Choreographic and somatic strategies for navigating bodyscapes and tensegrity schemata
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AbstractThis article reflects upon the psychophysical patterning and layered nature of phenomenal experience, and the interconnectedness of bodymind and environment. These are conceptualized as `bodyscape' and `tensegrity schema' and explored by engaging the principles of tensegrity (tensional integrity) with reference to dance, performance and somatic practices. In some performance environments, performers may be called on to bring in and out of focus, or simultaneously hold in attention, multiple layers and shifting perspectives of bodily experience. Giving examples I suggest that such situations, together with some choreographic and somatic practices, may facilitate an attitude of embodied reflection and skills of perceptual alertness. These can develop awareness of and capacity to `navigate' bodyscape and tensegrity schema, and support the performer to better cope with the often conflicting multisensory and polyattentional demands of complex environments, whether highly specialized performance modes or everyday. The discussion derives theoretical flavour from dance and performance studies, phenomenology, somaesthetics and cognitive science, and is informed by my current practice-led Ph.D. research in dance and choreography enquiring into notions of embodiment.
CitationChoreographic and somatic strategies for navigating bodyscapes and tensegrity schemata 2012, 3 (1):101 Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices