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Dance and The Archival Body: Knowledge, Memory and Experience in Dance Revival Processes

Griffiths, Laura E (2014) Dance and The Archival Body: Knowledge, Memory and Experience in Dance Revival Processes. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

Over the past few decades, archival practices in dance have been the subject of substantial scrutiny and innovation. With new technologies affording opportunities for archival material to be housed in web-based platforms, questions surrounding notions of ‘archive’ and documentary practices in dance have occupied debates across academia and industry. The function of an archival source in dance as an ephemeral phenomenon is something that remains ambiguous because of the complexity of capturing the multiple aspects of dance-making processes and performance. In this thesis I address this issue by considering the role of the dancing body as a site where knowledge that can be considered as ‘archival’ is stored as a result of embodied dance-making processes and experience. Within the broader discussion of dance and archiving, I refer to the dance reconstruction practices of contemporary dance company, Phoenix Dance Theatre to illustrate new ideas about archiving dance. The discussion will focus upon notions of embodiment, memory, archives and dance reconstruction, and ideas surrounding the role of dance knowledge and its transferability to archival formats that are considered ‘tangible’ or ‘enduring’. The limitations of traditional understandings of the archive are addressed and expanded by re-considering the role of the body as an archival material. This research contributes new knowledge regarding dance archival practices through recognition that valuable information can be triggered through the re-living of historic movement action in the dancing body. In summary, the overall investigation makes a case for the role of the dancing body within the broader archival spectrum of materials relating to dance practice. I argue that the body captures some of the original essences of dance practice and performances that cannot be captured by more traditional materials and modes of archiving in dance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Dance, Archives, Revival Processes, Embodiment, Documentation
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > Performance and Cultural Industries (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > Performance and Cultural Industries (Leeds) > Research Centre for Dance (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.655236
Depositing User: Dr Laura Griffiths
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2015 12:16
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2018 13:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9190

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