Sensuality research - Dancing bodies, culture, rituals, community, and space
Updated: Dec 13, 2022
This can be viewed as a small introduction to the ideas for my academic master research trajectory, at the same time pointing out deeper topics of the practice that I already have and aim to develop.
I'm interested in how the perception of physical experience transcents cultures, religions and boundaries. Everyone has a body. A body that breathes, perceives, feels and moves. Functioning in conscious and unconscious processes. I enjoy studying this corporeality, to have and to be a body, in philosophical theories and in scientific, metaphysical as well as spiritual views.
At the same time, I am fascinated by the experience and expression of an individual or a group in relation to space and society. The notion of physicality differs between cultures and individuals, meaning that also notions of feeling, experiencing and meaning given to expressions can differ.
Here I'm interested in sensuality. Sensuality as something from the inside out. A presence, an openness to feel, express and connect. What is a felt sensation and how are these experienced throughout different cultures and individuals? What happens to expression of sensuality related to the space? How is sensual expression so vulnerable but at the same time so powerful? What is the role of music, dance and communities? Where do deep-rooted cultural patterns mix with individual expression? What is the effect of power relations and societal constructs? What are theories on improvisation and creation, what is the agency of the dancer?
I hope to study, both theoretically and physically, different cultural rituals and dance practices and explore this theme of sensuality. Movement, dance and music related to specific cultures, anchored in history, communicating in the present time. With movements through time on global level, they find intersections, fusions, balancing old and new ways of expressing. This research mixes studies in fields of performing arts, art history, anthropology, sociology, culture and spatial theory. Integrating postmodern ideas on identity and agency shaped by postcolonial, ecocritical and queer theory.
My first focus for my master research is to find a method and research question. Methodically I'm interested to explore embodied research, participatory observation and phenomenology.
During the research process I would love to engage with communities and their ideas and rituals, as well as with artists and their practice, their inspiration and creation processes. I also aim to connect to other researchers in this field. For the academic framework I will study academic articles and documentation of a variety of practices and studies.
For example I could include (physical) research on rituals, on traditional dance styles and modern fusion styles, but also understanding of the evolution of contemporary dance, movement research, approaches to improvisation and movement therapy, such as the Alexander technique.
In the upcoming phase I'm looking forward to expanding this research and finding my focus, hopefully with the right support.