Conceptualising the differing body as disability-and-possability in dance through collaborative body-centred research methodologies

01 October 2020 → 30 September 2024
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Performance studies
  • Social sciences
    • Disability studies
Dance difference embodiment.
Project description

Dance has been traditionally linked to idealised bodies (beautiful, agile, malleable, …). A stream of thought and practice starting from possibility rather than lack offered by non-normative bodies is carving new paths in dance and confuses scripts that prescribe how bodies can/should move, appear, connect, be recognised as human. I study how encounters through dance affect and are affected by (the experience of) differing bodies. Central are (people whose) bodies are often approached as dysfunctional (e.g., due to disability, illness, ageing, bodyweight), erasing (desire for, exploration of, experience of) the body as source of pleasure and creation. I problematise the constitution of difference as lack leading to non-recognition/exclusion and approach difference in generative terms. Broadly, I aim to conceptualise bodies as interwoven fields of potential and disability, informing how becoming-in-the-world-with-others works. Socio-culturally, the project explores and reconfigures individual and collective experiences of difference in dance. Methodologically, I explore entryways to embodied knowledge. My plan entails an arts-informed layer about choreographers’ search for poetics of variety; an arts-based ethnographic layer with a dance lab where people encounter their body in intra-action with other bodies, triggering reflection on and transformation of being in the world; a collective biography to conceptualise “bodies-as-disability-and-possability”.