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Up, down and amongst : perceptions and productions of space in vertical dance practices.

Lawrence, Kate (2017) Up, down and amongst : perceptions and productions of space in vertical dance practices. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Vertical dance is a new and collaborative form of dance that typically utilises rock climbing equipment to suspend dancers against a range of vertical surfaces in public spaces. Its effects are to alter familiar systems we use to orientate ourselves in space and to produce or change social spaces. My pedagogical practice (2002 – the present day) and a portfolio of choreographic outputs (created and performed between 2009 and 2015) are of primary importance in my investigation into how I perceive space when dancing on a tilted floor and how this vertical stage and its location in social space influences my choreographic practice. The thesis begins with a manifesto for vertical dance that condenses the central arguments into a set of instructions. There follows a categorization of the form using prototype theory (Wittgenstein, 1953;; Rosch, 1978;; Lakoff, 1987) applied to a set of vertical dance case studies from the 1970s to the present day. I discuss how the specific spatial parameters of vertical dance affect how a dancer orientates herself on a vertical floor, and how a choreographer on the ground communicates with a dancer on a wall above, drawing on spatial theories in dance and cognitive linguistics (Laban, 1966;; Levinson et al., 2002 and Lakoff and Johnson, 1980). Lefebvre’s (1974) work on the production of social space as an intersecting triad of spatial practice, representation of space and representational spaces, and recent site-specific discourse (Kwon, (2004), Kester (2004)), (e.g. Kaye (2001), Hunter et al. (2015), Pearson (2010), Kloetzel and Pavlik (2009)) are used to analyse how space is produced and changed, and how the built environment is reminded of nature through the vertical dancing body at diverse locations such as Belfast City Hall, Welsh Government offices, a WW2 German submarine station in France and Guildford Cathedral.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Date : 21 December 2017
Funders : Not applicable
Contributors :
Depositing User : Kate Lawrence
Date Deposited : 08 Jan 2018 08:59
Last Modified : 08 Jan 2018 08:59

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