The inter-subjective body

Natalie Julia Garrett Brown

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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    The inter-subjective body or emergent body can be positioned as a further expression of the Ecological Body in that it resonates with notions of the body as in flux and co–created in relationship with the environment. Specific to the inter-subjective body is an interest in the inter-relationship between bodies and specifically between dancers, and dancers and audience. This focus thus brings a particular interest in corporeal exchange and the related ethical and political significances of subjectivity as co-created. In particular notions of a Somatic mode of attention or ‘being with’ will be explored as will touch as communication, movement as a perceptual field and kinaesthetic empathy. Theoretically this lens is informed by Deleuze and Corporeal Feminism, In doing so an affinity is proposed between Deleuzian inflected corporeal Feminism principally through the work of Rosi Braidotti,and Elizabeth Grosz, and somatic informed movement practice. Both, it is suggested offer a critique of the “mind/body” dualism implicit within humanist understandings of subjectivity. Accordingly each can be argued to re-cast subjectivity as an always-embodied activity, an inter-corporeal exchange between “self”, recast as shifting and multiple, and “otherness”. Case studies drawn from creative dance practice informed by a range of Somatic practices including the Alexander Technique, FeldenKrais and Body-Mind Centering will be drawn upon to illuminate this lens.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBody and performance
    EditorsSandra Reeve
    Place of PublicationAxminster, UK
    PublisherTriarchy Press
    ISBN (Print)978-1-908009-32-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Bibliographical note

    Author's note: This contribution to the second edition book builds upon the doctorate research of Garrett Brown and develops or re-frames current discourses on the body in performance. This work has elicited an invitation in 2008 for Garrett Brown as a guest speaker and teacher as part of a public seminar series Perforum at Cork University, at which the paper Presence and Embodiment; Critiquing the Ocular in Performance Writing was delivered. The ideas and propositions underpinning this chapter have been referenced by peers in recent publications such as Wood, B. (2012) Coming to our senses: Perceptual performance and fields of intensities, Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices, Volume 3.1 & 3.2, May 2012 and have contributed to the founding of the of Journal for Dance and Somatic Practices and biannual international conference event for Dance and Somatic Practices Aspects of the work spoken to in this chapter have been accepted into the Alexander Technique and the Performing Arts Conference at Melbourne University, School of Performing Arts, Victorian College of Arts, Australia. A paper presentation - Collaborative teaching in the dance studio; facilitating self agency and reflexivity through group learning in the Alexander Technique will be presented in collaboration with Jane Toms, certified Alexander Technique teacher and faculty member at Coventry University. The ideas represented in this chapter have also led to the preliminary meetings, planning and conception of a network group – Writing Practice <> Practicing Writing which focuses on an exchange between Irish and UK based theatre and dance practitioners exploring the application of somatic practices applied to performance (dance & theatre). Collaborators include Dr Rosin O’ Gorman, Drama & Theatre Studies, Cork University, Dr Jenny Roache, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, Limerick University and Dr Emma Meehan, Dance Ireland, Dublin. The network is designed to critically engage with somatically informed performance, methods of writing from and about practice and approaches to making which are sympathetic to notions of corporeality and feminist conceptions of the performance body. In particular the cultural inscriptions, readings and contexts of the performing body within and across the UK and Ireland form a focus for the initial artistic research for the group.


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