Intimate bodies and technologies: A concept for live-digital dancing




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De Montfort University


Thesis or dissertation

Peer reviewed


This thesis considers the relationship between dance and digital media, and considers a specific type of case regarding this relationship: live and mediated. My motivation has been to identify and investigate, through practice, some of the difficulties presented when live and mediated bodies are placed within the same performance environment. In order to challenge some of the difficulties of what I consider as the problematic medium of digital dance, this thesis offers an examination of the ways in which digital media can positively transform the processes of making movement, and explores how the assimilation of media, as an integral agent within movement generation, can counter the dominance of the digital. Such dominance has been considered using a Practice As Research (PaR) model, and thus the thesis exemplifies both the creation of, and a deep reflection on, three works: Shift (2010-11), Betwixt & Between (2012-13) and Modulation_one (2013-14). Through the development of these works, I have sought to formally analyze and illuminate how media technologies, and in particular projection, can enrich the processes for making movement. This has been done in the context of a proliferation of digital technologies being available within a studio setting. In particular, the works have been established from the perspective of the dancer, which represents a specific case study for challenging the dominance of the digital. What follows in the written thesis is an analysis of what is a continuing and emerging practice. The written thesis therefore serves as both a document of the process and presents an illustration of a methodological approach for generating synergistic relationships with movement and projection. This relationship is proposed as a concept for live-digital dancing, which represents the main contribution to knowledge. The term live-digital advances the idea that a dancer is neither bound or restricted by either a live or digital construct, rather she is inspired to move and respond, in the moment of performance, to an unfolding assemblage of live and digital materials. Significantly, this has been established through the experiential encounters of the dancer moving with simultaneous projections of self. Live-digital therefore offers a methodological approach for constructing digital dance performance environments, which place perception and experience at the fore.





Research Institute