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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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(Un)Balance_ Context 1 _ Movement and Emotion

I am currently exploring a series of virtual and/or physical experiences aiming at altering the balance of the body. I see these as choreographic tools, pushing the participants to explore new movements and emotions. I started those investigations together with Amanda Simo, and am currently developing them further on my own.

Within the space of embodied cognition, I have a particular interest in the dynamics between movements and emotions.

These are well recognised and investigated in the world of dance and performance.  Rudolf Laban talks about the ‘bi-directional relationship between external movement and inner feelings’. While in her book ‘The primacy of movement’ Maxine Sheets Johnstone says ‘What is kinetic is affective, or potentially affective; by the same qualitative measure, what is affective is kinetic, or potentially kinetic.’

In a nutshell dynamics between movement and emotions can be described as follows:

– A movement can enact an emotion as means of expression.

– An emotion can trigger a movement or a certain quality of movement. (Emotions move us)

– A movement and/or quality of movement can stimulate a specific emotion. 

In those dynamics, postural control (the action of keeping one’s body in balance) plays an essential role. As Edmund Jacobson’s ‘auto-sensory observation practice’ revealed, preparatory postural attitude of one’s body (balance, level of muscle tensions, felt weight of the body) is essential to the feeling of emotion.

It is with the in mind that we set off to explore choreographic tools aiming at altering the balance of the body. Could we transform it ? Disrupt it ? Blur it ? Challenge it ? How ?
How would this change the way the participant moves ? Would it influence the way they feel ?
Could techniques such as choreographic tools be extracted from the world of dance and performance, and be rethought as therapy tools for affective disorders ?

(Un)Balance _ Extend 1

 Have a look at the work in progress video here:

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