Perceiving the interactive body in dance: Enhancing kinesthetic empathy through art objects

Smith, Michael & Roche, Jennifer (2015) Perceiving the interactive body in dance: Enhancing kinesthetic empathy through art objects. Body, Space & Technology, 14.

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Through a consideration of audience experience of embodiment in contemporary dance performance, this project used kinesthetic empathy as a theoretical construct to inform choreographic decision-making. The research outcome challenged the traditional performer/audience relationship through an interactive dance performance work entitled Planets. This acted as a platform that allowed both audience and performer to collaboratively listen to, process and form movement in a shared kinesthetic state. This connection was enabled through the distribution of interactive art objects, which responded to the shifting proximity between performer and audience. The performance was thus experienced through following a shared goal as instigated by the interactive technology. Through practice-led research, knowledge from kinesthetic empathy, embodied cognition and the mirror neuron system were used to develop the project’s aim in encouraging interactive audiences to engage in movement. This aim influenced studio explorations of movement through an enquiry into the kinesthetic self in dance. Investigations used movement quality, tension, mobility and acceleration to access a familiar movement vocabulary appropriate for a broad interactive audience. This informed the role of the researcher as performer. Planets was developed as a collaborative project between Michael Smith and interactive visual designer Andy Bates and performed over three nights at the Ars Electronica Festival 2014 in Linz, Austria. Supported by documented footage from Planets and audience responses to the performances, this paper draws together the theoretical underpinnings behind the development of the work and includes the experiential perspective of the performer.

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ID Code: 82324
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Dance, Choreographic process, Art Objects, Kinesthetic Empathy, Ars Electronica
ISSN: 1470-9120
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Interactive Media (190205)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400) > Dance (190403)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 [Please consult the author]
Deposited On: 28 May 2015 22:29
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2017 14:22

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