Dancing to an understanding of embodiment
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This practice-led research employs choreographic and somatic practices, and their mediation through performance and/or technologies, to facilitate critical engagement and apprehension of notions of embodiment. The core concerns are movement, dance and the body, as sites of knowledge and as modes of inquiry, with particular focus on lived experience approached from a nondualist perspective. Central themes are action, attention, bodyscape, tensegrity, improvisation, interactivity, memory, language and gesture. Taking as a starting point the position that knowledge and mind may be embodied, and that the movement habits and stress markers which pattern bodyscape may in turn inform cognition, the choreographic practice seeks to illuminate, rather than explicate or demonstrate, aspects of embodiment. The methodological approaches are (en)active, heuristic and reflective. Dance, as a exemplar of movement, and choreography, as a mode of creative and critical engagement with dance, are the primary research tools. Somatic approaches to practice, performance and philosophy are investigated for their potential to develop or reveal embodied knowing and awareness. Technological mediation is employed to inform and augment perception and apprehension of the embodied experience of dance, from the perspectives of choreographer, performer and audience. The thesis comprises five dance-based performance works and a written text critically engaging the concepts behind and emergent from this praxis.