The Role of Eye Gaze and Body Movements in Turn-Taking during a Contemporary Dance Improvisation

Vito Evola
BlackBox Project, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal

Joanna Skubisz
BlackBox Project, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal

Carla Fernandes
BlackBox Project, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal

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Ingår i: Proceedings from the 3rd European Symposium on Multimodal Communication, Dublin, September 17-18, 2015

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 105:5, s. 24-31

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Publicerad: 2016-09-16

ISBN: 978-91-7685-679-6

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


This paper intends to contribute to the multimodal turn-taking literature by presenting data collected in an improvisation session in the context of the performing arts and its quali-quantitative analysis, where the focus is on how gaze and the full body participate in the interaction. Five expert performers joined Portuguese contemporary choreographer, Joao Fiadeiro, in practicing his Real Time Composition Method during an improvisation session, which was recorded and annotated for this study. A micro-analysis of portions of the session was conducted using ELAN. We found that intersubjectivity was avoided during this performance, both in the performers’ bodily movements and mutual gaze; we extrapolate that peripheral vision was chiefly deployed as a regulating strategy by these experts to coordinate turn-taking. A macro-analysis comparing the data with an analogous one obtained from Non-Performers provides the context for a discussion on multimodality and decision-making.


gaze, non-verbal behavior, silent turn-taking, gesture function, decision-making, performing arts, inter-rater agreement


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