School of Performing Arts - Theses

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    Choreographing time: temporality in choreography from the perspective of a solo improviser
    Vachananda, Nareeporn ( 2017)
    Choreographing Time is a practice-led research project exploring how the temporality of improvisational material can be articulated to affect the attention of the audience. The research investigates how the intersubjectivity between performer and audience affects the regulation of time in solo improvisation and contributes to the performance making process. Focusing on developing the performer’s capacity for attention, the two main areas of research underpinning this investigation are Noh theatre and BodyMind Centering® (BMC), a form of somatic practice. In addition, this research combines practical investigation with the theory of ‘self-other’ in neurophysiology and the phenomenological study of perceptual experience to inform the consideration of temporality in the performance of solo improvisation. The methodology includes practices drawn from Noh Theatre, in particular, the application of the temporal concept of jo-ha-kyū in improvisation, movement exploration derived from BMC, together with methods for critical experimentation and analysis of choreographic strategies including reflective writing, reportage and audience interviews. The theoretical and studio research resulted in the presentation of the new solo work "17 Square Brackets" with its improvisational score speculating on the conditions of the body to generate performative material. This research proposes further investigation that will seek to integrate fields of knowledge within Western and Eastern disciplines to impart new ways of approaching improvised performance making. This is aimed to enable a coherent experience, which is mutually shared between the performer and audience.
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    An unfinished mindful body meets live choreographies of solo dance
    Roberts, Paul H. ( 2017)
    My practice-led research that utilises live solo performances of improvised contemporary dance, explores the notion that the body can be considered as unfinished, unresolved. My research shows that such conceptualisations foster productive links between dance and bodily specificity. Furthermore, how somatic attentiveness, a key element in my praxis, links to values such as human development, and social responsibility, is also explored by this dissertation. These explorations consider the socio-political agency of my work with live performance. This dissertation shows how awareness of bodily specificity clarifies understandings of personal and social response-ability. The consistent application of somatic attentiveness throughout my praxis has provided a sense of continuity between experiences of movement associated with personal, political, cultural, social, and academic actions. A theme returned to repeatedly throughout my thesis is that the personal, the social, the cultural, the political, and the academic are enmeshed. No one precedes the other. Phenomenology as a philosophical approach positions lived experience, and the body, centrally. My research has been significantly supported and furthered through exposure to materials from this field. The work of philosophers such as Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, Philipa Rothfield, Elizabeth Behnke and others in response to Husserlian Phenomenology has informed my work. Perspectives which have guided my inquiries have also come from autoethnography, dance theory and performance theory, through the work of theorists and philosophers including Carolyn Ellis, Bojana Cvejić, Danielle Goldman, Susan Leigh Foster and Ann Cooper Albright.