Dancing with Socrates: Telling truths about the self

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    This article seeks to consider how and in what ways somatic practice in relation to contemporary dance and movement performance might participate in the telling of truths about the body, and, more precisely, truths about what it means to be an embodied subject.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)117-125
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Dance & Somatic Practices
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

    Bibliographical note

    Author's note: This article began as a paper presented at the international ‘Dance and Somatic Practices: fostering trans-disciplinary perspectives on embodied process and performance’ conference at Coventry University on 8 July 2011. The paper was selected for presentation by the conference panel and subsequently selected for publication in the Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices.
    This paper takes Michael Peters’ article on Socrates and Foucault (Peters, 2003), and Foucault’s writings on the care of the self and technologies of the self as the starting point for a discussion on what it might mean in the context of dance and movement training to practice the telling of truth about oneself. There are other articles that address the relationship between Foucault and somatic practice, this is the first article to relate Foucault’s use of Socrates notion of truth-speaking or parrhesia to this area of dance and movement practice.
    The central argument through the article centres around setting out the nature of the concept of parrhesia, establishing the relationship between this concept and somatic dance practice, and then exploring the implications for the teaching of dance and movement.


    • dance
    • somatics
    • parrhesia
    • truth-telling
    • physical training
    • the natural body


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