This paper intends to demonstrate the significance of Jean=Georges Noverre's scientific thinking in his Lettres sur la dance, et sur les ballets (1760). Close reading reveals that Noverre was acknowledged to the contemporary science such as anatomy and mechanics, and that the scientific thinking made a positive contribution to the establishment of his dance theory. Regarding ‘drawing’ as a scientific technique for composing dance as an art form, he employs ‘picture’ as a methodology for representing dance as a scenic spectacle. Besides, he recognizes man's body as a machine and explains the dancing techniques in mechanical terms. Yet he also asserts that the dance spectacle should not unconsciously conform to the rules of science, and that the dancing techniques should not be executed mechanically; they should be guided by the expressions of heart. His concept of man and his view of dance are hybrid mixture of artificiality and nature. Though Noverre has been generally considered as the advocate of Nature-modeled dance, these facts lead us to the reconsideration of his monochromatic figure as the antagonist against the artificiality of dance.
Nihon Buyo, which is a traditional Japanese dance, consists of several mediums including dance, music and costume. The dance creates multiple effects including meaning, sense and spectacle using these mediums. These effects can represent concrete meaning just as words do, and this meaning expresses in the lyrics of the accompanying music. The concrete meaning of the dance gestures can be derived from the meaning of the lyrics. In short, the meaning of Nihon Buyo has been considered to be equivalent to the meaning in the lyrics of the accompanying music. In this paper, we analyze another process of generating concrete meaning in Nihon Buyo. We look at “Musume-Doujouji (1753)” which is one of the masterpieces of Nihon Buyo, as an example. First we assume that there is a structure in which various relations between the mediums and the effects exist. Then we indicate that the process of generating meaning is not as simple as interpreting from lyrics to gesture, but has a more complicated system in this structure. Last, we conclude that the concrete meaning of Nihon Buyo is not equal to the meaning of lyrics but is generated from the system of the structure. In this sense, the concrete meaning of lyrics can be expressed by the gestures. This paper illuminates the historical change of Nihon Buyo and its method of representation.