Expanding empathic and perceptive awareness: The experience of attunement in Contact Improvisation and Body Weather

Sarah Pini*, Catherine Deans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Dance as a complex human activity is a rich test case for exploring perception in action. In this article we explore a 4E approach to perception/action in dance, focussing on the intersubjective and ecological aspects of attunement. One of the wellsprings of creativity, as we see it, is the co-created emergent experience of a confluence of intersubjective and ecological possibility manifesting in an expansion of the perceptive/active experience and enhanced empathy. In this article we examine the question: what are the ways in which the performance ecology co-created in different dance practices influences empathic and perceptive experience? We adopt an enactive ethnographic (Wacquant, 2005, 2015) and phenomenological approach to explore two distinct dance forms (see also Grant, McNeilly and Wagner, 2019; Bleeker, Sherman, & Nedelkopoulou, 2015; Ravn & Hansen, 2013): Contact Improvisation [CI], a duet-system based practice aimed at fostering interkinaesthetic awareness and challenging habits of movement (Pini, McIlwain and Sutton, 2016; see also Novack, 1983, 1990); and Body Weather [BW], an anti-hierarchical movement practice that cultivates sensitivity to the surrounding environment (Fuller, 2014; Candelario, 2019; De Quincey and Maxwell, 2019).
Original languageEnglish
JournalPerformance Research: a journal of the performing arts
Volume26
ISSN1352-8165
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Attunement
  • Dance research
  • Contact Improvisation
  • Body Weather
  • Ethnographic fieldwork
  • Awareness
  • Perception
  • Ecological psychology

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