A ravine of in-betweens: The body, dance, and writing into the excess

Thesis type
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Date created
A ravine of in-betweens: The body, dance, and writing into the excess is an invitation for the reader to follow their body compass and undertake a personal journey. Through the exploration of seven guideposts (body, bodies, dance, somatics, improvisation, audiencing, pedagogies), I point towards an investigation of what it means to truly bring the body into pedagogical practices, particularly inclusive dance pedagogies. I build on somatics, arts-based research, and phenomenology to offer an understanding of the body that supports the possibility of audiencing one's own dance. I propose that dance is research and, as such, the research starts with and from the body, and I question how to talk, think, and write of dance without objectifying it or using it as a metaphor for the research. By writing in dance, rather than about dance, I ask: How can I be true to the fact that dance is a form of non-linguistic knowledge, when writing about it? In doing so, I problematize the distinction between 'theory' and 'practice' and, in particular, I discuss how the 'practices' of choreographing, teaching and dancing become 'theory'. My dissertation explores my relationship with dance, but it moves from the personal to the social. I discuss the relationship my body holds with the endless possibilities of feeling, sensing, and dancing simultaneously and explore the use of a written language that comes from the experience of these possibilities. To honour the idea that my body, my research, and this dissertation keep changing through the process, I am also reflecting on the experience of living through a global pandemic and on the discovery of a 'pandemic body' and of emergent practices. I describe in detail the idea of an 'excessive body' to expand on the notion of body data as both an excess and a lack of evidence. Integral to this dissertation are three dance videos that I developed during my doctoral journey. These videos are not an 'excess' or a supplement to accompany my work. They are an essential part of this dissertation, since the act of dancing is the research: it is in the dancing that I find the flow of writing.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Snowber, Celeste
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