Speak: Authentic Movement, ‘Embodied Text’ and Performance as Research

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In this article, I will examine the relationship between movement and language in my Authentic Movement practice, focussing on writing for and about performance. Although somatic practices such as Authentic Movement promote body-mind integration and often use language-based reflection on experience, I have often encountered conflicting perspectives on the relationship between body and language across the contexts that I work in. In order to investigate ideas of division and integration between movement and language, I undertook a performance as research project called Speak. Working with Janet Adler’s (2002, 153-186) ‘embodied text’ as a strategy for exploration, which is a deepening of the process of study and practice with words in Authentic Movement, I addressed the question: What is the relationship between physical movement and language in Authentic Movement practice? However, the practice as research also uncovered issues of bringing pre-rehearsed scores from Authentic Movement and writing into performance. As a result, I propose ideas of conversation and dialogue as a form of movement-language exchange in Authentic Movement practice and performance. More broadly speaking, this project has led me to investigate methods from Authentic Movement practice which can support discussions of movement-based performance in practice as research. With the emphasis on body-mind integration and articulation of experience in Authentic Movement, the approach could offer methods to the increasing number of practitioner-researchers entering the academy and grappling with issues of reflecting on embodied practice through writing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-329
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Dance & Somatic Practices
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


  • Authentic Movement
  • writing
  • language
  • performance
  • practice as research

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