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Title: Just one encounter : sensation, surface, space : distilling a mixed-mode heuristic, to make the process of inverting original choreographies more transparent
Author: Nunan, Mary Bernadette
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 9914
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2013
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This research undertaking suggests that the studio-based process of inventing original choreographic works can be seen, in certain frameworks, as a complex ‘theoretical practice’. It sets out to render the decisions that I, as an artist, make in the process of inventing three choreographic works, ‘Audience (1) Waltzers’, ‘Return Journey’ and ‘HaH’, more transparent and self-reflexive, and simultaneously to enquire into the question of whether, and how, writing might serve to illuminate aspects of my overall choreographic and performance practice. The studio-based process of inventing these three works– with which the written strands necessarily engage – reflects my desire to explore questions about dance, choreography and performance as they emerge in my practice and with reference to the canon of western contemporary dance performance. In the mixed-mode heuristic framework underlying the present investigation the studio-based and text-based strands of inquiry are integrated in an extra-hierarchical mode, functioning thus interdependently as strands having equal epistemic value within that undertaking. That is, each is equivalent in terms of an ongoing enquiry into knowledge. The present undertaking examines and reflects on the ways that modes and methods of inquiry appropriated from the tradition of contemporary and post-modern dance performance, the Somatic practices of Authentic Movement and Body-Mind Centering, together with the Buddhist practice of Mindfulness Meditation, support my status as remaining ‘present with’ sensations, emotions and thoughts that arise and inflect the other-than-linguistic qualitative reasoning that underlies the decisions I make in the process of inventing ‘signature’ choreographic works – by which I mean works that are recognisably my own. Investigations into the relationship between one’s ‘self’ and one’s thoughts are extended by borrowing selectively from published research within the fields of Philosophy, Science, Cognitive Science and Psychology. The mixed-mode heuristic framework provides for the emergence of a relational space between the studio-based and text-based strands of research. In this space the subtle, layered and always evolving sub-strands of both are rendered more transparent, thereby providing for the questions and decision-making processes underlying the invention of ‘Audience (1) Waltzers’, ‘Return Journey’ and ‘HaH’ to surface and become more fully revealed: can I create choreographic structures that might provide for audiences to have an intimate experience of dance and performance? And how might these choreographies also provide for somatic experiences of dance, and the space within which it unfolds, to be shared by the dancer(s) and audience in performance? I propose to demonstrate that this project’s original contributions to knowledge are located in (i) the design of the mixed-mode heuristic framework within which I examine and reflect on how writing, in a range of registers, might serve to illuminate the process of inventing original choreographic works (ii) the choreographic works ‘Audience (1) Waltzers’, ‘Return Journey’ and ‘HaH’ (iii) what can be identified as the category of ‘somatically-revolving-empathy’
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available