Article

Yes? No! maybe...: Seductive ambiguity in dance

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Abstract

Covering fifty years of British dance, from Margot Fonteyn to innovative contemporary practitioners such as Wendy Houstoun and Nigel Charnock, Yes? No! Maybe is an innovative approach to performing and watching dance. Emilyn Claid brings her life experience and interweaves it with academic theory and historical narrative to create a dynamic approach to dance writing. Using the 1970s revolution of new dance as a hinge, Claid looks back to ballet and forward to British independent dance which is new dance's legacy. She explores the shifts in performer-spectator relationships, and investigates questions of subjectivity, absence and presence, identity, gender, race and desire using psychoanalytical, feminist, postmodern, post-structuralist and queer theoretical perspectives. Artists and practitioners, professional performers, teachers, choreographers and theatre-goers will all find this book an informative and insightful read.

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... Foster (1992) claims that this type of dancer loses distinctiveness through incorporating a multitude of styles. British dancer and choreographer Emilyn Claid (2006) broached this issue from the perspective of her time as artistic director of Extemporary Dance Theatre (beginning in 1981), a repertory dance company based in London. Writing of her endeavour to incorporate the work of a number of different choreographers, each with a distinct choreographic style into the company's repertoire, she stated: I had underestimated the time it took for bodies to re-learn through somatic attention, despite their willingness to do so. . ...
... .having lost the play between precise points'. Although Claid (2006) is writing about working with a repertory company rather than the independent 'dancer for hire' that Foster (1992) describes, her text is an example of an historical moment when canonical dance styles were breaking down through the emergence of circumstances that formed the independent dancer. It also reveals the challenge of successfully incorporating a number of different movement styles in succession. ...
... Although this 'performative self' may be 'insubstantial' when opened up to scrutiny, it may also be experienced as very real for the audience and dancer in the moment of performance. If this is true, do independent contemporary dancers change identities from piece to piece, or do they display a recognisable consistency in approach, which Claid (2006) suggests and is concerned about? ...
Article
In this article, I argue for an acknowledgement of the significance of the dancer’s role in the creation of independent contemporary dance. I propose the term ‘moving identity’ to outline the independent contemporary dancer’s ‘way of moving’ which could be perceived as the accumulation of various factors including training approaches, choreographic movement traces and anatomical structures. The concept of the moving identity allows us to appreciate the dancer’s unique signature movement style as the collation of embodied experiences into a unique way of moving. However, the moving identity is also open to change when the dancer encounters new choreography and the choreographer. Professional dance training produces particular types of dancers, depending on the techniques with which they engage. I demonstrate how the independent contemporary dancer troubles this distinctiveness by engaging with a multitude of movement styles and approaches throughout a career. This leads me to a fresh description of the dancer’s activity through the lens of Deleuzean concepts of multiplicity and de-stratification. Finally, I propose a definition of the dancer as a fluid and mutable body-in-flux with the creative potential to significantly influence the outcome of the choreographic process.
... These kinds of narratives about dance and sexuality are often written by college-educated women (e.g., Angier, 1976; Bruce, with Benenson, 1976; Burana, 2001; Cody, 2005; Dragu & Harrison, 1988; Eaves, 2002; Futterman, 1992; Schweitzer, 2001; Seymour, 1994). Some dancers have earned doctorates drawing upon their performing experiences (e.g., Brooks, 1997; Claid, 2006; Eaves, 2002; Egan, 2006a, 2006b; Frank, 2002, 2007; Johnson, 2006; Lewis, 1998a, 1998b, 2000). Feindel (1988) was a former dancer with the National Ballet. ...
... And it defies propriety by subverting property, namely the appropriation and ownership of bodies and desires by heterosexual normativity'' (Lepecki, 2002, p. 272). Claid (2006) said, ''lesbian practice and theory contest the meaning and normality of being'' (p. 180; also see p. 183). ...
... On the other hand, the dancers' ''He-Man'' physiques represented the Greek ideal, which is an identifying code for gay men. Claid (2006) investigated ''how seductiveness in dance performance could be re-figured on=in a performer's body through an oscillation between embodied attributes of masculinity and femininity, power and pleasure, as an ambiguity of gender identity'' (p. 7). ...
Article
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This literature review of dance and sexual expression considers dance and religion, dance and sexuality as a source of power, manifestations of sexuality in Western theater art and social dance, plus ritual and non-Western social dance. Expressions of gender, sexual orientation, asexuality, ambiguity, and adult entertainment exotic dance are presented. Prominent concerns in the literature are the awareness, closeting, and denial of sexuality in dance; conflation of sexual expression and promiscuity of gender and sexuality, of nudity and sexuality, and of dancer intention and observer interpretation; and inspiration for infusing sexuality into dance. Numerous disciplines (American studies, anthropology, art history, comparative literature, criminology, cultural studies, communication, dance, drama, English, history, history of consciousness, journalism, law, performance studies, philosophy, planning, retail geography, psychology, social work, sociology, and theater arts) have explored dance and sexual expression, drawing upon the following concepts, which are not mutually exclusive: critical cultural theory, feminism, colonialism, Orientalism, postmodernism, poststructuralism, queer theory, and semiotics. Methods of inquiry include movement analysis, historical investigation, anthropological fieldwork, autoethnography, focus groups, surveys, and self-reflection or autobiographical narrative. Directions for future exploration are addressed.
... Gill's legacy will continue to shape and influence the role and development of somatic practice within dance education and training, performance and teaching and we have so much to thank her for. 1 For more information on the organisation Independent Dance see, http://www.independentdance.co.uk/ 2 The British dance collective known as X6 existed for just five years from 1976 and consisted of five artists; Jacky Lansley, Fergus Early, Maedee Dupres, Mary Prestige and Emilyn Claid (Claid, 2006). These five dance artists and those that joined them at X6 in London were part of a network of experimental artists, including musicians and filmmakers, working in the capital at that time. ...
... These five dance artists and those that joined them at X6 in London were part of a network of experimental artists, including musicians and filmmakers, working in the capital at that time. X6 had a hugely significant influence on the direction of UK professional contemporary dance and subsequently dance training and education from the mid 1970s onwards; the results of which can be seen in many performance companies, management contexts and performance teaching today (Claid, 2006). ...
Article
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In this interview with Gill Clarke she discusses her role as a dance artist, her dance training and background and the influence that somatic practice had on her dancing, teaching and advocacy. The interview highlights the significant contribution that Gill made in exposing and sharing the potential and value of somatic informed dance education. I hope that it also adequately highlights the tremendous contribution that Gill's work had on the development of independent dance in the UK and the organisation which grew to support independent dance and dancers. 1 Gill Clarke's discovery of somatic practice changed her whole understanding of the dancing body and dance pedagogy and subsequently her influence on somatic informed dance education in the UK. Key words Gill Clarke somatic informed dance education independent dance post-modern New Dance This interview and conversation with Gill Clarke (1954-2011) was undertaken in 2002 as part of my ongoing research on somatic informed dance education. The intention was to explore the place, role and value of somatic practice alongside dance training and education in the UK. The work involved interviewing a number of seminal dance practitioners, who were training during the X6 2 and post-X6 period. The majority of these dance practitioners had experienced a range of training seen as typical of the eclectic style of the late twentieth and, now, twenty-first century and as a direct result of post-modern and New Dance influences. On the whole, these practitioners were studying and training whilst in their twenties and during the mid 1980s at the time that New Dance magazine was still being published in the UK; their dancing identities were therefore considerably shaped by the challenges presented by post-modern/New Dance. The interviews were semi-structured with the same specific
... Choreographer and author, Emilyn Claid (2006), describes how the New Dance movement of the 1970s in the UK involved rethinking more formal training techniques, such as ballet, in order to integrate somatic approaches within the form of the technique. Somatics, a term that was originally coined by Thomas Hanna (1928-1990), refers to a wide field of practice that includes the Feldenkrais method, Alexander Technique and Body Mind Centering amongst other approaches. ...
... Changes in movement practices can require shifts in self-representation, as seen in Claid's (2006) example earlier and explained by Hanna (2014) as the indivisible link between the physiological and the psychological when working from the somatic perspective. However, it must not be assumed that somatic practices in all cases provide technologies for students to creatively construct the self outside of dominant discourses. ...
Chapter
This chapter explores pedagogical approaches within two different university dance educational settings, one situated in Ireland and one in Australia, by charting the author’s experience as a dance lecturer in both contexts. This includes a discussion on the impact that the absence of an institutional professional-level dance training programme in Ireland may have had on Irish contemporary and/or ballet dancers and the dance sector at large in this country. Somatic approaches are outlined as a teaching tool to support the autonomous development of the student and engage with the complexities of training for the current professional dance climate. The chapter concludes by questioning the kind of dancing traits a professional-level dance training programme situated in Ireland might produce.
... 36-40). In dance (Foster 1992, Thomas 2003, Claid 2006), as well as in various sports activities, such as boxing (Wacquant 2005) and capoeira (Downey 2005), it has been emphasised that the learning of a technique involves a process of incorporating certain skills and ways of moving as well as a process of shaping an inner landscape of relevant sensations and sensory awareness. As has been indicated in relation to educational processes in contemporary dance by several dance researchers, the embodied learning of the dancer specifically includes a development of a heightened awareness of his or her sense of the qualities of movement (Fortin and Seidentorp 1995, Claid 2006, Bales and Nettl-Fiol 2008, Potter 2008. ...
... In dance (Foster 1992, Thomas 2003, Claid 2006), as well as in various sports activities, such as boxing (Wacquant 2005) and capoeira (Downey 2005), it has been emphasised that the learning of a technique involves a process of incorporating certain skills and ways of moving as well as a process of shaping an inner landscape of relevant sensations and sensory awareness. As has been indicated in relation to educational processes in contemporary dance by several dance researchers, the embodied learning of the dancer specifically includes a development of a heightened awareness of his or her sense of the qualities of movement (Fortin and Seidentorp 1995, Claid 2006, Bales and Nettl-Fiol 2008, Potter 2008. Dancers are therefore expected to have trained a heightened awareness concerning their sensing of movement and body. ...
Article
In this article, we deal with how sense experiences can be described and analysed in movement activities such as dance. We present a methodological framework of how multi-sited fieldwork and phenomenology can be combined to explore ongoing constitutive processes of subjects’ sense experiences. The challenge of how to employ phenomenology in relation to a fieldwork based on particular and subjective experiences is constructively related to phenomenological discussions of the content versus the structure of experience. Phenomenology as a philosophical enterprise is subsequently linked to concrete methodological challenges, by presenting and discussing how, in a specific study, we handle the ‘in practise’ sense experiences of different dancers. Being a dancer herself, the first author included her embodied competence when performing the fieldwork. The body thereby became both the researcher’s tool and the subject to be investigated. The comparative structure implicit to performing a multi-sited fieldwork was used to build a creative tension between the researcher’s and the dancers’ experiences. Two descriptions of dancers’ sense experiences are presented. They exemplify how the dancers turn to an overall sense of how the body feels in preference to working with specific modalities of sensing. Furthermore, the dancers’ sensing of the physicality of their moving bodies appears to be shaped by their unique intention is at the same time given form through their interactions with other dancers.
... An appendix is attached for those interested in knowing more of the choreographic process involved in the dance works. illuminating to the central thesis (such as Claid (2006), Hahn (2007)), as well as writers who attempt to convey and define these experiences (Beardsley, 1982;Zarrilli, 1990;Gil, 2006). ...
... The practice and theory support and augment each other and the work is both my own entirely and also something that has been informed by the aggregate of my experience of watching and learning aspects from other performers, and which I attempt to describe in as honest a way as possible. This thesis furthermore refers to the work of other dancers and writers such as Hay (1987;), Fraleigh (1987, Barba (1991;), Beardsley (1982, Claid (2006), and Hahn (2007). ...
... With a few exceptions (East 2001;Enghauser 2007;Fraleigh 1999Fraleigh , 2005Stewart 2005), scholarly discourse in dance has little examined the ecological implications of the performing body, though contemporary or "post-modern" dance since the Judson Church era has often identified itself as a field that celebrates innovative, anti-establishment agendas (Banes 1993). Substantial literature documents the dancing, performing body as a site for commenting on social and gender politics (Albright 1997;Banes 1994;Daly 2002;Fensham 2008;Martin 1998;Phelan 1993;Claid 2006;LePecki 2004;Thomas 2003), and seeking to reinscribe the body as a signifier of subjectivity and agency (Briginshaw 2001, Butler 1990Phelan and Reckitt 2001;Schneider 1997), issues which I maintain are addressed in ecological practice. Dancemakers in recent years have also notably defined themselves as conceiving of or practicing emergent contemporary philosophies upon and through dancers' bodies (LePecki 1999(LePecki , 2006a(LePecki , 2006bCvejic 2005;Ritsema 2004) and aspects of these contemporary philosophies exemplified in performance have sometimes been identified as "ecological" (Briginshaw 2005, Fraleigh 2005). ...
... It is also important to note that Hay's recent choreographies are frequently performed for western theatre audiences, many of whom are conditioned by the performances since the 1970s which explore degrees of presence and absence in the persona of the performer (Claid 2006 ...
... During the Judson Church era and subsequent New Dance movement, experimentation with dance/movement as a medium combined with the deconstruction of theatrical conventions gave rise to a new wave of creative work resourced through somatic practices that brought the subjectivity of the dancer to the fore (Claid 2006;Garrett Brown 2007;Bales and Nettl-Fiol 2008). 'Somatic[ally]-informed choreographic practice' refers to the domain of dance practice that incorporates principles of somatic practice into its modes of creation and performance (Garrett Brown 2007. ...
Thesis
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This thesis articulates the process of forming movement material within a solo, contemporary dance-making practice from the perspective of the dancer-maker, with the aim of giving voice to the embodied knowledge of a particular dance-making practice. Since the researcher’s dance-making practice already has deep synergies with her Authentic Movement practice, she was able to develop certain processual qualities of Authentic Movement into a methodology that speaks directly from the voice of the dance-maker and adequately captures the unique processual nature of the practice itself. Thus, the making of a solo dance work called perch and the development of the methodology and methods by which it is communicated in this thesis are two sides of the same process. In this way, this thesis seeks to fulfil the aspiration within artistic research to recognise ‘alternative ways of knowing’ and the ‘insider-experience’ of the artist (Nelson 2013), and provide an alternative to the majority of artistic research in dance, in which practice is interpreted through the lens of an extrinsic theory. The thesis references core debates and research imperatives within the field of artistic research, as well as contextualising the making of perch in relation to North American and European somatically-informed contemporary dance, the dance-historical context of Authentic Movement, and the work of other dance-makers who also draw upon Authentic Movement. This project offers several contributions to knowledge which will be of value to contemporary dancers and dance-makers, Authentic Movement practitioners and artist-researchers with an interest in embodied creative practice. First, it articulates the activity of forming movement material from the perspective of the dancer-maker. Second, it addresses the need for more research exploring the relationship between dance-making and Authentic Movement. Third, it presents the development of a methodology for dance-making that is based in dance/movement principles (the processual qualities of Authentic Movement). The final contribution is the detailed account of dance-making as an attentional, processual pursuit which takes place between the dance-maker and the dance that is being made.
... With different characteristics, the seven contemporary dancers in this study primarily focus on sensing their body and on how sense attention could affect movement. The way the particular body of each dancer feels (rather than the way an ideal body looks like) offers an individual potential in movement and is itself the guide for training (Bull 1997; Claid 2006, p 80; Fortin 1993; Fortin and Seidentorp 1995; Ravn 2008, pp 101-102). As one of the contemporary dancers describes, training is also about showing " some respect for the natural limits of bodies " . ...
Article
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This paper is about one of the puzzles of bodily self-consciousness: can an experience be both and at the same time an experience of one′s physicality and of one′s subjectivity? We will answer this question positively by determining a form of experience where the body′s physicality is experienced in a non-reifying manner. We will consider a form of experience of oneself as bodily which is different from both “prenoetic embodiment” and “pre-reflective bodily consciousness” and rather corresponds to a form of reflective access to subjectivity at the bodily level. In particular, we argue that subjectivity is bodily expressed, thereby allowing the experience of the body′s subjectivity directly during perceptual experiences of the body. We use an interweaving of phenomenological explorations and ethnographical methods which allows validating this proposal by considering the experience of body experts (dancers).
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Conference Paper
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Universities are not individually unique. They stand next to each other in the various hierarchies of excellence that are underpinned by commonalities of the various statures that they accrue in learning, teaching, research and a host of cultural and social impacts as are measured regionally, nationally and internationally. It is as we move toward closer international ties with our WDA colleagues in higher education who work in dance that we look to our own ways and means with a view to revealing what we, in the UK, do in our delivery of dance to higher education students, and some of the constraints within which we work. With this in hand as a reference, we might then seek to discuss with our colleagues in other countries the many ways and means in which the similarities and differences have emerged from our various contexts as we all work towards inspiring the next generation of dancing graduates. Key words: UK higher education dance, World Dance Alliance – Europe
Article
At a time when dance technique teachers may feel marginalised both by criticism of the quality of training in our conservatoires, and by questions raised by artists and their work in the twenty-first century, Sonia Rafferty and Erica Stanton (both including technique teacher in their portfolio of skills) discuss the place and function of the technique class. In the guise of a conversation that dance teachers might have with one other, we ask what might be revealed during class to afford a fuller sensory awareness of the ‘work’. We question the packaging of approaches that can enable dancers and educators alike to make productive connections within both the class and the curriculum in which it is sited. What is the nature of the environment in which technical capacities can be revealed and enhanced? We look at ways to communicate, organise and combine our individual stylistic tools and learning strategies effectively to afford a more productive engagement between all participants in class, including the dance teacher.
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Book
Fully revised and updated, this second edition of Contemporary Choreography presents a range of articles covering choreographic enquiry, investigation into the creative process, and innovative challenges to traditional understandings of dance making. Contributions from a global range of practitioners and researchers address a spectrum of concerns in the field, organized into seven broad domains: Conceptual and philosophical concerns. Processes of making. Dance dramaturgy: structures, relationships, contexts. Choreographic environments. Cultural and intercultural contexts. Challenging aesthetics. Choreographic relationships with technology. Including 23 new chapters and 10 updated ones, Contemporary Choreography captures the essence and progress of choreography in the twenty-first century, supporting and encouraging rigorous thinking and research for future generations of dance practitioners and scholars. © 2018 Jo Butterworth and Liesbeth Wildschut. All Rights Reserved.
Chapter
In this chapter, Akinleye and Kindred discuss their need to be alert to how Western values creep into their creative processes through the language they use to discuss, describe and facilitate dance. The chapter explores their attempts to extract their ‘dancing bodies’ and choreographic processes from the Imperialist language of Western binaries. Despite their creative processes being informed by their multicultural, trans-national life experiences, how they talk about, or describe their work is often limited by the necessity of describing it using Western mainstream terms, which they suggest is a continuing legacy of colonization. The chapter discusses ways they have sought to decolonize the environment of their creative exploration.
Chapter
In this chapter, Carr discusses styles of dancing, termed UK, Underground or, more recently, Old Skool Jazz, that emerged in British clubs during the late 1970s. Evidence from recordings of this dancing attest to the high levels of technical and performance skills the dancers attained through their ‘battles’ on the dance floor. Yet his dancing received limited recognition in Britain beyond the immediate community of dancers and jazz enthusiasts. Carr explores the cultural significance of the styles of jazz dancing in order to initiate consideration of how the dancers negotiated the complex interplays of ‘race’, class and gender during a turbulent period of recent British history.
Chapter
This chapter explores my practice work with co-creator Professor Helen Newall, Dying Swans and Dragged Up Dames (2013, 2014). The work consisted of a collection of parodic images which disrupt representations of the pioneers of modern dance and icons of classical ballet: Moira Shearer, Martha Graham, Rudolf Nureyev, Vaslav Nijinsky, Anna Pavlova. I engage in theoretical analysis relating to queer theory and camp (Butler, Bodies That Matter. London: Routledge, 1993; Halberstam, The Queer Art of Failure. North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2011; Sontag, ‘Notes on Camp’ in A Susan Sontag Reader. Harmondsworth: Penguin. pp. 105–119, 1983). In terms of subjectivity, I explore how my own maturing body renegotiates both fatness and age, which results in a rejection of the previous codified techniques. I explore the documentation of the visual images themselves, which offer, arguably, a longer shelf-life than a performance output to a spectator.
Chapter
In 2013 Robert Cohan, founder Artistic Director of the London Contemporary Dance Theatre and Co-Artistic Director of The Martha Graham Dance Company returned to the UK from many years living in France. Since then he has been much in demand as choreographer and teacher. With the Yorke Dance Project he has restaged his 1979 solo Canciones del Alma, and created a new work Lingua Franca which had as its starting point a section of his 1984 work Agora. In addition, in 2015 for Liam Riddick of the Richard Alston Dance Company he created a new solo entitled Sigh. This chapter explores his approach to translation, transformation and transmission in these works alongside a restaging of Forest (1976). The chapter frames Cohan’s work in the context of Living Cultural Heritage as posited by Iacono and Brown (2016).
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Participatory performance can respond to differing temporal and spatial perspectives of Anthropogenic climate change as an embodied practice of ‘minimal ethics’ (Zylinska, 2014). By taking up the theme of ‘survival’, performatively I explore questions of survival in relation to the individual and larger society through the survival of being-with as a ‘new’ modality for living on this earth and beyond our selves (Heidegger, 1996). I draw the Poetics of Failure (Bailes, 2011) and Schneider (2011) in the creation of performance rituals that activate presence through absence. This paper discusses the performance walk, Be for barefoot—A survival walk on Ocean Beach in Dunedin, Otago, as a mobile community enacting a memorial emerging from the remains of personal and environmental tragedy. The walking and sharing of stories of survival contributes to rituals of wellbeing as a way to create hope in the face of environmental uncertainty.
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In this article, original interview material, existing published accounts, and the author's own experience as a contemporary dancer are put in conversation to explicitly address a particular kinesthetic awareness, sensitivity, and curiosity valued and employed by a group of dancers in the practice of contemporary dance, which is referred to as a kinesthetic mode of attention. The research informing this article uses a phenomenological and sociological approach and discusses, in detail, what this mode of attending “is like,” how it is described in different ways by dancers, and how it might be developed and nurtured in training and working in the style of contemporary dance. An overarching aim of this work is to contribute to greater understanding and valuing of the nuances and particularities of kinesthetic intelligence in dance practices and to address the cognitive aspects of dancing.
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This paper focuses on the notion of performance as a form of knowledge (philosophy) through an analysis of Nicola Elliott’s Bruising (2014), first performed at the National Arts Festival in South Africa. This notion of performance as a form of philosophy acknowledges that performance creates forms of knowing that can only be derived from the experience of performance. This knowledge is related to ‘living meaning’ or affect which explains the liminal quality of how meaning arises through performance and that this knowledge/sense is not absolute but singular and subjective for the audience member. Bruising deals with the concepts of living through loss, but does not present one with any prescribed messages or overt meanings. Instead, the work reveals the ambiguity of love and the process of making meaning. I pay specific attention to how Bruising created a shift in my experience of time and space through movement (dance) and argue that this kind of shift challenges ‘kinetic complicity’ via Andrè Lepecki’s theory of a slow ontology. The experiential aspect of viewership informs the observations and conclusions drawn from this research. Alongside this interpretative research methodology is a qualitative engagement with theories related to performance and choreography.
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This article aims to explore the relation between body and space – specifically how the relation between the embodied awareness of movement and the sense of one’s body-space can be modified and changed deliberately in different kinds of dance practices. Using a multi-sited design, the ethnographical fieldwork, which formed the empirical ground for the study, was from the outset focused on acknowledging the diversity of the dancers’ practices. Each in their own way, the 13 professional dancers involved in the study relate to and experience bodied potentialities, body-space and the spatiality of movement differently. Through their practice, they indicate that the body image is shaped through a multisensorial process of reification, and that seeing is to be related to a broader perceptual engagement. Furthermore, they exemplify how seeing can be deliberately used to expand the sense of their body-space and thereby to affect the spatiality of the fields of their embodied interaction.
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The Festival of India showcased Indian culture on a large scale for global audiences. A phenomenon of the 1980s and 1990s, the festival launched in Britain in 1982, then extended to sites such as the United States, France, the Soviet Union, Germany, and China. Although using a similar terminology to the Festival of India, Dance Umbrella began in 1978 as a showcase of independent performance, initially centred on a single, small-scale venue. Only gradually, over its 30-year history, has Dance Umbrella emerged as a mainstream showcase in which the world’s most prominent contemporary dance companies appear in London’s most renowned venues. These two festivals provide an arena for examining the workings of festival structures. In this chapter, I suggest that festival programming engages with three related histories: the relationship between scholarship, cultural tourism, and imperial display; the construction of national identities; and the relationship of dance to diplomacy.
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In 2008, the Australian Federal Minister for Ageing identified the importance of promoting social engagement amongst older Australians who frequently rely on community arts organizations to enhance quality of life, specifically in health, happiness and community. The arts are identified as a powerful catalyst in building strong communities that have the potential for connection, caring and social development. Greater active engagement in performing arts by older people is positively related to enhanced individual and community well-being. Our research study, Wellbeing and ageing: community, diversity and the arts (begun in 2008), explores cultural diversity and complexity within older Australian society through an examination of engagement with a community choir. In 2009 data were collected via semi-structured interviews that were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis which utilises a phenomenological approach that explores personal experience in the participant’s life-world. Our research study focuses on one community choir, the Bosnian Behar Choir, in Victoria, Australia, as a lens through which to explore active ageing. Three significant issues were identified from this research which will be reported under the themes of well-being, community and cultural diversity. The Bosnian Behar Choir demonstrates how community music making can enhance well-being and positive ageing in contemporary Australia.<br /
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Philosophers have faced the problem of self or inner awareness since the self, itself, became something to be known and/or understood. Once dancers ‘let go of the mirror’ (Emily Claid 2006) they too began to face the problem and limits to bodily awareness, developing specific reflective practices to obtain access to their inner bodily selves. But for the phenomenologist, reflection requires an active process of perception, which problematises our grasping of the so-called hidden, organising structures of movement that are unable to be perceived (bodily schemata). For the dancer, then, how is it possible to access and have a deeper understanding of these nonconscious bodily structures? What are the limits to inner bodily awareness? In this article, I draw upon Jean-Paul Sartre’s challenge to Edmund Husserl’s pure ego with his notion of object transcendence in his essay of 1937, Transcendence of The Ego: An existentialist theory of consciousness. I do this as a possible means for understanding bodily schemata and its expression through interactive dance technologies. Using examples from dance, I suggest how bodily schemata can be accounted for if our attention is not directed towards an inner sensing of the body, but towards a site of interaction where objects or materials extend or supraextend our bodies in the form of clothing, costume and digital representations, and where the dancer becomes audience to these distally extended bodily reflections.
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Ismene Brown’s effusive review raises questions about the perception of South Asian and South Asian-derived dance in Britain today. Even as Shobana Jeyasingh and other choreographers experiment with Indian classical vocabularies and integrate themselves into the mainstream of British dance, an enduring Orientalism inflects the reception of their work. In reviews like Brown’s, the classical dance forms that serve as these artists’ point of departure remain identified as ‘ancient’ and ‘exquisite’, despite the vicissitudes of their histories and the contingent nature of their traditionalism. Irrespective of a long history of modern dance in India, a contemporary aesthetic sensibility still aligns with Britain.1 Moreover, the review emphasises Jeyasingh’s geographic positioning, indicating, perhaps, a mild surprise that the choreographer lives in London, a response that overlooks the global history of
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The purpose of this chapter is to consider the ways in which the historian engages with dance analysis. ‘Historian’ and ‘analyst’ are malleable terms, for reconstructors of dance, among others, also engage with history and analysis. For example, in order to ‘build’ the dance for performance, reconstructors amass historical evidence and make informed guesses about gaps, whether in details of the choreography or the performing style. For the purpose of this discussion, however, the ‘historian’ is conceived as someone whose aim is to examine the dances of the past for reasons other than remaking them in present-day performance. Close examination of a specific dance can position it more securely as a culturally significant activity or support claims for its place on a continuum or as innovative practice. Discerning the characteristics of dances can identify their theatrical, social or ritual function. Analysis of dance events might form an integral aspect of biography. The reasons why historians explore the detail of past dances are multifarious for each can set their own distinct research trajectories.
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In December 2017, I co-convened Drawing Conversations 2: Body, Space, Place with colleagues within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Coventry University. This event included a presentation by artist Chris Crickmay with a later exhibition of his paintings titled: Reliving the Moment, shown at the Lanchester Gallery, Coventry University (14th February – 9th March 2018). Related to this exhibition, and other work as a visual artist, Crickmay led a number of events including a one-day workshop exploring movement, drawing and place and a research seminar based on Reliving the Moment and his long term working partnership with independent dance artist Eva Karczag. The seminar included Karczag in a virtual presence through skype connection. In reliving these moments with the audience, and alongside Eva Karczag, a fascinating conversation began to take place but, with limited time available, was frustratingly cut short. It was this event which has led me to explore further the chemistry of this long term working partnership and how Karczag and Crickmay’s working together has influenced their practices, both as individuals and as collaborators. Therefore, this chapter comprises the transcription of a semi-structured interview with Eva Karczag and Chris Crickmay, conducted face to face in Arnhem, Holland, where both have worked together over many years. In the exploration of their artistic practices I uses a phenomenological and ethnographical approach allowing for a fully informed and rich conversation to take place and to be documented and shared with others. This documentation will precede Chapter 2 where Crickmay and Karczag discuss their collaborative practice and specifically how drawing has become a way of re-visiting their performances.
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"Ambitious in its scope and interdisciplinary in its purview. . . . Without doubt future researchers will want to refer to Hanna's study, not simply for its rich bibliographical sources but also for suggestions as to how to proceed with their own work. Dance, Sex, and Gender will initiate a discussion that should propel a more methodologically informed study of dance and gender."—Randy Martin, Journal of the History of Sexuality