The ethos of the mover/witness dyad: an experimental frame for participatory performance

Mcleod, Shaun 2016, The ethos of the mover/witness dyad: an experimental frame for participatory performance, Brolga. An Australian journal about dance, no. 40, pp. 57--72.

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Title The ethos of the mover/witness dyad: an experimental frame for participatory performance
Author(s) Mcleod, ShaunORCID iD for Mcleod, Shaun
Journal name Brolga. An Australian journal about dance
Issue number 40
Start page 57-
End page 72
Publisher Australian Dance Council - Ausdance Inc.
Place of publication Canberra, A.C.T.
Publication date 2016-05-10
Keyword(s) Dance
Dance Improvisation
Authentic Movement
Participatory Performance
Summary This article reflects on a dance improvisation project in which the foundational relationship of the Mover Witness Dyad (MWD), the private exchange between mover and witness (and more commonly known as Authentic Movement) became an ethical and physical paradigm for an improvised performance. The untitled performance (conceived by Shaun McLeod and danced by Olivia Millard, Peter Fraser, Jason Marchant, Sophia Cowen and Shaun McLeod) took place over three nights in Melbourne in November 2014. It was specifically informed by the experiences, observations and questions drawn from an extensive studio practice of the MWD by the dancers. The practice of the MWD is a therapeutic relationship between contemplative mover and attentive witness. Falling within the wider field of Dance Movement Therapy, the MWD has uses as a therapeutic aid, in personal development and also as a context for exploring dance improvisation. An important feature of the MWD is that attention, in whatever manifestation, is directed inwardly and is engaged bodily. The form parallels dance improvisation in its emphasis on open, exploratory movement, which is grounded in the particular sensibility each individual brings to embodiment. Never intended as a performance practice, the MWD has nonetheless been used by dancers as a method for investigating dancing and towards informing or generating performance content. This project threw up considerations of values; in this case values associated with audience participation and the ethics of ‘witnessing’ improvised dance.
Language eng
Field of Research 190499 Performing Arts and Creative Writing not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2016, Australian Dance Council - Ausdance Inc.
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