Being in Pieces: Integrating Dance, Identity and Mental Health

Edward, Mark and Bannon, Fiona (2017) Being in Pieces: Integrating Dance, Identity and Mental Health. In: Lycouris, Sophia, Karkou, Vicky and Oliver, Sue (eds). The Oxford Handbook for Dance and Wellbeing. Oxford University Press, pp. 329-348. ISBN 9780199949298 DOI

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Informed by reflective narration of one of the authors this chapter explores ways in which his career in dance has been challenged through mental ill health and the physical and emotional disruptions of age. The aim is to ‘position’ the performer as self, writer and researcher researched. Through the process the reader glimpses a reflexive dialogue concerned with transitions in ‘identity’ traced through embodied memory, dancing nostalgia, loss, reluctance, mental illness, and difference. In framing what they call a 'lifespan model', Myers, Sweeney and Witmer define wellness as '…a way of life oriented toward optimal health and well-being in which the body, mind, and spirit are integrated … to live more fully…”(1998: ). In order to explore this realm we engage with a construction of selves, where performance is not separated from the experience gained in making meaning of life, to paraphrase Kaprow and Kelly (1992). Our interest is to embrace realms of personal knowledge through appraising being-embodied and being-imaged and where being multiple and being singular tasks us with the curious phenomena of self-recognition. To address the affective resonance of self-recognition Being in Pieces utilises the material archive from the performances and installations of Falling Apart at the Seams (2008), Council House Movie Star (2012) and Dying Swans (2013) by delving into a distant dancing self and the somatic archaeology of performing past(s) retrieved, re-negotiated and re-languaged.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Performing Arts
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2016 11:13

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