Screendance: corporeal ties between dance, film, and audience

Hubbard, Frances Rosina (2014) Screendance: corporeal ties between dance, film, and audience. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

I explore the sensuous, kinaesthetic experience and analysis of screen dance and the interconnectivity between our bodies, film, and heightened embodied sensibility. This
physicality creates a dialogue between the rich diversity of screen dance genres under consideration, thereby avoiding hierarchical classifications. It also focuses attention on
more abstract cinematic qualities, investigating how cinematic technique (as well as thematic content) generates emotional impact; allowing for the enjoyment of film as a
material and sensual medium.

However, since our senses have been trained according to the regulatory controls within our socio-historical/cultural contexts, equal attention is given to the ideology of
representation, and to the links between embodiment, identities, meanings, and broader relations of inequality. I am particularly interested in how dance and film can function politically, both expressing and disrupting norms and ideologies. But I am also interested in how the presence of dance (and/or choreographed movement) can enhance
a film’s agency and its ability to cross time and space, “touching” the viewer and thereby working to transform historical objectification into embodied interaction.

I combine a phenomenological lived-body experience of viewing with the epistemological functions that characterise it, using my own somatically felt body as a methodological starting point and a creative practice, and theoretical text-based and socio-historical contextual analyses. This balance between lived-experience and critical discussion is used to explore chapters on the deconstruction of national, cultural, and gendered identity through Flamenco dance and film; dance and physical disability; and avant-garde feminist screendance. A final chapter brings these key themes together by investigating how (psychiatric) disability, feminism, and national identity are treated in
a contemporary Hollywood dance film.

Whilst embodied perception is never “innocent” and always shaped, I show how the movement of affect and emotion between the film and viewer’s body can constitute an
ethical experience, encouraging progressive and self-reflexive political and ideological engagement.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation. Leisure > GV1199 Games and amusements > GV1580 Dancing
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion pictures
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2014 06:13
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2015 13:46
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/48856

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