rss_2.0Nordic Journal of Dance FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Nordic Journal of Dance Journal of Dance Feed On—The Power of Oral Transmission<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Living Documents</italic> is a series of looped live installations developed between 2017 and 2019 based on five artist-choreographers and how they work. The project was initiated by Dominik Grünbühel and Charlotta Ruth as an artistic response to the following research question: <italic>What is liveness and what can it be?</italic> The research was directed towards the necessity—but also difficulty—of documenting live performances. This text reflects how the method of <italic>passing on</italic> (in Swedish, tradera) through the collaborative process with choreographer Anna Öberg, whose practice is based in Swedish folk dance, has come to influence the documentary approach. By resonating how <italic>passing on</italic> in the cosmology of Folk Traditions is different to other methods of physical and oral transfer, Öberg together with Ruth develop how <italic>passing on</italic> can be valuable beyond the realm of Folk Tradition.</p> <p>Specifically, they unfold the ways in which this multi-sensorial transfer of material and knowledge from person to person and context to context can inspire documentary and reflexive translations between media and different aesthetic realms and thereby contribute to creative ways of sharing knowledge in the field of artistic research.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Technique and Power Dynamics in Higher Education: A Literature Review<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Since the turn of the millennium, there has been a heightened emphasis on the quality of teaching and learning in higher education, with an urge to reform the relationship between teachers and students. During this same period, a growing body of research has been conducted on unequal power dynamics in the teaching of dance technique. In this study, I am doing a literature review of 20 articles published between 1998 and 2020, which especially addressed dance technique and power dynamics in the context of higher education. I am particularly exploring strategies proposed in the literature to challenge unequal power dynamics within dance technique training in higher education. Through a thematic analysis of the articles, I have identified three clusters of strategies in the material: <italic>reflexivity of traditions in dance, activity</italic>, and <italic>embodiment</italic>. The research shows that there is a rather high interest in continuing and reforming the teaching of dance technique, and that there are several examples of empirical research related to heightening the students’ activity in their learning process. However, there is still a need for more research on this topic, especially concerning the connection between embodiment and empowerment.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Exploring the Materiality of Water in Alexander Ekman’s Ballet<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article analyses Ekman’s ballet <italic>A Swan Lake</italic> from the perspective of new materialism, which is understood as the agency of the non-human, particularly the role of water in the creation of movement and in the script of the ballet. The question guiding this article concerns how the materiality of water takes place in Ekman’s ballet. I propose that by paying attention to the corporeality of dance itself as a discursive practice (Barad 2003), it is possible to appreciate the creation of a kind of language or code that can be interpreted. Following Barad, a discursive practice not only is language or what is said but allows certain things to be said. Here, both the bodies of the dancers and the water allow things to be said. In other words, encounters of the materiality of the human, that is, the bodies of the dancers with the non-human agency of the water, provoke new ways of moving and therefore form part of the choreographic composition, thus co-creating the ballet itself.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue With Parkinson’s: Leaving Traces<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article aims to explore the experiences of eight dancers, who have Parkinson’s disease (PD), with dance as a performative form of the arts. The data of this qualitative research consists of a semi-structured online questionnaire and a focus group discussion. The data was analyzed using inductive thematic content analysis and approached in an abductive manner in the context of social identity theory. Two main themes emerged from the analysis: embodied social connectedness and de-medicalization of PD.</p> <p>The current study emphasizes social factors regarding identity while performing with PD. The findings indicate that the dancers’ experiences of watching and being watched refer to a communicative body and its dialogical relationship with other bodies. In conclusion, dancing is experienced as an embodied language with which to communicate, allowing the individual to explore how to become visible in a social environment without one’s social identity being tied to PD but with one’s personal identity. Furthermore, the core of the performative experience is artistry, defined as a limitless entity that metaphorically leaves traces, connecting us as human beings. However, further studies with a larger number of participants would be beneficial.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Footprints–Technology and Equality<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>How can dancers control or influence variables such as lighting, music, projections or the overall spatial experience that affect the traditional hierarchy in a performative setting? The dance performance <italic>Digital Footprints</italic> uses advanced technologies that allow dancers to test this question in a live situation. In this article, the choreographer discusses some preliminary conclusions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Histories: Critical Perspectives on Dance Histories in Nordic Dance Practices and Scholarship of Butterflies: Practicing Ecosomatics and Dancing Towards More Sensitive Bodily Presence and Planetary Feeling<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This research is a multi-sited embodied autoethnography in which I combine methods of multispecies ethnography with the autoethnographic methodology I applied before. This research has been done with butterflies and it seeks planetary feeling through dance, embodied research and ecosomatics. The data of the research was produced in Mexico in 2019 and in Spain in 2021 and 2022. It includes photography, videos, ethnographic field notes and photopaintings. This article investigates how the contact with butterflies can affected to our bodily presence and qualities of movement and dance. I look these findings in relation to ideas and practices of choreographers such as Deborah Hay and Steve Paxton and I elaborate on ecosomatic approach that resonates well with multispecies ethnography. I analyze, how the touch and the dance with butterflies created something similar Hay calls “cellular level presence” and lightness of being. I write about special quality of butterflies dancing with the wind and my dances with the wind. I suggest that sharing spaces and moving respectfully in relation to other species could be inspiring in finding new kind of movement, embodied consciousness and knowledge. These experiences could have therapeutical and healing meanings. I suggest that ecosomatics and ecologically oriented dance art and research noticing the well-being of other species could be important in searching planetary feeling, feeling more deeply our biodiverse planet while same time also working for our own well-being.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Costume<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In performance contexts, costume is often perceived as visual expression that is in service of, for example, a choreographer’s vision. I argue that costume is also an aesthetic and poetic language in its own right that allows individuals such as performers and designers to co-conceptualize and co-create performances. In co-creative performance-making processes, I argue that it is critical that designers open-mindedly listen to performers’ experiences of specific costumes and that we (designers and performer) <italic>through</italic> listening co-creatively explore potentialities and challenges that are embedded in a specific costume. In the co-creative process, we must pay attention and listen carefully to how a specific costume affects specific performers in order to explore the ‘hidden’ performative potentialities and qualities that are imbedded in a specific costume. In this article I will unfold aspects of how listening <italic>through</italic> and <italic>with</italic> costume can become a performance-making strategy and unpack details of what listening <italic>through</italic> and <italic>with</italic> the costume imply.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Microgravity and the Interplay Between Awe, Wonder, Curiosity, and Humility in Artistic Research<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article discusses how the term ‘curiosity’ emerged as a leading element in the development of the action performance research project <italic>Microgravity</italic>. The focus is on the effect of curiosity as an activator of movement in a participatory performance in which participants are invited to explore new bodily conditions for the first time (in this case, reduced gravity through a vertical dance technique). I begin with an account of what vertical dance is, its origin, and my personal experience as a vertical dancer. Through the connection between vertical dance and space exploration and an encounter with the terms ‘awe’ and ‘wonder’ (in connection to space travel), I move on to pedagogical and creative decisions regarding ways to create a participatory performance that, due to its complete physical involvement of participants, I now refer to as an ‘action performance’. I will elaborate on the creative partners who joined the research and the interplay of curiosity and humility in relation to the terms ‘awe’ and ‘wonder’ based on the book <italic>A Neurophenomenology of Awe and Wonder</italic> (Gallagher et al. 2015), which was the initial inspiration for the use of these terms and the establishment of the imaginary universe of <italic>Microgravity</italic>. I will also employ my own interpretation of these terms as a researcher, drawing on first-hand participatory experiments and data gathered from participants between 2019 and 2022.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue the Past, Present, and Future—A Deep Dive Into Danish Dance Stories<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Danish Dance Stories</italic> is an artistic initiative manifested through a series of collegial encounters in 2018 and 2021, which revolves around the sharing of personal (hi)stories across generations and geographic affiliations. Documentation from the events and contributions from participants have been organized as <italic>stories</italic> on the website By revisiting and through the writing process engaging in conversations with the content of the <italic>stories</italic>, the text is an attempt to articulate and reflect on issues and potentials of the initiative.</p> <p>The conversations raise questions about hegemony, hierarchy and access, discussed through the lens of the terminology that constitute the ambiguous title of the initiative; <italic>Danish, Dance</italic> and <italic>History</italic>. By leaning onto the knowledge and experience of colleagues, complexity, multiplicity and repetition are proposed as a possible direction for a future local dance community.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Relationality: Weaving Bodies, Movement and Things Ecologies of Presence(S) in Three Different Dance Forms<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Presence is a central yet controversial topic in the study of performing arts and theatrical traditions, where the notion of ‘stage presence’ is generally understood as the performer’s ability to enchant the audience’s attention. How do dancers relate to the idea of presence in performance, and how do they understand, enact, and perform presence in their artistic work and practices?</p> <p>In this article I offer an investigation into presence’s variations in three different dance practices and choreographic contexts: the case of the <italic>Ballet National de Marseille</italic> during the staging of Emio Greco’s piece <italic>Passione</italic>; Contact Improvisation in the case of independent groups of <italic>contacters</italic> in Italy and Australia; and Body Weather, a radical movement ideology developed by Japanese choreographer Min Tanaka in the context of the company Tess de Quincey and Co. in Sydney.</p> <p>To illustrate how presence in dance practices emerges in relation to a complex and dynamic environment, I propose a cognitive ecological approach to the notion of ‘stage presence’, which considers both the co-presence of audiences and performers and the socio-cultural context of the performance event. By exploring how dancers articulate their lived experiences of presence in relation to their different dance contexts and traditions, I suggest framing phenomena of presence in an embodied ecological sense.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue with the Turquoise Waters of Mexico–Embodied Experiences and Observations for Environmental Justice<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>This article explores the author’s embodied experiences in and with the turquoise waters of Mexico. This journey started with an exploration of the healing potential of water through water therapy and dance. It led towards a search for ways to protect these precious water ecosystems against climate change, deforestation of waterfront ecosystems and pollution. The autoethnographic research process thus developed into a dialogue about environmental justice. Employing visual ethnography and visual arts, the author utilises photography of her dance in and with the turquoise waters of Mexico. She hopes that this article will inspire new thoughts about these precious water ecosystems and actions to protect them so they can remain pure and vivid for future generations.</p><p>:</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue Text and the Written Word of Pilates:<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Pilates instructors, educators, and students while well intentioned, may not understand the troubling rhetoric they unintentionally perpetuate when working with clients. This article suggests that the myth of the ideal body, and the stereotypical gender norms therein, is perpetuated by the Pilates due in part because of its close relationship to the culture of ballet. Pilates contributes to the pursuit and inevitable failure of an unobtainable body. Pilates «(re)produces» the myth of the ideal body through the universal aspect of its “healthy” rhetoric. As a consequence, this article suggests, the exercise practice perpetuates a culture of inadequacy; since many times, abled and differentlyabled women who practice Pilates are healthy. This article reveals that the seemingly benign practice of Pilates simultaneously promotes rhetoric of privilege and coercion. It concludes that the teaching practice inadvertently values and perpetuates stereotypical, unrealistic, and unobtainable ideologies of health and well-being.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue Competence and Life Skills erilaisuus: tanssi ammattina?<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Over the past three decades Western theatrical dance has been experiencing time of growth, development and change in its ontology. As a part of this shift of paradigm, dancers with bodily differences have made an entrance and initiatives across various contexts in dance: on stage, education and research. Most commonly, inclusive and integrated discourse of dance and disability research has been focusing on access and participation in dance. Dance artists with disabilities, and their experiences on bodily difference has been under-researched. Hence, emphasis on bodily difference has been on social meaning, instead of dancer’s movement.</p><p>This article focuses on professional dancers with disability within the context of socialization. Thus, factors such as dance ontology and its normative expectations, education, employment and spectators’ gaze that may facilitate or hinder dancer with disability are discussed. In short, the change for disabled dancer has been gradual, and obstacles partly still remain. Thus, it is essential to ensure that this progression continues. One possibility could be in utilising knowledge and experience existing in disabled dance artists as well as acknowledging the art behind the hypervisibility of bodily difference. Therefore, dance as an art form would be valued in its all existence.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>This article is an exploration using practice-based research in which I investigated a question: How can I, as a dance practitioner and facilitator, collaborate with a differently abled person on compositional work?</p><p>I explored how to be open to various ways of communicating and collaborating, not only as verbally, but also by letting disabled bodies and minds’ expertise communicate in their own ways to allow for questioning and challenging normative perspectives.</p><p>This research was conducted in Denmark at the participants’ group residence. The institutional context was logistically convenient and served as familiar surroundings for the participants. It also was a foundation on which to explore dance research within other institutional spaces. I collaborated with three participants with disabilities in one-on-one sessions, creating a shared physical practice. Together with each participant, I was curious about finding our common interests within the field of dance, and how we could explore them with our individualised bodily expertise. It later became:</p><p>The Object practice</p><p>The Mirror practice</p><p>The Tempo practice</p><p>By proposing a quadruple loop structure as the methodological framework, I discuss the findings while taking a hermeneutic phenomenological approach. The empirical data were collected through video documentation of the sessions, observations and interviews. The four central topics of this shared experience entailed an examination and discussion of how to comprehend education, uncovering the validity of bodily feedback, exploring Crip time as a tool to question a normative understanding of time, and acknowledging the importance of showing. To get the full experience while reading this article, the reader is asked to ensure Internet access is available so that they can shift back and forth between the text and video excerpts.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue by Design: Costume Design Strategies within the Finnish Contemporary Dance Productions AmazinGRace, Noir? and The Earth Song<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>This article examines costume design within three Finnish contemporary dance productions in the 2010s, <bold><italic>AmazinGRace, Noir? and The Earth Song,</italic></bold> by respective costume designers Soile Savela, Sanna Levo and Karoliina Koiso-Kanttila, to identify the ways in which costume works within performances with political themes through cases that make use of ‘everyday’ garments as costumes. Here, everyday garments as <bold><italic>costume</italic></bold> refers to identifiable forms, silhouettes and connotations, as opposed to fantasy or ‘abstract’ costumes. Political, as defined by the themes of these performances, means subject to power relations: societal inequality, ethnicity and otherness and climate change. Despite having shared ground in employing everyday, real-life costume components, all three designs operate with a distinct strategy. Hence, this article discusses three strategies for materializing political aesthetics through costume: one that is <bold><italic>inclusive</italic></bold> in its use of ‘ordinary’ clothes as costume; one that builds itself through <bold><italic>ready-made</italic></bold> connotation and representation in costume; and one that is <bold><italic>associative</italic></bold> in its approach towards the capacity of costume. This investigation, from the perspective of a costume researcher and designer, not only argues for the potential of costume to communicate political meaning through its aesthetic choices but also reveals the versatility embedded in this under-researched area of everyday garments as costume within contemporary dance performance.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue