An unfinished mindful body meets live choreographies of solo dance
AuthorRoberts, Paul H.
AffiliationSchool of Performing Arts
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2017 Dr. Paul H. Roberts
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.
Keywordscontemporary dance; improvisation; somatic attentiveness; social responsibility; practice-led research
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