PhD Thesis: The Ecological Body ~ extracts
I created three movement studies, each based on a particular movement dynamic: proportion, transition/position; point, line and angle. I named this an ‘etic’ approach. This etic approach, engaged with through non-stylised movement, demanded precision in the exploration of each dynamic, but the emerging movement of the body was then immediately embedded within its environment.
This is because the dynamic principles of proportion, transition/position and point, line and angle are both movement and environmental dynamics.
They can also be engaged with at several other levels: for example, proportion can be experienced in the body structure, in architecture, in the natural world, in terms of affect, consumer consumption and global economy.
Each of the movement studies focused on the selected dynamic in relation to my body’s movement vocabulary and my internal attitudes. The dynamic also influenced the quality of my movement dialogue with space, (through direction), and time, (through rhythm) and thus my awareness of the environmental context, created by both the architecture of the studio, the outdoor locations and the contextual elements contributed by my colleagues: video, photographs, music and text.
Each of these artistic elements was created as a conscious response to the proposed dynamic, in terms of content, but also in terms of technique, i.e. how they were actually produced or the attitude with which they were produced. For example, the musician applied transition/position to an exploration of how she physically held and played the violin.
My intention was to provoke an environment of multiple possibilities from the multiple layers on offer, a moving poem. The invitation to the audience throughout the movement studies was to stay with the unfolding of the piece as it came into being, without ignoring their own personal references and associations and to allow their own story to evolve. As more than one thing was happening at the same time, different elements of the performance were constantly in a different relationship with each other.
I noticed that each piece contained bowing movements of some kind. Bowing and its ‘opposite’ became the key movement in relation to the theme of humility and humiliation, which I selected for my final piece.