Beyond integration: reformulating physical disability in dance

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10547/323750
Title:
Beyond integration: reformulating physical disability in dance
Authors:
McGrath, Eimir
Abstract:
Dance performance that is inclusive of dancers with differing corporealities has the potential to generate positive societal change with regard to perceptions of physical difference. Dance is a valuable site for exploring the placement of the physically disabled body in contemporary society, and for disrupting existing perceptions of disability as transgressive. This can come about through the embodied presence of both dancer and viewer, entering into a relationship grounded in intersubjectivity, without having to rely on symbolic signification. This thesis examines the placement of disabled bodies in dance performance from the intersecting perspectives of Critical Disability Studies, Performance Studies and Interpersonal Neurobiology in order to formulate a framework for theorizing perceptions of disability, the act of viewing dance and the impact of choreographic intent on viewers’ perceptions of physical difference. In the first section, the sociopolitical placing of disabled bodies in western society is interrogated and a historiological study of both disability identity and the emergence of integrated dance is critically analysed. The second section provides detailed analyses of three dance performances that are inclusive of dancers with physical disabilities: GIMP (2009), Heidi Latsky, Diagnosis of a Faun (2009) Tamar Rogoff, and water burns sun (2009) Petra Kuppers. Each represents a specific understanding of disability, creating an evolutionary framework for conceptualizing different perceptions of disabled bodies as either monstrous freak, heroic victim or corporeally diverse. The third section creates connections between new knowledge in interpersonal neurobiology and viewers' perceptions of disability that are activated through viewing dance performance, thus providing an understanding of the mechanisms of discrimination and marginalization of people who embody difference, as well as uncovering mechanisms that have the potential to be reparative. The application of neuroscientific knowledge to Performance Studies can be modulated and expanded by considering the interpersonal communicative dimension of dance performance that is inclusive of differing corporealities. A theoretical approach that encompasses the neuroscientific conceptualization of intersubjectivity in creating empathic attunement between viewer and dancer, can offer a means of understanding the innate potential of dance performance to bring about societal change.
Citation:
McGrath, E. (2013) 'Beyond integration: reformulating physical disability in dance'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
Publisher:
University of Bedfordshire
Issue Date:
Jul-2013
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10547/323750
Type:
Thesis or dissertation
Language:
en
Description:
A thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy July
Appears in Collections:
PhD e-theses

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorMcGrath, Eimiren
dc.date.accessioned2014-07-24T14:34:44Z-
dc.date.available2014-07-24T14:34:44Z-
dc.date.issued2013-07-
dc.identifier.citationMcGrath, E. (2013) 'Beyond integration: reformulating physical disability in dance'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10547/323750-
dc.descriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Julyen
dc.description.abstractDance performance that is inclusive of dancers with differing corporealities has the potential to generate positive societal change with regard to perceptions of physical difference. Dance is a valuable site for exploring the placement of the physically disabled body in contemporary society, and for disrupting existing perceptions of disability as transgressive. This can come about through the embodied presence of both dancer and viewer, entering into a relationship grounded in intersubjectivity, without having to rely on symbolic signification. This thesis examines the placement of disabled bodies in dance performance from the intersecting perspectives of Critical Disability Studies, Performance Studies and Interpersonal Neurobiology in order to formulate a framework for theorizing perceptions of disability, the act of viewing dance and the impact of choreographic intent on viewers’ perceptions of physical difference. In the first section, the sociopolitical placing of disabled bodies in western society is interrogated and a historiological study of both disability identity and the emergence of integrated dance is critically analysed. The second section provides detailed analyses of three dance performances that are inclusive of dancers with physical disabilities: GIMP (2009), Heidi Latsky, Diagnosis of a Faun (2009) Tamar Rogoff, and water burns sun (2009) Petra Kuppers. Each represents a specific understanding of disability, creating an evolutionary framework for conceptualizing different perceptions of disabled bodies as either monstrous freak, heroic victim or corporeally diverse. The third section creates connections between new knowledge in interpersonal neurobiology and viewers' perceptions of disability that are activated through viewing dance performance, thus providing an understanding of the mechanisms of discrimination and marginalization of people who embody difference, as well as uncovering mechanisms that have the potential to be reparative. The application of neuroscientific knowledge to Performance Studies can be modulated and expanded by considering the interpersonal communicative dimension of dance performance that is inclusive of differing corporealities. A theoretical approach that encompasses the neuroscientific conceptualization of intersubjectivity in creating empathic attunement between viewer and dancer, can offer a means of understanding the innate potential of dance performance to bring about societal change.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherUniversity of Bedfordshireen
dc.subjectW500 Danceen
dc.subjectdanceen
dc.subjectphysical disabilityen
dc.subjectdisabilityen
dc.titleBeyond integration: reformulating physical disability in danceen
dc.typeThesis or dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhDen_GB
dc.type.qualificationlevelPhDen
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Bedfordshireen
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