The SocioKinetic-bodymAPP: An Improvisation Tool for a Dance and Movement Practice

Jannides, Chris (2013) The SocioKinetic-bodymAPP: An Improvisation Tool for a Dance and Movement Practice. Doctoral thesis, University of Chichester.

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Abstract

The SocioKinetic-bodymAPP, an Improvisation Tool for a Dance and Movement Practice
applies a practice-as-research fieldwork methodology, framed by a sociokinetic form of
analysis, to an interrogation of the negative influence of familiarity and habit in the
choreographic workplace and practices of contemporary dance. The bodymAPP is an
innovative system that offers a uniquely embodied method for exploring and experiencing
human movement that is targeted to students, professionals and educators in the dance and
performing arts who wish to uniquely enhance and expand their creative skills, expertise and
understanding of improvisational techniques and possibilities. The need for such a ‘tool’ arose
from my awareness, as a contemporary dance choreographer and educator of over 30 years
standing, of the difficulty to avoid ingrained work patterns and practices when attempting to
innovate or produce radically different ideas and directions in one’s daily routines as an artist.
This thesis demonstrates a structured method and system for re-routing habitual work
tendencies towards enterprising new areas of insight and surprise.
Through applied concepts and holistic techniques, this research’s devised movement
application tool and system, the bodymAPP (a ‘movement APP’ for the body), is formed and
informed by a cross-disciplinary triangulation and integration of three key areas: sociology,
everyday life and dance. From everyday life, an analytical deconstruction of walking and other
pedestrian activities in public space supplies sociokinetic principles of movement that form the
backbone of the bodymAPP system. Sociologists of the everyday provide a catalogue of
techniques and ‘lenses’ for re-perceiving and re-engaging familiar territories of daily practice.
Three in particular, accredited separately to 20th century Surrealism, Georges Perec’s notion of
the ‘infraordinary’, and Husserl’s ‘phenomenological reduction’ – oblique, minutiae, epoché -
were utilised in the bodymAPP’s development and are ingrained into its processes.
Influenced by the legacies and precedents of Rudolf Laban, William Forsythe and Judson
Dance Theatre in the areas of improvisational dance and movement analysis, this thesis is
predominantly a practical manual containing the many tasks and strategies devised and tested
in the studio with the assistance of a team of semi-professional and professional contemporary
dancers. These exercises are used to learn the bodymAPP and apply it as an embodied tool to
the exploration and invention of new movement experiences and possibilities. Crosspollinating
Madeline Gins and Arakawa’s notion of ‘architectural body’ and Drew Leder’s
‘phenomenological anatomy’, the SocioKinetic-bodymAPP can be described as an
‘architected phenomenological anatomy’ whose purpose is to create, in the words of Michel
Serres, ‘an exquisite proprioception’. This research centrally contributes to improvisational
practices and creativity in the fields of dance and performance.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: SocioKinetic-bodymAPP, Dance and Movement Practice
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV1580 Dance
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Angela Roberts
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2018 09:13
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2018 10:00
URI: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/3553

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