When I Dance My Walk: A Phenomenological Analysis of Habitual Movement in Dance Practices

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Faculty/Staff
Final version published as: 

Bergonzoni, C. (2017) ‘When I Dance My Walk: A PhenomenologicalAnalysis of Habitual Movement in Dance Practices’, Phenomenology & Practice, Volume 11 (2017), No. 1, pp. 32-42.

Date created: 
2017-08-22
Keywords: 
Phenomenology
Dance
Perception
Walking
Habits
Merleau-Ponty
Abstract: 

In this article, I describe the experience of dancing-a-walk. My specific focus is on the shift that I perceive in my body when I dance-a-walk rather than functionally walking. Following a firstperson perspective, I demonstrate how my experience of practicing dancing-a-walk interrogates the habit of walking and makes it come alive again as an expression of the body. First, I show how the practice of dancing-a-walk challenges the dichotomy between abstract and concrete movement proposed by Maurice Merleau-Ponty in the Phenomenology of Perception. Indeed, dancing-a-walk is an example of a concrete and yet already abstract movement. Then, I turn to concepts such as habits and body memory. By identifying how the perception of my body changes when I dance everyday movements (i.e., walking) versus when I execute such movements functionally, I aim to develop a new perspective on and vocabulary for a phenomenological definition of concrete/abstract movements within the context of dance.

Language: 
English
Document type: 
Article
Rights: 
The copyright for content in Phenomenology & Practice is retained by the author(s), with first publication rights granted to Phenomenology & Practice. By virtue of the open access policy of Phenomenology & Practice, content may be used with proper attribution (to both the author and Phenomenology & Practice) for educational and other non-commercial use.
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