'Flocking' as an Embodied Sharing of Situational Conditions

Sakuta, Asuka and Jackson, Abigail (2018) 'Flocking' as an Embodied Sharing of Situational Conditions. In: Embodied Practice and Performance in the Arts, 5-6 April 2018, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Abstract

A ‘flock’ can be defined as a number of agents (animal, human, or non-living units) which from a larger collective organism that shifts and moves through space (Giardina, 2008; Heppner & Grenander, 1990). Humans form flocks every day; a group of travelling tourists, commuters being redirected to another pathway, or mobs of political protest, marching and chanting for their purpose. In dance, the essence of a flock can be identified in instances of improvisation and mimicry, such as that seen in the “Baby Modern Dance” video (YouTube, 2014), where three adult dancers imitate the movements of an infant. In the video, neither the infant nor the imitating dancers know the next course of action, and movements simply unfold in relation to each other and the environment; infant responds to environment, dancers respond to infant, and infant responds again. Such instances of shared, yet unpredestined movements reflect the true mechanism of a flock in its naturally unfolding, collaborative, and everchanging nature. This example can also be compared with the aforementioned everyday scenarios of human flocking, in that movement is constantly being negotiated through listening and responding to other bodies (Kruse, 1986); Where are we going next? How do we get there? What is our purpose? How are we going to do it? This research is interested in how the act of flocking (or improvised mimicry) could open our awareness towards a collective agency comprising of individual experiences, purposes, and thoughts that merge together in a shared space, and how this awareness could situate the ‘self’ within those specific temporal, geographical, and social conditions, on a deeply embodied level. The workshop will explore the experience of improvised mimicry by following a loosely structured score, and will open discussions on how such experiences may uncover psychological processes that lie within the act of ‘flocking,’ both in and out of the dance context.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV1580 Dance
Divisions: Departments > Dance
Event Title: Embodied Practice and Performance in the Arts
Event Location: Canterbury Christ Church University
Event Dates: 5-6 April 2018
Depositing User: Asuka Sakuta
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2018 13:29
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2018 15:05
URI: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/3632

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