Moving experience: an investigation of embodied knowledge and technology for reading flow in improvisation
AuthorsDouse, Louise Emma
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AbstractThe thesis is concerned with the exploration of the notion of ‘flow’ from both a psychological and dance analysis perspective in order to extend the meaning of flow and move beyond a partiality of understanding. The main aim of the thesis recognises the need to understand, identify and interpret an analysis of the moments of flow perceivable in a dancer’s body during improvisatory practice, through technologically innovative means. The research is undertaken via both philosophical and practical enquiry. It addresses phenomenology in order to resolve the mind/body debate and is applied to research in flow in psychology by Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, and flow in movement analysis by Rudolf Laban and Warren Lamb. The significance of this endeavour can be seen in the reconsideration of the relation between mind and body, and art and science which informs the methodology for the research (Part One). The three main outcomes of the research are related to each of the three subsequent parts. The first research outcome is the articulation of a transdisciplinary approach to understanding flow and was developed by expanding on the current definitions of flow through an innovative transdisciplinary methodology (Part Two). Research outcome two addresses the intersubjective nature of flow, which was identified within improvisation. From this two methods were constructed for the collection and interpretation of the experience of the dancer. Firstly, through reflective practice as defined by Donald Schön. And secondly, an argument was provided for the use of motion capture as an embodied tool which extends the dancers embodied cognitive capabilities in the moment of improvisation (Part Three). The final research outcome was thus theorised that such embodied empathic intersubjectivity does not require a direct identification of the other’s body but could be achieved through technologically mediated objects in the world (Part Four). Subsequently, the findings from the research could support further research within a number of fields including dance education, dance practice and dance therapy, psychology, neuroscience, gaming and interactive arts.
CitationDouse, L.E. (2013) 'Moving experience: an investigation of embodied knowledge and technology for reading flow in improvisation'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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