Somatic Engagement: pedagogy / practice / performance as research

“Somatic Engagement: pedagogy / practice / performance as research”

Moderators: Ursula Neuerburg-Denzer, Christine Bellerose, and Jen Cressey

What role will somatics be playing in the 21st century Canada? Somatics is a tree which has grown many branches since Thomas Hanna (1980/1993; 1988/2004) introduced it. Today, thanks to the contribution from multi-disciplinary scholars and educators (Sondra Fraleigh 2009, 2014, 2018; Bonnie Cohen Bainbridge 1994/2012; Glenna Batson 2014; Martha Eddy 2016; Amanda Williamson 2014; Kimerer LaMothe 2012, 2015), the influence of Indigenous, Eastern and Western systems of knowledge, feminist studies, community engagement, and eco-performance, somatics is pollinating. We understand somatics to go beyond the study of the human embodiment, and into the lesser traveled “five pathways undertaken by somatic practitioners: social, ecological, spiritual, health and well-being and education” (Fortin 2017).

Somatic Engagement is a seminar intended for those interested in investigating somatics as a field of pedagogy / practice / performance as research. The Somatic Engagement seminar aims to generate a forum of discussion addressing somatics beyond body-centric practices of wellness, and towards imagining somatics in a plural engagement of transdisciplinary academic and professional fields, furthermore, encompassing an ecology of human, non-human, spiritual, and elemental worlds.
Somatic Engagement is a seminar intended for those interested in investigating somatics as a field of pedagogy / practice / performance as research. Areas of interest include but are not limited to: somatics as pedagogy, teaching somatics as research, somatic research methodologies and methods; somatic art performance as research, somatic activism; applied somatics; the contemplative performer; culturally specific somatic practices; with a focus on somatic engagement with social and environmental justice, politics, gender, diverse abilities, and ecology. The proposals that have been accepted all take into consideration somatic studies / practices / performances / research within the academe, and/or within the professional sectors of the arts, in Canada, and/or outside of Canada.

Works Cited:

  • Bainbridge Cohen, Bonnie, with Cohen, Lisa Nelson, and Nancy Stark Smith. Sensing, Feeling, and Action: The Experiential Anatomy of Body-Mind Centering. Northampton, MA: Contact Collaborations, 2012 [1994]
  • Batson, Glenna, and Margaret Wilson. Body and Mind in Motion: Dance and Neuroscience in Conversation. Chicago: Intellect Books, 2014.
  • Eddy, Martha. Mindful Movement: The Evolution of the Somatic Arts and Conscious Action. Chicago: Intellect, Ltd, 2016.
  • Fortin, Sylvie. “Looking for Blind Spots in Somatics’ Evolving Pathways.” Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices, 9.2, 2017, pp. 145-157.
  • Sondra Fraleigh. Land to Water Yoga: Shin Somatics Moving Way. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2009.
  • Fraleigh, Sondra, et al. Back to the Dance Itself: Phenomenologies of Dance and Performance, Champaign, IL: U of Illinois P, 2018
  • _____. Moving Consciously: Somatic Transformations through Dance, Yoga, and Touch. Champaign, IL: U of Illinois P, 2014.
  • Hanna, Thomas. The Body of Life: Creating New Pathways for Sensory Awareness and Fluid Movement. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions/Bear & Co, 1993 [1980].
  • _____. Somatics: Reawakening The Mind’s Control Of Movement, Flexibility, and Health. Lebanon, IN: Da Capo Press, 2004 [1988].
  • LaMothe, Kimerer L. What a Body Knows: Finding Wisdom in Desire. John Hunt Publishing, 2012.
  • _____. Why We Dance. New York: Columbia UP, 2015.
  • Williamson, Amanda, Glenda Batson, Sarah Whatley, and Rebecca Webber eds. Dance, Somatics and Spiritualities: Contemporary Sacred Narratives. Chicago: Intellect, 2014.
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