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Embodied choreography and performance of gender

Migdalek, Jack 2012, Embodied choreography and performance of gender, Ph.D thesis, Deakin University.

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Title Embodied choreography and performance of gender
Author Migdalek, Jack
Institution Deakin University
Faculty Faculty of Arts
Degree name Ph.D
Thesis advisor Pallotta-Chiarolli, MariaORCID iD for Pallotta-Chiarolli, Maria orcid.org/0000-0003-3601-4642
Date submitted 2012-07
Summary Norms of fitting embodied behaviour for males and females, as promoted in Australian public arenas of popular culture and the everyday, disempower and marginalise those not inclined to embody in gendernormative and heteronormative ways.

This thesis engages with concepts of embodiment as meaning the manner of physical deportment in which a physical practice is performed, and with concepts of gender as social constructions of femininity and masculinity. It investigates the demands and implications of dominant norms of gender embodiment for those whose embodied inclinations do not fit comfortably with such dichotomous models. It interrogates gender inequitable machinations of education and performance arts disciplines by which educators and arts practitioners train, teach, choreograph, and direct those with whom they work, and theorises ways of broadening personal and social notions of possible, aesthetic, and acceptable embodiment for all persons, regardless of biological sex or sexual orientation.

This research is grounded in two major qualitative methods of enquiry. First, through an autoethnographic lens, it focuses on the impacts that social constructions of masculinity have on me, both as a person in the everyday and as a performance arts practitioner/educator. Through writing, illustration, choreography, and performance, as well as interviews with 3 members of my family, I analyse the delicacy of the relationship between social control/surveillance and personal agency over my embodiment of gender. Second, through empirical ethnographic fieldwork with some 400 high school students and 160 educators and performance arts practitioners, I utilise a combination of performance, discussion, practical workshop, and avenues for anonymous response to explore the potential of the performance arts in challenging inequitable notions of gender embodiment.

My findings demonstrate that inherent ideologies in dominant discourses regarding the execution and display of feminine and masculine embodiment continue to work, overtly and covertly, as definitive and restrictive barriers to the realm of possibilities of embodied gender expression and appreciation in the everyday and in the performance arts. This thesis recommends drawing individuals’ attention to embodied gender inequities and enculturation processes, not ordinarily critiqued within mainstream society, as a key toward safeguarding the well-being of those whose embodied performance inclination is at odds with prescribed norms of behaviour. Performance arts arenas are powerful sites in which such deconstructive work can occur, both cognitively and practically. However, as this thesis explores and illustrates, performance arts practitioners/educators need to first scrutinise existing and hidden inequities regarding the embodiment of gender within their own habitus, perspectives, taste, and practices.
Language eng
Socio Economic Objective 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing
Description of original 581 p.
Copyright notice ©2012, The Author
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30047367

Document type: Thesis
Collections: Higher degree theses (full text)
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Created: Tue, 28 Aug 2012, 10:58:19 EST by Leanne Swaneveld

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.