Still Dance: Movement in Times of Exhaustion
This thesis closely examines the practice of stilling as a methodology to rest in dance. Developed against the backdrop of late capitalism and its current conditions of existence, this practice-based artistic research poses the relevant question of how to think (about) (as) the exhausted body in dance. To this end, it draws on a wide and complex range of theories and methods that include critical dance studies, affect theory, contemporary philosophy, and auto-ethnography. Through a detailed conceptualization of stilling as a practice that approaches dance as potentiality, the thesis presents a comprehensive theoretical discussion and a critical account on the positionality of the researcher as dancer-anthropologist disrupting the division between theory and practice, thinking and doing. More specifically, it offers varied entry-points into the stilling practice through the description of some of its iterations, excerpts of embodied writing, and selected testimonies of research participants and collaborators. By attending to the immanent, what is not yet but about to become so, the practice aims to shed light on dance as a (re)generative force and open up new possibilities for dancing otherwise. Ultimately, in response to the compulsion of production imposed by the striving societies of today, this methodology points out the urgent need of de-disciplining the dancing body and demonstrates a firm determination to continue dancing still and despite.
Dr. João da Silva
Dance, Affect, Philosophy of Movement, Embodied Knowledge, Exhaustion, Late Capitalism, Auto-Ethnography, Stilling Practice.
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