EmilyJay has created 28 entries


  • First Encounters

    The next project I am embarking on as part of my MA at the University of Chester is a screendance project entitled ‘First Encounters’.

    I was very keen to explore the medium of screen dance, what it can do to the artform and how dance can be seen or created using film. Screen dance could be a fantastic way of making dance accessible to those that wouldn’t normal watch dance. A way to explore and share ideas. Furthermore, I have an idea for a project I want to do after I have completed my Masters so I thought this would be a great opportunity to experiment.

    The idea for this screen dance is about looking at the first date or first encounter with someone that may or maynot develop into a romantic relationship. The concept came from an interest in the dating culture in the 21st century with the use of dating apps and social media. Through personal experience and talking with a lot of fellow millennials there is a big question around how we meet someone, both in terms of how both parties become to be in contact but also in that first moment, how the interaction plays out. This is especially topical in the current climate with the movement of the #metoo campaign and what is know as weinstein culture, the fall out from the reports around Harvey Weinstein and the sexual assault allegations against him.

    Initially the idea was to have a film looking at a number of different dating situations with two stories running through them. One of the stories being that the two parties meet, everything goes great and they stay together, the other looking at a situation which doesn’t end well with one person having assaulted the other or abused their power in the situation having not read and understood signals. However through the initial research it became clear that there were many different situations and the concept of having the narrative of the storylines wasn’t quite fitting. This also became more obvious as I was thinking more about the concept and essence of what the project was. Now the idea is that the screendance will consist of around 10 – 12 different scenes in which the viewer will see a short section of a date or first encounter. Each scene will be from a different date, looking at a different aspect or idea surrounding dating and communication, gaining an insight rather than a full story.

    The essence of what is going to be presented and what I am interested in is communication. How do people communicate in these situations? Is the communication clear and understood by both parties or has something been missed?

    The first part of the research process of this project was to gather stories. Real stories about real experiences. As I have previously said, I want to be able to hold space for peoples stories and experiences and not just rely on my own. This was conducted via a google form which was sent out over social media to invite people to share their dating stories. There were around 40 people who shared stories and which I have been able to take different aspects from, whether that be the form of communication, the location of the date or the general concept or essence of the story. This has given a lot of material to work with and get the project of the ground.

    Further research will include looking at dance for camera, both in the methodologies and in practitioners. Sociology and culture will be another are of research, as will research of practitioners also working in these area.

  • Autoethnography

    Autoethnography is an area that has come up in conversation around my research but I haven’t really looked into it until now. I knew that it would relate to my work but I didn’t know how it differed to autobiography which I know I look at, especially in relation to my solo.

    My current understanding, I say current as I haven’t yet looked into the area in depth, is that autoethnography is a type of autobiography but also takes in to account of surrounding nuances in culture and research. It is a type of story telling, looking at lived experiences and explores experiences relationaly to the surrounding influences.

    Autoethnography has 4 distinctive attributes that makes it different to autobiography [Holman Jones, S. L., Adams, T. E., & Ellis, C. 2015].

    1) Commentating on culture or cultural practices
    Looking at, as I said above, the surrounding cultural practices of an experience or experiences. This could include move voices, comparing experiences in similar or different cultures.

    2) Contributing to existing research
    Using existing research within the text to show different sides to the argument or experience. This doesn’t have to be through sited text.

    3) Vulnerability
    Through telling stories that leaves the author in a vulnerable position they are able to start conversation and relate.

    4) Relationship with the audience
    Autoethnography is written to elicit a response or reaction from the audience. Calling the view to action – “positioned as active participants expected to act in and on the unfolding story” [Holman Jones, S. L., Adams, T. E., & Ellis, C. 2015 (p25)].

    These all makes it clear how autoethnography is different to biography. My question now is how I translate some of these in to dance and movement contact. It is clear how when looking at autoethnography as written text but will take a bit more research on my part to understand how other practitioners have related this in their own work.

    I have looked at a number of these aspects individually in my past work which tells me my practice is leaning towards autoethnography. I looked at vulnerability in my solo ‘Oprimido’ and cultural nuances in my upcoming project on first encounters. The one I am stuck with is how to clearly position my research in relation to others or how to present other research within my work.

    One that really excites me and I want to explore in my own practice is the relationship with the audience. There is something there about the interaction between audience and performer. Can the audience influence the performance? how?

    – Holman Jones, S. L., Adams, T. E., & Ellis, C. (2015). Handbook of autoethnography. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.

  • Overture Cohort 2017/18

    Last year I was selected to join the Overture programme run by New Adventures. The programme is a personal and professional development programme for dance artists working in community dance. The group was comprised of artists working all over the count meeting for 4 weekends over the year to share space, knowledge and participate in workshops delivered by a variety of established artists. Artist we worked with over the course of the programme include:

    Tom Hobden
    Kerry Biggins
    Danielle Teale
    Isabel Mortimer
    Jenn Irons
    Carrie Washington
    Tom Jackson Greeves
    Stop Gap
    Vicki Igbokwe
    Lila Dance

    Unfortunately I was unable to attend one of the weekends due to other commitments with a company I was performing with so missed working with Stop Gap, Vicki Igbokwe and Lila Dance. These artists were so varied, both in the way they work and who they work with. We were able to share their practice, asking questions and being a participant.

    The final weekend we also did a practice share between the artists on the programme, so we got an insight into each others practice. A few shared their practice working with adultus which was particularly insightful for me as I have just taken on a mature movers class and have been struggling with what level to set the class at and how to bring some creativity in to the class when a lot of the participants are resistant to it. We spoke about grounding movements and teaching a few steps which the participants can then combine in whichever order they would like. We also spoke about the value of teaching choreography and how that is an ok practice and just as valued as a more creative practice.

    We also looked at working with early years, something I haven’t done before and in to primary and and secondary school age. Someone shared a task embodying a monster. I thought this was fantastic as it used both physicality and imagination, it was also a lot of fun!

    They key thing we were thinking about as we went through the practice share was ‘what makes a great community dance artist?’. We would write notes, words, on sticky notes after each sharing and stuck them to the wall (please see the photo below). What was interesting on reflection was that no matter what group we are working with we each all embodied everything that came up.

    A number of key things came up over the year, especially as my practice developed. At the beginning I felt like a bit of a fraud as I want to make dance as well as working in the community, where as a lot of the others are focussing solely on their community practice. As the programme went on, and after speak on a couple of occasions with Tom, I realised that this was ok. One of the first things that came up in the programme was about who you can be a community dance practitioner and an artists. They are not mutually exclusive. This was really good to hear and discuss as I was starting to feel that I wasn’t an artist in my sessions I was facilitating, but this new thought or new way of thinking has given me almost a permission to be an artist in my sessions and use the same creativity I would use in my dance making.

    During the programme I also started my Masters which was a big shift in my focus. To be honest, the programme gave me the push and more of an idea of what I wanted out of a masters programme and I now feel I chose the right one for me. It has also helped me to gain an understanding of the type of work I want to create. I love working with communities so why wouldn’t I include them in my work? Overture has also given me more confidence in my work. Having the support of a group of other artists and knowing that I can apply for funding and my ideas for projects could, if I wanted them to be, be bigger than I was thinking. In my head they were just little project with no funding but when I spoke about them the rest of my cohort were so encouraging and pushed me to look bigger. So, now I have a project idea that is forming quite clearly, that I want to apply for funding for and I know I have the support of the cohort to be able to do this.

    Overall, I am so grateful for this opportunity and thankful for the rest of my cohort for coming on this journey. I am looking forward to seeing how each of us develop and are able to continue to support each other.


  • My Introduction to Capoeira

    This weekend I went to the Festival Blanco y Ginga in Chester, a capoeira event hosted by Contramestre Piolho. This was the first time I had really experienced capoeira, by that I mean I had done one capoeira before this! I was nervous walking in as I didn’t know if everyone was going to be amazing and I wouldn’t have a clue what was going on but I knew a few people there which gave me confidence.

    Even though I was the newest to capoeira there was a big range of experience, from beginners up to 40+ years of training capoeira. One of the things that really struck me was how open and welcoming everyone was. It didn’t matter that I had no experience in capoeira, everyone was willing to embrace me in to their capoeira family and guide me through. From the first class there was a sense of togetherness and joy, and I was a part of that.

    The warm up and movement across the room I loved and got stuck in with. The movement is very physical and uses a lot of inversions, staying low and grounded. This is the way I like to move when I dance so I felt comfortable with this movement. The class then moved in to a Roda. This is where everyone stand in a circle with the musicians on one side, two people enter the circle to play a game, where they move and interact with each other, there can be more than one game being played in a Roda. On this first evening I decided to observe, watching others play, the way they interacted, communicated and moved together. I think this was a great way to get started as I wasn’t feeling confident in what to do, what the customs were so through observation I was able to learn. However, I wasn’t just observing. When on the outside of the roda you clap and join in the with traditional capoeira song led by the musicians. It was this energy that was infectious. Everyone unites in movement, music and song. It is not something that can easily be described, it is something that has to be experienced. And having experienced it, all I want to do is continue being in that space.

    On Saturday we again started with a roda to warm up. As this was a warm up, i felt I had to get involved as there was no other warm up. I also felt a little more confident as there were 4 games happening in the roda rather than just one so I didn’t feel as self conscious. I had learnt how to buy in to a game and I chose to play with people I knew and had moved with the evening before. It was very exciting!

    In the class that followed, with Contramestre Izol, the movement across the room was more intricate, working with a partner. Starting with shorter, what I would call phrases as a dancer, I am not sure if that would be the same in capoeira, and then connecting them together in to a longer movement sequence. Again I felt comfortable, but still challenged, with the movement. It was the brain that had to work hard, remembering the directions and what movement came next, trying to make sense of how the movement was constructed and find the flow.

    The next class was with Mestre Chicote. This was a defining class of the weekend for me as he spoke about how to defend and play, when to move and how to hold your space. The sequences I can figure out from a movement and dance point of view but this was what I would describe as the more martial arts “fighting” side of capoeira which is what is completely new to me. It is what the essence of the game is and what makes it different from improvisation/contact improvisation. What makes it different from dance.

    The class with Mestre Perente on Sunday morning included a lot of faster movements and movement sequences with a partner. He also split the room in to 6 with 2 games on a beginner, slower paced, practicing accuracy, 2 in a middle level and 2 advanced games with speed. I stayed in the beginner and played quite a few games which was so much fun and started to build my confidence in playing. I also played with Contramestre Piolho who played such a fun game, he is just very energetic and playful.

    The afternoon then continued in the same fashion with Mestre Chicote working with a partner on sequences that built on the one before. On this day I had the opportunity to work with a lot of different partners each of whom was able to explain or work out with me what was going on. One partner really helped with the explanation of the movement and how they linked, he was very patient.

    I don’t really like of attention, I don’t know what it is, I would just rather blend in. However, it got out that I was completely new to capoeira, not that I was hiding it and it was good that the teachers knew, but it meant that I had quite a few people come up to me and ask and then Mestre Chicote mentioned it in front of everyone. I had a number of people tell me they couldn’t believe that I had so little capoeira experience but I felt like a bit of a cheat as I am a dancer, I understand movement and like I said earlier I like to move this way, grounded with inversions connecting with another person. I did keep telling people this. The one comment that really made the weekend was when one person I had worked with again reiterated that he couldn’t believe that I had only done 1 class before the weekend and I again explained I was a dance. He reply was “I train with a girl who is a professional dancer and she has been practicing for a while but still moves like a dancer where as you move in the style of capoeira”. This made the whole weekend for me. My aim when I am introduced to a new movement practice or style is to move in the way the culture states. Yes, I do keep my own identity but I want to tap into what it is that makes that practice different to any other practice and what makes it what it is and not just generic movement. This also includes exploring and experiencing the culture, learning about the history, customs and language. Capoeira is not just a movement practice but has a culture, a philosophy and that’s what interests me.

    The final roda was just the best. You could just feel the community. I had people encouraging me to play which was just so lovely. I did play a number of games which was really exciting and I was proud of myself that I got to that point where I felt comfortable enough to play a game in a roda where only one game was being played at a time. I was also proud of how I just jumped in the whole weekend, experienced the culture

    I am looking forward to continuing this practice and exploring the capoeira culture.

  • Overture – Sharing of Oprimido Research

    Over the weekend I the opportunity to share and develop my research in to bodily memory and creating movement from bodily memory. I had 20 minutes as part of a practice sharing with my Overture cohort as part of our final weekend on the programme.

    I wanted to share how I came to create my own work and explore how it would work when I facilitated this process on others. I was also interested in seeing how the movement translated and could be seen by an audience.

    I started by explaining what was going to happen, to create a safe space for the participants. I advised them to be careful on the memory they chose as I didn’t want them to go to a place that was too dark as we had such a short time together. I took the group through a short meditation/visualisation, asking them to see a memory in their mind. It could be a short snapshot or a memory over and extended period of time. I then asked them to take the memory in to the body, how did they feel, what did they experience. I slowly got the group to amplify that movement they felt, step by step, until they were stood and the movement was the biggest they could possibly make it. Drawing this to a close and having a moment of stillness to experience how the body felt after amplifying that memory. I wanted the participants to then set some movement that came out of the improvisation and then share with each other.

    I felt it was really important to safeguard the group. To make sure each and every participant felt safe and empowered to chose a memory they wanted to explore with the knowledge of what was to come and with the time limit. This meant a lot of the memories chosen were not as deep set. This had both positive outcomes and outcomes that I would have liked to explore differently. One participant commented after, that the memory she chose became clearer and brought it back to the front of her memory, which she liked as her memory was a positive one. I would have liked the opportunity to explore different memories that were perhaps more difficult as I am also interested in how the use of amplifying this bodily memory can help to process or change the relationship to this memory.

    The participants were able to experience what I wanted them to, with amplifying the movement and being able to set a short phrase linked to this. It was also insightful, when sharing, how clear a lot of the movement was. The group watching were able to pick out the essence of the memory the movement was linked to. I am still in the thought process about what it is I am exploring, whether it is about this, setting movement and creating choreography from bodily memory or whether it is about trauma and how this amplification of movement can help change the relationship to the movement. Both of these were in essence what I explored myself with the solo so now it is about the way in which I want to share this with others.

    Other comments that came up during the short session what about the use of the word amplify. The participants thought that the repetitive use of this workd in particular helped them to connect with the movement and understand what it was that I was looking for. They also liked the use of silence. This was something I made a conscious decision about. I chose to run the whole sessions with no music in the background. I was aware with the nature of what I was asking any music I chose would not work for everyone as I was leaving it so open with the type of memory I was asking them to explore. Whilst running the session though I did feel uncomfortable myself and felt I needed to fill the silence with my voice, but I was able to control this and sit in the silence in order for the participants to be focused on their own work. This is definitely a decision I want to use again in further workshops as it worked really well for the participants and I feel the more I work this way the more comfortable I will feel.

  • Introducing Poetry

    I spent some time in the studio on Friday continuing the development of my solo. Just working on my own, experimenting with some ideas.

    A while a go I started writing a poem about my experience, thinking mostly about a mental health condition I was diagnosed with after the fact. Disassociation. I haven’t done a lot of research on the subject, just what I know from what I was told when I was diagnosed and what I looked up briefly after. I wanted the poem to be more of an expression of how I felt, how I experienced it. Every mental health condition affects a person differently. It has its own unique signature.

    Any way, I started writing and only got half way. I got a bit overwhelmed and knew I had to stop before I pushed myself to far. I always had the plan of going back to it but I knew it was going to be a difficult process so I procrastinated. I wrote a small bit more then stopped again.

    I had the studio booked and knew I wanted to work on the next section of my solo. The poem.

    I started by running the solo that I have so far. This got me in to the mood. To be honest, I did have a moment where I thought I might just leave it there. If I just left the studio I wouldn’t have to face it. Thinking back to the things we spoke about in Inquiring Bodies I knew I had to do this. Maybe this was the resistance and this one I had to push back against.

    The other barrier I had with the poem was the fact I have never written a poem before. I enjoy a variety of creative outlets in addition to dance. I sew. I write. So why not write a poem I thought? In school I never really enjoyed poetry. I didn’t understand it. I loved English but didn’t get poetry. It was scary thinking about writing a poem, what if I got it wrong? However, in the past year or so I have heard spoken word and loved it. It was poetry in a form I could connect with, I could engage with. So that is what I wanted to try. Maybe it would work maybe it wouldn’t. My poem was always written to be spoken. I didn’t want to feel bound by any constraints that traditional poetry often has. So I just wrote, I wrote what sounded good in my head. It had rhythm.

    Back to the studio. I decided to try, and if it didn’t work, that would be ok but at least I gave it ago.

    I started by saying the poem out loud. I decided to record this straight off the back so I could listen back and not have the opportunity to run away. I read it. I listened to it back. I liked it. Something about it worked and it wasn’t as big and scary as I had thought, as I had built up in my head. I think maybe because I have been speaking about my past situation so much and working on it through movement, performing it, I am a lot calmer when it comes to now reflecting on it. I was scared it was going to be extremely emotional and I just didn’t want to go to that place. It wasn’t like that. It actually felt very good. After hearing it back so many ideas came to me, following the rhythm and the narrative of the piece I was able to quickly and easily finish the poem.

    I recorded it for the 2nd time, the whole thing. Then I started to experiment with movement. The idea was to say the poem whilst moving. At this stage I just wanted to have a go, see what happened. So, I did a sort of improv. I spoke through the poem while moving. Just once. Of course there is a lot of work that needs to be done but I like what I did. I think there is something there that I can work with. I am excited to continue the development of this section too finish the work. I want to also play with structure, where with the poem come? can it sandwich the existing material?

    I am interested in looking further in to cross art forms and how the integrate smoothly. I know artists such as Alessandra Seutan have used text and spoken word within their work to enhance the understanding of the piece.

  • Inquiring Bodies 2018

    This year Cheshire Dance ran Inquiring Bodies with a focus on artists who work in diverse cultural practices. I was very much looking forward to the day, not only because I had a part in organising the event, but because we had some very exciting artists featuring and offering an insight in to their practice.

    Culture is an area I am very interested in. As part of my ongoing research am looking at the question, what is culture?

    In the morning I joined Baris Yazar who comes from a capoeira practice. I have been interested in capoeira for a while but not had the opportunity to practice. I was initially drawn to the movement stye of this practice but after the session with Baris I feel the whole culture resonates with my own values and practices.

    Baris spoke about resistance both in movement and in life. For any resistance to work or move forward there has to be something to resist again. In movement this would be another person or surface (ie. the floor), without the resistance nothing would work, you would fall, there would be no connection. In life he spoke about the resistance in Brazil saint the Portuguese. Had there been no invasion or dictatorship from the Portuguese, capoeira wouldn’t exist now as the practice rose as a form of resistance.

    One task we did with Baris was about using our body to resist another person and stop them from being able to move you from the floor to a standing position. I found that sometimes I wasn’t holding or tensing my body to resist but relaxing so as to fall through the person lifting me. This worked as they were unable to get me in to a standing position. This got me thinking about what resistance means, maybe is it not always fighting but taking a step back. Relating this to my own practice, during creation I often find I am fighting when I come upon some resistance whether that be a mental block or a movement that just isn’t working. Moving forward I am going to try and take a different approach when coming to resistance.

    Another way this relates to my own practice is that it shows me that there has to be a reason to create my art. I always want to use my art to make a comment on a topical issue, something that may be seen as controversial or about something unspoken. There has to be a resistance something to push back against to change popular opinion. Art can be so powerful in making a change in this world, so why not use my practice to make an impact.

    With my research in to bodily memory and knowledge, Basis spoke about the body being a book. Every thing you have experienced lives in your body, like a book you can reference when you need. This was fantastic for me to hear someone speaking about what I had been researching. To be able to ask questions and relate to this practice.

    I would love to continue to explore the practice of capoeira and delve further in to this way of thinking and moving.

    The afternoon session I joined was with Ella Mesma. The area of her practice she shared directly related my own in regards to my solo work. Looking at identity we completed a task that explored the movement we relate to the timeline of our life. This was very insightful to work with someone else looking at self and identity, to explore how they go about their practice. More than looking at self and identity, it was looking at self and identity to create work that is autobiographical, work that is performed as a prevention  of self. I am going to take this task forward to continue the development of my solo, exploring other ways to access movement.

    I would love to explore Ella’s work further as she also looks at identity in relation to culture. Furthermore, I enjoyed playing with her movement style bringing in and fusing different styles. Having knowledge of a wide range of styles I am looking at how I can bring all of these in to my work and also how they influence my own movement identity.

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to join Funmi Adewole or Stella Subbiah in their sessions as sessions ran along side each other. I would have loved to explore both of their practices further but their contribution to the conversation at the end of the day was incredibly insightful. Both spoke about the power of community and the power of art, especially dance with its unique ability to connect and communicate across language barriers. This was what was really wonderful about this day, the coming together of a community. It is always empowering to work and share space with other artists. To be able to have conversations about practice, values and how we can use our art to create a change.

  • Perfomance and Symposium

    I felt my performance went very well. With the audience I felt the work took on another level. It felt more real.

    I knew that before the performance I would have to get in to the right mind-set, to remember the bodily feelings. At this stage I know the movement so it was not something I wanted to think about, I wanted to let the emotional state and the bodily memory to be seen over the movement. When I performed the solo I feel I did exactly that. I forgot about the movement, the technique and focused on the emotion. I lost all control, I felt exactly the way I wanted the audience to see and that definitely came across in the movement.

    I got positive feedback about the performance. Comments such as:

    “You could really where you started playing with the idea of losing control … You were obviously still in control but had the air of being on the edge and possibly falling”

    “You could see the journey of the emotions you went through throughout the performance.”

    “I’ve never seen it that let go, that free, that out of control but still within control … it was incredible to watch.”

    “I really connected with the emotions, even though I don’t know your story, I was able to relate to different sections with what you were feeling and situations I have been in”

    It was great to hear comments like these as it really reinforced my research process. It confirmed that what I was doing was working, as the comments I received were about the things I wanted the audience to see and experience.

    I would like to gain some more feedback from a variety of people. I would like to be questioned further about what is seen, about the movement and intention. As a first showing of the work I am very pleased with the feedback I got at this stage.

    It was interesting to see and hear about other peoples research during the symposium. Ethan Brockenshire looked at the theory of flow. After my performance and feeling the piece come together, no longer thinking about the movement but being in the moment and all the pieces falling in to place this research really resonated with. He looked at the work of Mihaly Ciskszentmihalyi and the optimal experience. This is something I would be interested in looking in to further and how it can inform my practice as a creator, performer and even as a facilitator and teacher.

    Further more, Payge Dodd looked in to the embodiment of emotion from a psychological view point. The workshop she delivered started to tap in to different emotions, how we connect with them and how they are expressed and seen through movement. Relating this to my own research for this solo the workshop was very insightful and something I would like to use in the creation of movement in the future. I feel looking more in to this line of research will develop my own understanding of emotion and how to authentically show this in the work I want to create.

    Moving forward I would like to continue to develop this piece and extend it to a 10-12 minute work. In my presentation I did say I wanted to extend the piece to 15-20 minuites, however after a conversation with my mentor, Tom Hobden, it was suggested that a solo piece can be more effective and leave a bigger impression if the work is slightly shorter. Further more, I feel a piece that is 10-12 minuites will be more viable for small choreographic platforms which is where I see this piece going. In the symposium I said the section I presented will form one of 3 sections to the work. The second will include spoken word, a poem or text written by myself with correlating movement. The final section will delve more in to mental health, specifically looking at disassociation as this is something I suffered from as a result of my experience in Peru. I am not exactly sure how this will look yet. It could be a disassociation of what is being said to the movement or disassociation of body parts or of facial expression to body expression. This will need more research in to the mental health issue and practice as research in to which way will best portray what I am wanting. I am still wanting to bring these ideas together but I feel bringing both ideas together in to one section will have more impact. I could use the text as a juxtaposition to the movement and/or still play with the idea of disassociating body parts. A further idea I had about this was to use tape to split the stage in to sections and explore how use of space can used to explore mental health. This would mean the solo is in 2 sections rather than 3.

    Furthermore, want to research more in to phenomenology and extend that to other philosophical movements such as existentialism. As I said above I would also like to research psychology, specifically common mental health issues including anxiety, depression and disassociation. Additionally I want to deepen my research by looking at other dance practitioners who have created work and addressed issues similar to the ones I am looking at, questioning and exploring their processes and comparing it to my own.

  • Coming together

    Through my research I have found a lot of ideas, concepts and theories that have underpinned, supported and helped to develop my practice.

    In this time researching other practitioners something came together and I had a light bulb moment. I was looking in to Sondra Frailigh and how she looks at phenomenology through her own practice and Soili Hamalainen with her thoughts on bodily memory.

    Frailigh talks about how dance is not self-expression but is the art, the medium, that one has chosen in order to show one self. She talks about her time when she was training in Berlin:
    “Dance was a means towards self knowledge – not a disclosure of personality but a construction of it, not self-expression as self-indulgence but a creation of self in expressive action that moves one beyond the confines of self” [Frailigh. S. 1987, p xxii]

    To me this shows the movement created, specifically relating to my own work, is more substantial than self-expression. It is me. It is my experience. This is liberating to me, although also slightly terrifying, to be able to stand and move and just be me. To show my experience in the way I experienced it not the way I think it should be shown is so powerful. Reading this has given me more confidence in what I am doing and the confidence to be able to share the work.

    Hamalainen talks about bodily memory, which is exactly what I have been trying to tap into without having the words to say that is what it is. Linking back to Frailigh’s thought on self-expression, Hamalinen also sees movement not as self-expression or an expression of what was felt but a memory in the body that is able to produce movement. The movement is a memory its self not an expression of one.

    I remember times of being sat still but my body feeling so full of turmoil and movement. I wasn’t physically moving in that moment but that memory of how the body felt I have let come out now as movement. Similarly, my body remembers feeling trapped, which is what I was exploring during my last rehearsal. And feeling so utterly exhausted and drained, which is also an obvious moment in the piece.

    “The way in which we comprehend our own body is reliant on a history of bodily responses to surrounding circumstances” [Hamalinen. S. 2007, p58/59]

    All of these bodily memories have informed my work. It links back to the lived body theory that I have spoken about and how the experience is received by the body, it had time to process and now it is coming back out in the movement.

    Taking these thoughts forward, I feel confident to share my work later this week. I know the movement, it will now be a case of getting in to the right mind frame. Thinking and recreating those memories both in the mind and the body.


    Fraleigh, S. H. (1987). Dance and the lived body: A descriptive aesthetics. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

    Rouhiainen L. (2007) Ways of Knowing in Dance and Art Finland: Theatre Academy

  • Stage 4

    Continuing to develop the idea of feeling trapped and playing more with the motif I noticed in the last stage. To me this was a clear image of a struggle to get out but not quite being able to. This appeared through out the piece in small sections so I wanted to work on one of those specifically to develop and extend it. Then making sure it also appeared in other sections throughout the piece so it wasn’t a standalone movement.

    It was insightful thinking about this and how my body felt trying to navigate the spaces. How uncomfortable, awkward and frustrating it was to be put in to those positions but not be able to find a direct way out without just reversing the movement.

    I connected this back to the phenomenological ideas and theories I looked in to before the rehearsal. I was in the moment remembering how my body received that experience and then how that felt within my body. The turmoil my body was experiencing by wanting to get out of the situation but not being able to.

    I previously spoke about the narrative of emotion I wanted to show so, in this rehearsal I decided again change a lot of the structure of the piece. Moving sections around made the piece feel more authentic to perform. It now has the arc and emotional narrative that I experienced in the way I experienced it.

    The piece now feels like it is coming together. The movement and flow feels much more authentic than it did at the beginning of the process. I feel that I am at the stage to start sharing the piece and gain feedback from others to ensure what I want to come across to the audience is coming across.