Week 9 – Bodies in Motion
Lecture 1 – Kimberly Dority
Bodies in Motion
Dance as Social Practice
- Situated within social, cultural and historical context
- Relates to others socially meaningful ways of moving
- Positioned within a context of the history of dance forms within a specific society
- Highly regulated
As Social Practice Dance is:
- Ideas about social world are communicated through dancing bodies
- Ask: who dances, when and where, in what ways, with whom, and to what end? Who does not dance, and
- Dance practice reflect notions of gender, sexuality, race, class, ability, etc.
- Identify how dance practices express social and cultural norms by evaluating and critiquing what kinds of
movement are considered appropriate, and for whom
- Understand Luce Irigaray’s concept of mimesis (repetition with a difference) and demonstrate how it may
be used in movement to resist and re-imagine social norms
Dancing Gender Norms
- How are gendered norms choreographed within ballet pas de deux?
- Who moves and who is moved?
- In what way to the poses display one body more and another?
- What skills are demanded of each dancer and what do they imply about desired attributes ascribed to men
- How would you describe the movements you see and how do these descriptions relate to normative
assumptions about masculinity and femininity?
Resisting Gender Norms
- Susan Kozel: “The Story is Told as a History of the Body: Strategies of Mimesis in the work of Irigaray
- Pina Bausch 1940-2009, German choreographer, postmodern dance
- Luce Irigaray – French philosopher, mimesis
- Strategy of mimesis: excess, repetition with a difference, creates distortion
Mimesis allows for Distortion
- According to Kozel, “distortion implies a challenge to existing senses of order and normality through
partially conforming to and partially transgressing the usual. It is the blending on familiar with unfamiliar
which makes a distortion so unnerving: it is not totally new, it shows us the otherness within the same, the
invisible which animates the visible”
- How does Bausch’s choreography create a distortion through mimesis?
- How does this expose and re-imagine social norms?
- Blurs distinctions: personal, theatrical, natural space
- Blend familiar and unusual, excessive repetition, exhaustion
- Emotions transform body movement
- Mimesis- looks at the relationship between art and the real word, mimesis translates to imitation, idea
that/question that how much does art imitative life, is it an exact representation? Not quite? How do we
understand that relationship between life and art?
Questions to think about during Pina (2011