A Visceral Kind of Understanding

Vahri Mckenzie

Research output: Contribution to Newspaper/Magazine/BulletinArticle

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A series of artists’ profiles featuring significant Western Australian choreographers published in dancewest, WA edition of Australian Dance Council’s magazine. Each shows how embodied knowledge and physical sensation inform current choreographic processes and knowledge transmission. As a dancer and researcher I use archival, field research and reflection to ask how we reveal creative processes embedded in apparently intuitive improvisational studio processes.
I was invited to contribute this series of artists’ profiles to dancewest to communicate for an industry audience insights from case studies in my Early Career Research Grant-funded project Moving Knowledge. Creativity studies are informed by psychology and cognitive science but embodied knowledge is neglected. I address this gap by interpreting artists’ articulation of their processes using phenomenology, seeking evidence of somatic modes of attention and embodied imagery, readily understood by a dance-literate audience.
Each artist profile has garnered positive feedback and interest from the professional community. Findings were shared in a paper presented at the International Federation of Theatre Research conference (Warwick, 2014).
I use a research model of interaction between academic and practice-led research: my basic and applied research responds to new dance works, then artists test my findings in the studio. The profiles are cited to offer fuller background for readers of my chapter in Performing the Remembered Present: The Cognition of Memory in Dance, Theatre, and Music (2017, Methuen, Performance and Science: Interdisciplinary Dialogues Series).
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationDancewest
PublisherAustralian Dance Council (Ausdance)
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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