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Title: The articulation of a dance somatics for a twenty-first century higher education
Author: Reed, Sara
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 1605
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2011
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The initial impetus for this research was dancers’ health particularly in relation to dance higher education and training. With the aim of improving dancers’ resilience and self-awareness, this thesis explores the potential of somatic practice as a critical pedagogy within the training and education of dance students. A challenge is made to what is seen as the dominant paradigm within dance higher education and pedagogy in the UK. There are misconceptions around the nature of somatic practices and their value, role and place within a twenty-first century UK dance higher education. It is suggested that a lack of understanding of what somatics is and its potential alongside dance may be seen as detrimental to dance graduates and their futures. In order to clarify the field of somatic practices and its potential as a central feature of dance higher education, a Wittgensteinian analysis is applied to a range of well known somatic practices; from this a number of key characteristics of somatics emerges. Somatic pioneers F. M. Alexander, Moshe Feldenkrais, Elsa Gindler and Joan Skinner are cited in order to signify their influence on the relationship between dance and somatic practices from the latter part of the twentieth century onwards. A recognition of the critical relationship between post-modern and New Dance in the development of a dance-somatics for the twenty-first century is seen as crucial to the understanding of the nature, role, value and place of somatics within a dancer’s education and training. It is argued that somatics should be a central feature of any dance higher education programme in the UK. A reconceptualisation of UK dance higher education which takes account of the potential of dance-somatics is proposed for the twenty-first century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available