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Social Dimensions of Choreography, Exploring Choreography as a Multidirectional Process

Walter, Kathinka Julia (2017) Social Dimensions of Choreography, Exploring Choreography as a Multidirectional Process. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

The research contributes to the possibilities of challenging and expanding what a choreographer might be when he/she plays an interactive role in the performance event, investigating the artistic and social potentials of structured improvisation in relation to instant composition. It shifts the control between choreographer and dancers, addressing the traditional hierarchy within aspects of conditions of authority (Martin, 1985) and trust and power (Foucault, 1995). The choreographer is confronted with losing and gaining control, which can provoke vulnerability not usually visible in the performance context (Stuart, 2010). Dealing with participation, reflection and process challenges not only the identity of the role of the choreographer, but has consequences for the identity of the whole work. It raises questions of responsibility and ownership, questioning the choreographer’s single authorship for the work, offering opportunities to let the work grow by sharing authorship between all performers (Laermans, 2008, 2015). The unexpected energies of more people involved and the use of improvisation with its changeability allow choreography to be experienced as an open work (Margolis/1981, Rubidge/2000). Agreeing that dance is a social practice (Klien, 2008a), choreography can be seen as an illustration of the functioning (Lehmen, 2004) of the group of performers as a social system, with one element affecting the other, which makes the system constantly evolve (Luhmann, 1995). The interrelationships between all participants, including the audience that shape and form a system with significant features, become visible throughout the performance duration. Considering social interaction more broadly and with relevance beyond dance, choreography performs social norm and structures (Klein, 2013) and can illustrate changes within society to make them more apparent, proposing a springboard for debate. The research offers findings in terms of learning gained through working in groups; working with multi directional processes and the use of reflection provides a democratic, open and liberating space to all participants.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Related URLs:
Keywords: Choreography, Performance, Dance, Improvisation, Power, Choreographer, Dancer, Instant Composition, Collaboration, Social Choreography, Visibility, Hierarchy, Social System, Ownership, Control, Vulnerability, Participation
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > Performance and Cultural Industries (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.718796
Depositing User: Kathinka Julia Walter
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2017 15:02
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2018 15:34
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/17461

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