Ways to connect: somatic encounters inside the terrestrial zone

Pencak, Claire (2022) Ways to connect: somatic encounters inside the terrestrial zone. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

Text (Doctoral Thesis)
Ways to Connect. Somatic Encounters Inside the Terrestrial Zone. PhD Thesis.pdf - Submitted Version

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Text (Doctoral Thesis)
Book of Ways Appendix 1.pdf - Submitted Version

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Gatherings Appendix 2.pdf - Submitted Version

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This research moves with Latour’s cosmology of becoming earthly, a reorientation of our relationship to earth described by Earth System sciences. I bring an experiential perspective shaped by the embodied knowledges, practices and languaging of dance making and somatic movement practices. From my dancers’ positioning, I step into, move with and get under the skin of questions raised by Latour. My positioning from the inside, relates to the perspective of ‘soma’ in somatic practice; from inside place, the Scottish Borders; and from inside the terrestrial zone. The research is practice-led, practically orientated and develops ways to connect as an ecological orientation. Curated as three somatic etudes, Stone Ways, Moss Ways and Woodland Ways, each encounter, investigated through an artistic collaboration, explores recomposing and unfiguring as embodied and choreographic processes. In relinquishing fixed patterns of moving, we can re-organise our bodying to allow different anatomical narratives to emerge. I draw on approaches and vocabulary from anthropology, geopoetics and place praxis empathetic to embodied practice and moving with more-than-human relationships. I specifically harness Tsing’s definition of encountering as a process for moving with others and Kohn’s emphasis on beyond the human perspectives. Thinking through-moving manifests as attuning practices and choreographic scores for real-time composition. Scoring offers a composing process, a form of enquiry and a tool for inviting participation, as we will all need to join in these earthly dances of transformation. The contributions to knowledge extend to movement practice, philosophy and placemaking. The research scopes out directions for the role and contribution of dance and somatic movement to contribute transformative practices at a time of ecological catastrophe. Under_standing practices, pied-agogies and anatomies of connection recompose human-centric positionings, make us susceptible to the sentience of others, and support embodied experiences towards becoming earthly. Descriptions of landing inside the terrestrial zone are arrived at that augment Latour’s perspective and a distinct embodied languaging contributes to an evolving glossolalia. Alternative descriptions of place as somatic cartographies and a reshaping of the local are provocations for placemaking brought together as a live score for cultural placemaking in the Scottish Borders.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: place and space, dance and ecological thinking, creative placemaking, more-than-human shaping, geopolitics
Subjects: W500 Dance
W900 Others in Creative Arts and Design
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Arts
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2022 07:53
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2022 08:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/48932

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