Dancing in the Dark: Lowering the Lights for an Uncertain World

Man, Michelle (2016) Dancing in the Dark: Lowering the Lights for an Uncertain World. Dance in the 21st Century: Questioning methods of practice, pedagogy and research, 07/04/16, University of Bedfordshire.

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This paper is written in response to the unfolding relationships between my research and the studio practice teaching in Higher Education that I have been developing over the past four years. My current research examines the transformative encounters and choreographic scorings available in the embodied experiences of coalescing energies of light and the dancing body. My investigations chart how working specifically from the attenuation and intensification of lighting states allows for the possibilities of new choreographic language to emerge. These tentative principles and accompanying philosophies filter continually through my dance teaching practice, giving rise to an implicit relationship of reciprocity in my research and pedagogic practices. The paper will draw on student testimonies to support my developing analysis. In my practice-led sessions, where possible, my starting point is to turn off the lights. This is both a gesture to ecological awareness and a research strategy. The initial effect is that the studio space becomes a more intimate environment, which is conducive to the ‘melting states’ of haptic-based engagements with dance. The presence of delicate light acts upon the dancer’s proprioceptive awareness and a more profound sense of self emerges, enabling encounters that are better able to invest in risk and trust. A communal environment is generated where openness and allowance are key in unfolding sensuous moments, of undoing the familiar towards the development of new codes of engagement, where “each step distances the “I” from the ego” (Cixous, 1991:134). Here the liquidity of the dance-encounter prepares the participant for what Zygmunt Bauman has identified as our Liquid Times (2007) in a fragile world. Bibliography Bauman, Z., 2007. Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty. Cambridge: Polity Press. Cixous, H., 1991. Coming to Writing and Other Essays. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Performing Arts
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2016 16:01
URI: http://repository.edgehill.ac.uk/id/eprint/8144

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