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Title: 'Maybe I can take you by the hand and we can do this' : transitions, translation and transformation in creative dance
Author: Hanna, Julie Rachel
ISNI:       0000 0004 9359 0109
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2020
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This is an explorative and qualitative research study that uses critical and reflexive ethnographic methods (Denzin and Lincoln, 2002). It explores the dance artist’s role in participative and somatic dance, recognising dance as a culturally constructed mode of human action (Buckland, 1999, p. 4). The dance artist is often under-represented and largely invisible in the dance-health literature. This study contributes to this gap in knowledge by exploring the embodied and intersubjective experiences of a group of independent dance artists practicing in a specific, creative, social, and cultural dance domain. Data was collected by adopting an ethnographic attitude of ‘being there’ (Geertz, 1988, p. 1) and embedding myself, as the researcher, in the field of study for a 12-month period. I engaged in a self-critical and self-conscious analysis (Etherington, 2004), thereby making explicit my orientations and assumptions as a researcher with a background in health care and occupational therapy. This is therefore an inter-disciplinary study exploring the potential transfer of knowledge between arts and health sectors. Data gathering methods included participant listening, observation and felt body experience to further understanding of the dance world experienced by this group of dance artists. Data was analysed using primarily ethnographic content (Glaser and Strauss, 1967), and some narrative thematic analysis (Riessman, 2003, 2008) of the dance artists’ partial life stories. The study findings suggest that social and intersubjective relations are key in this dance-health practice in enabling the dance artists, acting as Guides, to facilitate a heightened awareness of somatic and subjective lived body experience. The dance artists empower others to translate and find meaning, as they transition between different mind-body experiences. Corporeal learning and acculturation take place by participating in the creative dance practice, which both reflects and influences everyday life (Koff, 2005). This experience of embodied transformation is understood from the perspective of a salutogenic approach to health (Antonovsky, 1996) with an emphasis on capability, meaning and a sense of coherence. This is exemplified by a sense of congruence between the dance participants’ inner and outer physical experience (Blackburn and Price, 2007, p. 69). Essentially, the body is explored within a specific group of dance artists situated in a particular social and cultural dance-health setting. This doctoral research therefore seeks to bring embodiment before the sociological gaze (Crossley, 2007, p. 80) exploring the subjective and intersubjective lived body experience from a social perspective.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral