Performing phenomenology: a practice-led investigation of contemporary performance
AuthorsBennett, Catherine Ann
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AbstractThis thesis is an analysis of three contemporary performances. These performances are very different, what they have in common is that they were either performed, or curated by the author. The problem under investigation in this thesis concerns the experience of dance practice and the manner in which that experience is articulated. In other words, this MA is an attempt to describe three contemporary performances in a coherent, revealing, analytical way. The central purpose here is to bring into theoretical focus these contemporary accounts of dance practice. It follows that the thesis asks how revealing and how successful these conceptual accounts of dance are? The methodology employed in this thesis may broadly be called phenomenological. This term is characteristically associated with the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961). The emphasis in phenomenology and in this thesis is on the experience and perception of the agent or actor herself. This thesis shares this emphasis. The phenomenological method is best described as a constellation of concepts rather than a series of immutable principles. The primary conclusion of this thesis is to recommend phenomenology as a useful tool for the understanding and analysis of dance practice. Critical, in this respect are the ideas of embodiment and the lived body. In so far as this thesis makes a modest claim to contribute to our knowledge of the subject under enquiry it reminds us that a practice as complex as dance requires a discrete, experience-based theoretical explication. My sincere hope is that the reader will find such an account in what follows.
CitationBennett, C.A. (2013) 'Performing phenomenology: a practice-led investigation of contemporary performance' MA thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire, in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MA.
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