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Title: Rudolf Laban in the 21st century : a Brazilian perspective
Author: Scialom, Melina
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 0024
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis is a practitioner’s perspective on the field of movement studies initiated by the European artist-researcher Rudolf Laban (1879-1958) and its particular context in Brazil. Not only does it examine the field of knowledge that Laban proposed alongside his collaborators, but it considers the voices of Laban practitioners in Brazil as evidence of the contemporary practices developed in the field. As a modernist artist and researcher Rudolf Laban initiated a heritage of movement studies focussed on investigating the artistic expression of human beings, which still reverberates in the work of artists and scholars around the world. Thus my research is shaped by an investigation into the experience of the field’s practitioners, and how their activities shape the materialisation of Laban’s discourse nowadays. In this sense, not only their experience but also my own (as a Laban-practitioner myself) were the main materials and sources for my investigation. From this material I asked questions regarding the landscape of Laban practices in Brazil and the contemporaneity of Laban’s discourse. To develop this study I initiated an oral history project (collecting narratives from Brazilian practitioners), which evolved into an ethnography of the international and Brazilian field of Laban studies. In fact my intense participation and individual exploration of Laban praxis shaped my methods to articulate an embodied debate of the field. As a ‘history of the present’ based on individual and collective experiences, this study draws on Foucault to drive a critical perspective on the material and to finally debate the authorship of Laban’s discourse. This thesis thus starts with an overview of Laban studies. It then narrows down to consider the scape of Laban practices in Brazil, detailing the work of three local artists. While submerging myself in the field’s practices and theories and the lives of the Brazilian Laban-practitioners, I found that the work that is developed outside the United-States and European circle of practice and research may provide clues for a valuable understanding of the materiality of Laban’s discourse in the twenty-first century. Thus, this study proposes that practitioners who are engaged with the (constant) development of Laban studies can potentially be considered as (co-)authors of Laban praxis as it emerges in Brazil and worldwide.
Supervisor: Protopapa, Efrosini ; Buckland, Theresa Sponsor: Brazilian National Council for Research (CNPq)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Laban ; Brazil