Kristin Arola and Cheryl Ball, compose a a reading titled “What Are Multimodal Projects?” as apart of their book Writer/Designer, in which they discuss various modes and their uses. Through this text, the authors explore the way in which we must study and interpret modes including the linguistic, visual, aural, gestural, and spatial aspects. From this text I gathered more information on the importance of multi-modality as well as minimal details that play a large role in the the coming together of a text. I decided to look at this text as an analytical lens to bring the article, “Inside the Founding of Terminus by Five ex-Atlanta Ballet Dancers” into review/conversation.
The article “Inside the Founding of Terminus by Five ex-Atlanta Ballet Dancers”, written by Scott Freeman is about Terminus, a new dance company created by five retired Atlanta ballet dancers. The article journeys the dancers from their first rehearsal, as they go to present to the world, their big announcement. The motive of the dancers is to partner with the Serenbe Institute for Art, Culture, and the Environment, in which they will premier various shows. What is unique about this group however, is that they do not have an itinerary set in stone – they are very open to learning new things on the way. As Lee, one of the dancers states, ‘“We’re trying to avoid labeling ourselves and where we’re going; that’s what we would like to learn on this journey”’ (Freeman). While reading this article, I came across various methods of multi-modality, that I otherwise would not have seen before reading the Arola/Ball text.
First and foremost, the article grabs the reader’s attention through the immediate placement of a video. The thumbnail depicts the dancers which implements a sense of wonderment. The seven minute long video includes footage of the dancers performing as well as footage of them discussing their process and previous works. The video in itself incorporates all of the modes mentioned in the Arola/Ball text. Visual mode is seen through the obvious composition of the video which include color, layout, and the various perspectives. Linguistic and Aural modes are seen in the speech of the dancers throughout the video as they discuss their processes and future endeavors. The word choice as well as the delivery of what the individuals are saying play a large role in how the information resonates with readers/viewers. “We don’t often pay attention to how sounds signal information, including feelings, responses, or need action.” (Ball, 8)
Through the use of the soft music and tones displayed in the video, feelings of passion and interest are evoked. The video also incorporates gestural modes as the expressions and movements of the dancers are able to convey emotional messages to viewers.
Now, as one moves on to the actual text of the reading, the words used to introduce the article do a great job of portraying elegance. Words to describe the evening such as “sultry”, and “serene” are important in painting an inviting visual for readers which allows for a better receival of the text; this is also a portrayal of linguistic modality. Throughout the article, the author includes subheadings and titles which guide the reader in terms of where the text will go next, the author further includes dates as a means of a timeline. This setup and spacing of the text represents spatial modality. The navigation of the article site was simple and understandable. (As the spatial arrangement of the text also deals with ability to navigate the text).
While the article does a great job of depicting the journey of the dancers, it is quite lengthy and does not necessarily cater to someone that may be reading the article for schoolwork purposes. For this reason, incorporation of the video as well as other images give a slight briefing of what the article is about.
For my research purposes the Arola and Ball text aids in my ability to recognize other modes as they are portrayed in various texts and compositions. I now know how to incorporate multi-modality in my own work, in order to make my compositions more rounded and engaging.
Arola, Kristin, et al. Writer/Designer: A Guide To Making Multimodal Projects. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014.
Freeman, Scott. “Inside the Founding of Terminus by Five Ex-Atlanta Ballet Dancers.” ArtsATL, ArtsATL, 22 Jan. 2018, artsatl.com/story-terminus-dance-company-founded-ex-atlanta-ballet-dancers/. Date Accessed: 22 Mar 2018
#Unit 2, SimonetteN, #Ball #Arola, #Scott.