Unravelling Motor Learning Processes in Theater Performers

in Motor Control
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Theater performers, more than common actors, experience high physical loadings. This study aimed at analyzing the motor behavior of novice performers (dancers/actors who were introduced to the acting method of Jan Fabre) by investigating the kinematics of a physical acting exercise in a prospective study. Two measurement sessions were organized: before and after the novice performers (N = 13) took part in seven workshops. Total body kinematics were registered using a three-dimensional motion capture system. Using a principal component analysis, six factors were disseminated out of 30 kinematic parameters: Pelvic Motion, Speed of Progression, Lower Limb Position, Foot Motion, Lower Limb Motion, and Trunk Posture. Although no main effect of training was found for any of the factors (.429 < p < .964), Trunk Posture showed a higher consistency after the workshops. This study succeeded in providing insights in the motor behavior of theater performers and revealed recognizable features of motor learning.

Jacobs and Roussel are with the Dept. of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Sciences (REVAKI), University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium. Hallemans is with the Depts. of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Sciences (REVAKI) and Translational Neurosciences, University of Antwerp, Belgium. Gielen is with the Dept. of Sports Medicine and Radiology, Antwerp University Hospital, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium. Van den Dries is with the Research Center for Visual Poetics, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium. Van Moorsel is with the Royal Conservatoire, Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium. Rutgeerts is with the Centre for Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion and Philosophy of Culture, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Address author correspondence to Emmanuel Jacobs at emmanuel.jacobs@uantwerpen.be.
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