Advertisement

Somatic Movement Dance Education: A Feminist, Cognitive, Phenomenological Perspective on Creativity in Dance

  • Rebecca Weber
Chapter
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 73)

Abstract

Dance, as a practice of coupling the sensate moving being with the environmental context, is a form of embodied meaning-making. Somatics, the field of mind-body integration, offers pedagogical frameworks that can deepen the benefits of dance education in relation to bodily attention and perception, individual autonomy, and intersubjective mutuality. This chapter introduces contemporary theories of cognition that support an understanding of the types of meaning-making inherent in dance and Somatics and examines Somatics’ grounding in feminism and existential phenomenology. The author suggests that the subjective and intersubjective benefits of Somatic Movement Dance Education (SMDE) have relevance to cognitive psychological theories of creativity, proposing that SMDE can afford dancers with more creative movement generation in dance choreography.

Keywords

Somatics SMDE Mind-body integration Creativity Choreography Cognitive psychology 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant for “In the Dancer’s Mind: Creativity, Novelty, and the Imagination;” Coventry University’s Centre for Dance Research, Chancellor’s Fund, and Centre for Global Engagement; the Rebecca Skelton Fund; and the MARCS Institute at the University of Western Sydney.

References

  1. Adams, M., Caldwell, K., Atkins, L., & Quin, R. (2012). Pilates and mindfulness: A qualitative study. Journal of Dance Education, 12(4), 123–130.Google Scholar
  2. Adler, J. (2002). Offering from the conscious body: The discipline of authentic movement. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions.Google Scholar
  3. Amabile, T. (1996). Creativity in context: Update to the social psychology of creativity. Boulder, CO: Westview.Google Scholar
  4. Arnold, P. (2005). Somaesthetics, education, and the art of dance. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 39(1), 48–56.Google Scholar
  5. Ausdance. (2012). Dance recognised as a valuable part of Australian lives. Retrieved from http://ausdance.org.au/goals/details/dance-recognised-as-a-valuable-part-of-australian-lives
  6. Bacon, J. (2010). The voice of her body: Somatic practices as a basis for creative research methodology. Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, 2(1), 63–74.Google Scholar
  7. Bannerman, H. (2010). A question of somatics: The search for a common framework for twenty-first century contemporary dance pedagogy – Graham and release-based techniques. Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, 2(1), 5–19.Google Scholar
  8. Batson, G. (1990). Dancing fully, safely, and expressively: The role of the body therapies in dance training. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, 61(9), 28–31.Google Scholar
  9. Batson, G., & International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (2009). Somatic studies and dance. Retrieved from www.c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.iadms.org/resource/resmgr/imported/info/somatic_studies.pdf
  10. Batson, G., Quin, E., & Wilson, M. (2012). Integrating somatics and science into dance training and practice. Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, 3(1/2), 183–193.Google Scholar
  11. Batson, G., & Schwartz, R. (2007). Revisiting the value of somatic education in dance training through an inquiry into practice schedules. Journal of Dance Education, 7(2), 47–57.Google Scholar
  12. Batson, G., & Wilson, M. (2014). Body and mind in motion: Dance and neuroscience in conversation. Bristol, UK: Intellect.Google Scholar
  13. Behnke, E. A. (1997). Ghost gestures: Phenomenological investigations of bodily micromovements and their intercorporeal implications. Human Studies, 20(2), 181–201.Google Scholar
  14. Bond, K. E. (2014). Dance and quality of life. In A. C. Michalos (Ed.), Encyclopedia of quality of life and well-being research (pp. 1419–1424). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.Google Scholar
  15. Bond, K. E. (2017). “Boys are morons”…“Girls are gross”: Let’s dance! In W. Oliver & D. Risner (Eds.), Dance and gender: An evidence based approach (pp. 135–157). Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida.Google Scholar
  16. Brodie, J., & Lobel, E. (2004). Integrating fundamental principles underlying somatic practices into the dance technique class. Journal of Dance Education, 4(3), 80–87.Google Scholar
  17. Brodie, J., & Lobel, E. (2006). Somatics in dance, dance in somatics. Journal of Dance Education, 6(3), 69–71.Google Scholar
  18. Brodie, J., & Lobel, E. (2012). Dance and somatics: Mind-body principles of teaching and performance. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.Google Scholar
  19. Burnidge, A. (2012). Somatics in the dance studio: Embodying feminist/democratic pedagogy. Journal of Dance Education, 12(2), 37–47.Google Scholar
  20. Campbell, D. T. (1960). Blind variation and selective retentions in creative thought as in other knowledge processes. Psychological Review, 67(6), 380–400.Google Scholar
  21. Debenham, P., & Debenham, K. (2008). Experiencing the sacred in dance education: Wonder, compassion, wisdom, and wholeness in the classroom. Journal of Dance Education, 8(2), 44–55.Google Scholar
  22. Dyer, B. (2009). Merging traditional technique vocabularies with democratic teaching perspectives in dance education: A consideration of aesthetic values and their sociopolitical contexts. The Journal of Aesthetic Education, 43(4), 108–123.Google Scholar
  23. Eddy, M. (1992). An overview of the science and somatics of dance. Kinesiology and Medicine for Dance, 14(1), 20–28.Google Scholar
  24. Eddy, M. (2002). Somatic practices and dance: Global influences. Dance Research Journal, 34(2), 46–62.Google Scholar
  25. Eddy, M. (2006). The practical application of body-mind centering (BMC) in dance pedagogy. Journal of Dance Education, 6(3), 86–91.Google Scholar
  26. Eddy, M. (2007). A balanced brain equals a balanced person: Somatic education. SPINS Newszine, 3(1), 7–8.Google Scholar
  27. Eddy, M. (2009). A brief history of somatic practices and dance: Historical development of the field of somatic education and its relationship to dance. Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, 1(1), 5–27.Google Scholar
  28. Eddy, M. (Ed.). (2016). Mindful movement: The evolution of the somatic arts and conscious action. Bristol, UK: Intellect.Google Scholar
  29. Eddy, M., Williamson, A., & Weber, R. (2014). Reflections on the spiritual dimensions of somatic movement dance education. In A. Williamson, G. Batson, S. Whatley, & R. Weber (Eds.), Dance, somatics and spiritualities: Contemporary sacred narratives (pp. 159–194). Bristol, UK: Intellect.Google Scholar
  30. Enghauser, R. (2007). Developing listening bodies in the dance technique class. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, 78(6), 33–54.Google Scholar
  31. Fairweather, M. M., & Sidaway, B. (1993). Ideokinetic imagery as a postural development technique. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 64, 385–392.Google Scholar
  32. Fortin, S. (1993). When dance science and somatics enter the dance technique class. Kinesiology and Medicine for Dance, 15(2), 88–107.Google Scholar
  33. Fortin, S. (1995). Towards a new generation: Somatic dance education in academia. IMPULSE: The International Journal for Dance Science, Medicine, and Education, 3, 253–262.Google Scholar
  34. Fortin, S. (1998). Somatics: A tool for empowering modern dance teachers. In S. B. Shapiro (Ed.), Dance, power, and difference: Critical feminist perspectives on dance education (pp. 49–74). Urbana, IL: Human Kinetics.Google Scholar
  35. Fortin, S., & Siedentop, D. (1995). The interplay of knowledge and practice in dance teaching: What we can learn from a non-traditional dance teacher. Dance Research Journal, 27(2), 3–15.Google Scholar
  36. Fortin, S., Vieira, A., & Tremblay, M. (2009). The experience of discourses in dance and somatics. Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, 1(1), 47–64.Google Scholar
  37. Foucault, M. (1977). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison (A. Sheridan, Trans.). Harmondsworth, UK: Peregrine.Google Scholar
  38. Fraleigh, S. H. (1987). Dance and the lived body: A descriptive aesthetics. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  39. Fraleigh, S. H. (1996). The spiral dance: Toward a phenomenology of somatics. Somatics, 8, 14–19. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.brockport.edu/dns_facpub/8
  40. Fraleigh, S. H. (2004). Dancing identity: Metaphysics in motion. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  41. Franken, R. E. (2006). Human motivation (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth. (Original work published 1982).Google Scholar
  42. Gallagher, S. (2014). Phenomenology and embodied cognition. In L. Shapiro (Ed.), Routledge handbook of embodied cognition (pp. 9–18). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  43. Gamboian, N., Chatfield, S. J., & Woollacott, M. H. (2000). Further effects of somatic training on pelvic tilt and lumbar lordosis alignment during quiet stance and dynamic dance movement. Journal of Dance Medicine and Science, 4(3), 90–98.Google Scholar
  44. Gibbs, R. (2005). Embodiment and cognitive science. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Ginot, I. (2010). From Shusterman’s somaesthetics to a radical epistemology of somatics (A. Barlow & M. Franko, Trans.). Dance Research Journal, 42(1), 12–29.Google Scholar
  46. Green, J. (1999). Somatic authority and the myth of the ideal body in dance education. Dance Research Journal, 31(2), 80–100.Google Scholar
  47. Green, J. (2001). Socially constructed bodies in American dance classrooms. Research in Dance Education, 2(2), 155–173.Google Scholar
  48. Green, J. (2002). Foucault and the training of docile bodies in dance education. New Orleans, LA: AERA Conference.Google Scholar
  49. Green, J. (2013). American body pedagogies: Somatics and the cultural construction of bodies in the institution of higher education. Paper presented at the Congress on Research in Dance.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S2049125500000157.Google Scholar
  50. Gustafson, D. L. (1999). Embodied learning: The body as an epistemological site. In M. Mayberry & E. C. Rose (Eds.), Meeting the challenge: Innovative feminist pedagogies in action (pp. 249–274). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  51. Halprin, A. (2000). Dance as a healing art: Returning to health through movement and imagery. Mendocino, CA: LifeRhythm Energy Field.Google Scholar
  52. Hanna, J. L. (2006). Dancing for health: Conquering and preventing stress. Lanham, MD: AltaMira.Google Scholar
  53. Hanna, T. (1970). Bodies in revolt: A primer in somatic thinking. New York: Holt, Reinhart, & Winston.Google Scholar
  54. Hanna, T. (1979). The body of life: Creating new pathways for sensory awareness in movement. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts.Google Scholar
  55. Henley, M. (2014). Dance and embodied intelligence. Journal of Emerging Dance Scholarship, 1(2), 1–20.Google Scholar
  56. hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  57. Howe, D. (2016, April). Undoing the danced body – Feldenkrais and awareness in motion. Dance in the 21st century: Questioning methods of practice, pedagogy and research. Paper presented at DanceHE Early Careers symposium, Bedfordshire, UK.Google Scholar
  58. Huddy, A., & Stevens, K. (2014). Dance teaching and learning in context: Activating the head, heart and hands. Brolga, 39, 20–26.Google Scholar
  59. Husserl, E. (1970). Logical investigations (J. Findlay, Trans.). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. (Original work published 1900).Google Scholar
  60. ISMETA. (2015). International somatic movement education and therapy association. Retrieved from www.ismeta.org
  61. Johnson, D. H. (1986). Principles versus techniques: Towards the unity of the somatics field. Somatics, VI, 4–8.Google Scholar
  62. Johnson, D. H. (1995). In S. B. Shapiro (Ed.), Bone, breath, and gesture: Practices of embodiment. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.Google Scholar
  63. Johnson, D. H. (2000). Intricate tactile sensitivity: A key variable in western integrative bodywork. Progress in Brain Research, 122, 479–490.Google Scholar
  64. King, A. (1993). From sage on the stage to guide on the side. College Teaching, 41(1), 30–35.Google Scholar
  65. Kleinman, S. (1990). Moving into awareness. Somatics, 7(4), 4–8.Google Scholar
  66. Koestler, A. (1964). The act of creation. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  67. Krasnow, D. H., Chatfield, S. J., Barr, S., Jensen, J. L., & Dufek, J. S. (1997). Imagery and conditioning practices for dancers. Dance Research Journal, 29(1), 43–64.Google Scholar
  68. Lakes, R. (2005). The messages behind the methods: The authoritarian pedagogical legacy in western concert dance technique training and rehearsals. Arts Education Policy Review, 106(5), 3–18.Google Scholar
  69. Long, W. (2002). Sensing difference: Student and teacher perceptions on the integration of the Feldenkrais method of somatic education and contemporary dance technique. Master’s thesis, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.Google Scholar
  70. Louppe, L. (2010). Poetics of contemporary dance (S. Gardner, Trans.). Alton, UK: Dance Books.Google Scholar
  71. Mangione, M. (1993). The origins and evolution of somatics: Interviews with five significant contributors to the field. Doctoral dissertation. Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/
  72. NDEO. (2016). Dance education in the United States. Retrieved from http://www.ndeo.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=893257&module_id=19474
  73. Nelson, L. (2008, February 1). Lisa Nelson in conversation with Lisa Nelson. Critical Correspondence. Retrieved from https://movementresearch.org/publications/critical-correspondence/lisa-nelson-in-conversation-with-lisa-nelson. (Original work published 2006).
  74. Nettl-Fiol, R. (2016). How dance has helped situate academic fields of somatic inquiry: Case study, University of Illinois-Urbana. In M. Eddy (Ed.), Mindful movement: The evolution of the somatic arts and conscious action (pp. 165–180). Bristol, UK: Intellect.Google Scholar
  75. Reed, S., & Whatley, S. (2016). The universities and somatic inquiry: The growth of somatic movement dance education in Britain. In M. Eddy (Ed.), Mindful movement: The evolution of the somatic arts and conscious action (pp. 149–164). Bristol, UK: Intellect.Google Scholar
  76. Reeve, S. (2011). Nine ways of seeing the body. Axminster, UK: Triarchy.Google Scholar
  77. Robbins, P., & Aydede, M. (2012). A short primer on situated cognition. In P. Robbins & M. Aydede (Eds.), Cambridge handbook of situated cognition (pp. 3–12). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  78. Rouhiainen, L. (2008). Somatic dance as a means of cultivating ethically embodied subjects. Research in Dance Education, 9(3), 241–256.Google Scholar
  79. Shapiro, L. (2011). Embodied cognition. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
  80. Shapiro, S. B. (1998). Dance, power, and difference: Critical and feminist perspectives on dance education. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.Google Scholar
  81. Sheets-Johnstone, M. (1981). Thinking in movement. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 39(4), 339–407.Google Scholar
  82. Sheets-Johnstone, M. (1999). The primacy of movement. Amsterdam: Benjamins.Google Scholar
  83. Sheets-Johnstone, M. (2011). Embodied minds or mindful bodies? A question of fundamental, inherently interrelated aspects of animation. Subjectivity, 4(4), 451–466.Google Scholar
  84. Sheets-Johnstone, M. (2013). Bodily resonance. In H. DePreester (Ed.), Moving imagination: Explorations of gesture and inner movement (pp. 19–37). Amsterdam: Benjamins.Google Scholar
  85. Shrewsbury, C. (1997). What is feminist pedagogy? Women’s Studies Quarterly, 25(1/2), 166–173.Google Scholar
  86. Simonton, D. K. (2011). Creativity and discovery as blind variation: Campbell’s (1960) BVSR model after the half-century mark. Review of General Psychology, 15(2), 158–174.Google Scholar
  87. Stinson, S. W. (1993). Journey toward a feminist pedagogy for dance. Women in Performance, 6(1), 131–146.Google Scholar
  88. Stromstead, T. (2001). Dancing literature: Authentic movement and re-inhabiting the female body. Somatics: Journal of the Bodily Arts & Sciences, 8(2), 20–39.Google Scholar
  89. Studd, K. A. (1983). Ideokinesis, mental rehearsal, and relaxation applied to dance technique. Master’s thesis, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR.Google Scholar
  90. Sweigard, L. E. (1939). Bilateral asymmetry in the alignment of the skeletal framework of the human body. Doctoral dissertation, New York University, USA.Google Scholar
  91. Tarlow-Morgan, K., Selver-Kassell, E., Lipman, L., & Brehm, M. A. (2016). Somatic movement and dance education in pre-K-12 education. In M. Eddy (Ed.), Mindful movement: The evolution of the somatic arts and conscious action (pp. 149–164). Bristol, UK: Intellect.Google Scholar
  92. Varela, F., Thompson, E., & Rosch, E. (1991). The embodied mind: Cognitive science and human experience. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  93. Weber, R. (2009). Integrating semi-structured somatic practices and contemporary dance technique training. Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, 1(2), 237–254.Google Scholar
  94. Williamson, A. (2009). Formative support and connection: Somatic movement dance education in community and client practice. Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, 1(1), 29–45.Google Scholar
  95. Williamson, A. (2016). Reflections on phenomenology, spirituality, dance and movement-based somatics. Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, 8(2), 275–301.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca Weber
    • 1
  1. 1.Coventry UniversityCoventryUK

Personalised recommendations