Music Forum: Guest Speaker Kiri Miller, Brown University

Date(s) - 10/04/2013
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Rm. 3491 (Large Seminar Rm.), Graduate Center

The Dance Central digital game series teaches players full-body choreography routines set to popular club music, providing real-time feedback driven by a motion-sensing camera device. These games offer a new channel for the transmission of embodied knowledge, and for indexing that knowledge throughpopular music. Game choreographers translate song into dance; players learn to feel out music with their bodies as choreographers do. Many players post videos of their performances online, as well as engaging in vigorous debates about the choreography for each song. Dance Central’s choreographers and designers draw on dance repertoires with preexisting cultural associations (e.g., with respect to gender, sexuality, and race), as well as forging such associations by linking certain moves to music and lyrics that come with their own baggage. Drawing on analysis of online discourse and interviews with players and game designers, this talk addresses Dance Central as a staging ground foremergent forms of multisensory interactivity, virtual performance, and participatory culture.


 Kiri Miller is Associate Professor of Music at Brown University. Her work focuses on popular music, interactive digital media, virtual performance, and amateur musicianship. She completed the Ph.D. in Music (Ethnomusicology) at Harvard in 2005 and was a Killam Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Alberta before joining the Brown faculty in 2007. Miller is the author of TravelingHome: Sacred Harp Singing and American Pluralism (Illinois, 2008) and Playing Along: Digital Games, YouTube, and Virtual Performance (Oxford, 2012). She has published articles in Ethnomusicology, American Music, 19th-Century Music, the Journal of American Folklore, Game Studies, and the Journal of the Society for American Music. Miller’s research has been supported by fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the American Council of Learned Societies. Her regular course offerings include Musical Youth Cultures, Introduction to Ethnomusicology, Music and Technoculture, Ethnography of Popular Music, World Music in Theory and Practice, and Sacred Harp Singing.



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