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Unconcealing experience : Heidegger, Stanislavski and the creation of ‘truthful’ characterisations in dance.

da Silva, Karen (2017) Unconcealing experience : Heidegger, Stanislavski and the creation of ‘truthful’ characterisations in dance. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Abstract Throughout the thirty years I have been watching and participating as a dancer in UK dance theatre, I have become increasingly aware of the ways in which female characters are frequently portrayed through limited representations of women. This research begins by acknowledging that this is a problem and proceeds to look at some of the ways in which such limited representations come about and subsequently how the individuality of the person is overlooked. The main objective of this research is to address this problem by offering a new choreographic approach to creating character in dance works. This has been done through an amalgamation of Stanislavskian and Heideggerian processual accounts of truth which intrinsically account for the Being and subjectivity of the performer and character. Through Practice as Research I have developed a new method of choreographing character which intersects dance practice, Heideggerian phenomenology and Stanislavskian approaches to acting. A principal aspect of my original contribution to the field of knowledge lies within the intersection of these practices. I propose that a key attribute towards resolving the problem is through taking time to ‘get to know’ the character; an idea at the heart of social psychological propositions towards resolving problems of social stereotyping. I conclude by making a call for choreographers to consider using techniques from theatre such as the one I outline in this research when creating and presenting female characters within their work. The implications of this research are that approaches from theatre and phenomenology are not merely ideas that can be applied to the body but in fact are practices which can be done and danced. Rather than resorting to limited and sometimes tired representations of women’s experience, the individual lived experience of the character can emerge and drive the creation and performance process to produce a choreographed character whose subjectivity and lived experience is clearly accounted for.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
da Silva, Karen
Date : 31 August 2017
Funders : Student Bursary Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences
Contributors :
Depositing User : Karen Da Silva
Date Deposited : 07 Sep 2017 07:37
Last Modified : 07 Sep 2017 09:28

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