[LMB] Mirror Dance-ing in real life

alayne at twobikes.ottawa.on.ca alayne at twobikes.ottawa.on.ca
Wed Nov 1 06:06:08 GMT 2017

I just finished reading Alan Alda's new book called
"If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?
My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating".

Great title, and great opening para, too! And a lot of interesting 
conclusions about how to improve communication, drawn equally from his 
work as an actor and from his work as a communicator of science -- with 
many interviews with academics researching communication. And very 

Chapter 3 drew my attention in particular for its Bujold reference. It's 
called "The Mirror Exercise", and it's about an improv exercise developed 
for actors. In the exercise, two people mirror each others' movements, and 
then speech, as closely as possible. This has been shown to increase 
empathy and help people communicate with and connect to eavh other.

Which made me wonder about the effect of mirror dancing in Barrayar - 
could this have the effect of increasing empathy in some Vor who might 
badly need it? Another innovation snuck in by the women behind the throne?


Alayne McGregor
alayne at twobikes.ottawa.on.ca

"As a writer you’re always surprised when you think of the right note or the right word.
You think, 'Oh, I didn’t know I could — oh, that’s good!' You know, writing’s full of
surprises for oneself." - Stephen Sondheim, T Magazine, October 16, 2017,
interviewed by Lin-Manuel Miranda

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