Fine Tuning the Art of Noticing - a practical study to explore attention, awareness and presence in a dancing body through practice and performance

Howe, Detta (2011) Fine Tuning the Art of Noticing - a practical study to explore attention, awareness and presence in a dancing body through practice and performance. Masters thesis, University of Chichester.

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Abstract

The story of this research begins (and ends) with the body. We all own a personal container of bones, muscles, blood and fibres. I use mine in my work, teaching contemporary dance technique classes, choreographing, performing, and outside of that, as a transporter to get me from an A to a B, hopefully on time and prepared for one of the above. After 20 years of use in my career, I struggle to remember many moments where I have stopped and acknowledged just how remarkable the body is and how much of its capacity to sense, feel and learn passes most of us by unnoticed. This paper intends to unfold a journey of recognition, realisation, reassessment and reworking of a dancing body with the intention of fine tuning the art of noticing.
The spark that ignited the beginnings of this investigation came from a period of research and development with freelance dance artist Matthias Sperling, designed to unwrap, shake up, unsettle and explore what was then my working practice. Unsure where this would lead and what I might find along the way, I tentatively began a new chapter in my dance career.
In the summer of 2010 Sperling and I worked together for two weeks where he introduced me to his dance practice, influenced by the work of Deborah Hay. We explored notions of listening to feedback from the body and working with many questions to stimulate, challenge and trick the mind to allow the body to experience a sense of release and letting go of habitual movements. Sperling spoke of this work as offering ‘…the difference between wearing a mask and inviting being seen… an embodied research, a helpful lens to notice things that you may not have noticed before.’ (Aug, 2010).
In one of our practices, Sperling questioned whether, ‘I was seeing or appearing to see?’ This thought resonated and rebounded in my mind repeatedly as we practiced together in the studio and as part of my continued solo journey. As a consequence my seeing both internally and externally has been altered beyond recognition. I will attempt to record the phenomenal change I have experienced in my dance practice as a result of my dancing with new eyes, explaining how my refreshed vision has lead to my re-experiencing living and being within the dancing body.
I have chosen to explore, illuminate and share my investigation in a dance performance that will form 50% of this study. The chapters enclosed will act as a guide to navigate the reader through this varied and insightful journey. Each chapter, I hope will trigger a curiosity within you to notice, listen, receive and respond. By doing so you may sense colours, sounds, shifts of motion and new connections forming at a cellular/bodily level, and as part of your dialogue with the outside world.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV1580 Dance
Divisions: Departments > Dance
Depositing User: Asuka Sakuta
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2016 08:55
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2016 08:55
URI: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/2066

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