Arts Medecine journal N°88

Arts Medecine journal N°88Artists' health, musician's health

Issue 88. Musician Dancer
Medical and scientific approach to artistic practices

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Edito Arts Medecine N°88

Noch einmal. Again, once again

Warming Up in Dance: Impact of Balance Exercises on the Dynamic-Balance Performance of Classical-Ballet and Contemporary-Dance Students

Dancing is a physical activity that requires excellent balance in order to meet choreographic requirements. Instability is known to be a risk factor of sprains and compensatory pathologies. Yet dancers devote little time to working specifically on balance during warm-ups, even though this approach has proven beneficial in other physical activities.

The purpose of the present study was to compare the dynamic-balance capabilities of classical ballet dancers and contemporary dancers, and to test for the impact of warm-up exercises on dynamic-balance performance. Thirty-seven ballet dancers and thirty-six contemporary dancers were assessed for dynamic balance before and after balance exercises. The contemporary dancers exhibited better performance than the ballet dancers. After the balance exercises, the dynamic balance of both groups had improved.

These results show that performance differs for different types of dance, and that doing balance exercises improves the balance capabilities of dancers. Inclusion of a balance routine during warm-ups thus seems to be a highly fruitful route for preventing injuries linked to instability.
Anne-Violette Bruyneel

Key words: ballet dancer; contemporary dancer; dynamic balance; warm-up.

Acute Effect of Toe Cap Choice on Toe Deviation Angle and Perceived Pain in Female Professional Ballet Dancers

Several complex classical-dance movements, such as pointe, require body weight to be supported properly to avoid risk of foot injury. Regarding the choice of toe cap for pointe shoes, it is unclear which type can better alleviate pain symptoms and reduce toe deviation angle in dancers. The aim of the current crossover study among well-trained professional dancers was to investigate the acute effect of using different types of toe caps on pain perception and toe-angle deviation. Ten young female professional dancers volunteered to participate in the study. Each participant was tested during two separate sessions held 72 h apart. Participants were tested in the two sessions with a standard commercial toe cap or a customized prototype, always with pointe shoes, and in random order. An anteroposterior X-ray examination was performed separately for each participant and an visual analog scale of pain perception was administered following each session (with a standard commercial toe cap or a customized prototype). Significant improvement was obtained when a customized toe cap prototype was used, for both toe deviation angle and the visual analog scale. Use of a customized toe cap prototype, compared to a standard one, may highly reduce both toe deviation angle and pain in elite female professional dancers.
Annamaria Salzano, Fabiana Camuso, Marie Sepe, Maha Sellami, Luca P. Ardigo, Johnny Padulo

Key words: female dancer; professional dancer; ballet; pointe; toe cap; hallux valgus; pain.

The Harmonica, a Unique Instrument: How It Is Played and Preventive Measures for Harmonicists

Today’s harmonica was invented in the 19th century but the principle underlying its sound production – the vibration of free reeds – is very old. The single-blade diatonic harmonica is currently the most commonly used model. Behind its apparent simplicity, it is a complex instrument to play, one that calls upon several anatomical and physiological systems (upper limbs, orofacial muscles, tongue, temporomandibular joint, respiratory system). From the standpoint of breathing, harmonicists are the only wind instrument players who use both inhaled and exhaled air to produce notes.

The author points out the importance of the teeth for these wind instrumentalists and highlights the role of dental surgeons, who must understand the specific way in which these musicians use the oral sphere. Dental care must be suited to this specific type of musician, both in terms of prevention (oriented case history, information about dental hygiene, preventive dental imprint) and in terms of treatment. In all cases, the treatment program chosen must take into account the instrumental practices of these patients, be they amateurs or professionals.
Caroline Blouin

Key words: musician; harmonicist; harmonica; oral sphere; prevention; buccal health; dental surgeon.

Investigating the Prevalence and Predictors of Injury Occurrence in Competitive Hip Hop Dancers: Prospective Analysis

To evaluate potential predictors of injury occurrence in hip hop dancers, 129 competitive hip hop dancers were evaluated on various factors including anthropometric and body build indices, and their dynamic-balance performance was tested. The injury occurrence was also prospectively observed. During the three-month study, 101 injuries were reported, an average of 0.78 injuries per dancer. Lower injury risk was evidenced among those participants who achieved better dynamic-balance performance, irrespective of gender and previous injury status. No significant influence was found for anthropometric and body build variables on injury occurrence.
Eva Ursej, Damir Sekulic, Dasa Prus, Goran Gabrilo, Petra Zaletel

Key words: hip hop dancer; injury; risk factors; protective factors; prospective study.

Mental Structuring with the Help of Meditation among Improvising Musicians

Mindfulness meditation is presented here by a musician who teaches it and uses it in the domain of jazz and popular amplified music.

Many great jazz musicians, including John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter, for example, have used meditation in connection with their musical creations.

Practicing meditation regularly enables improvising musicians to attain a mental and physical state that helps structure their musical discourse, whether the musician is in the phase of music internalization (as a musician receiver), musical creation (as a musician conceiver), or musical production while playing an instrument with partners (as a musician emitter). The author describes a set of exercises and comments upon them, while stressing the respective merits for the different phases.
Jean Thomas

Key words: meditation; mindfulness; musician; improvising musician; structuring; concentration.

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