Understanding how spectators describe their expectations by referring to action that enables the shaping of their emotions and thoughts can help the development of arts marketing and audience engagement. Keywords: Expectations, Affordances, Enaction, Metaphor analysis, Contemporary dance, Qualitative audience research