April 9, 2019
ADU, Trg Republike Hrvatske 5
18.00 – 18.30
Invited Performance Lecture:
Practicing ontology: a ‘speakingdance’ event
Marie Hay is a Senior Lecturer in Dance at De Montfort University, UK where she teaches dance practice and performance research to undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Marie has conducted significant pedagogic research concerned with assessment and feedback in dance practice. By engaging in a reflective teaching practice, and collaborating with undergraduate dance students, Marie exposed issues of assessing embodied knowledge through perception and called for a greater use of peer and self-assessment in the dance class. An ‘autonomous learning framework’ was developed from this research for application in other subject areas and educational settings.
Together with Dr Louise Douse (University of Bedfordshire) and Dr Martin Leach (De Montfort University), Marie is a co-founder of the Performance Philosophy research group called Heidegger and performance. In 2018, the research group convened the ‘From Heidegger to Performance’ international symposium with presenters from Norway; Germany; Australia; Africa; and Italy.
Marie is currently undertaking a practice-as-research PhD titled ‘Speakingdance’: an ontological practice. The research is primarily concerned with dance and philosophy but contributes to the disciplines of performance philosophy and voice studies. The aim of the work is to develop a dance practice which utilises a vocal ontology to generate resonance between a dancer and her audience.
Speech and autobiography have been integral to Marie’s choreographic work for the last 20 years. The intention has always been to challenge ﬁxed identities. Her innovative ‘speakingdance’ practice engages with philosophical thinking to research ontological possibilities that transcend binary divides.
Dance Programme Leader/Outreach & Marketing tutor
Senior Lecturer (Dance), DMU Teacher Fellow, HEA Fellow
Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Dance (CIRID)
De Montfort University, Leicester
What’s all this talking about? Contemporary dancers in small to mid-scale dance performances seem to want to be talking more than ever, but why and what does it achieve? The use of words can make an otherwise abstract dance more accessible. The sometimes awkward delivery of speech can also distance the audience from the dance. Too often speech dominates and fragments the dance.
The argument is not to revert back to traditionally, muted dancers, but practice speaking in dance in a way that enhances the artform’s ability to engage with ontology. This does not support thinking about dance in terms of a language, but perhaps that dance is speech and visa versa.
This performance lecture shares the emerging practice of a speaking dancer with her audience. ‘Speakingdance’ is an innovative, improvised practice that plays with the rhythm of speech and movement in an autobiographical narrative event. Through the performance of this Whiteheadian event, the speaking dancer and her audience find a resonance akin to Simondon’s concept of transindividuation.
‘Speakingdance’ developed though a practice-as-research methodology. The practice begins with ‘just be’. I need to attune to thinking of me right now, in the middle of my now-web and it’s connections to past, future, world and others. I am becoming in relation to others while quiet and still.
I become aware of so much at once – too much to say. Words are restricting. Abstract movement alludes to my embodied thoughts. My bodily system of thinking and moving unfold in to an emerging movement vocabulary with little meaning. The movement makes it’s point known once words are uttered. The utterance, performed by me, the dancing me, is considered before it’s delivered in relation to the thought, the dance, the rhythm and the spectator.
The utterance is said for another more than my movements alone are danced for them. That moment of speaking is when I find words in my thoughts that are not too fast to capture with the voice. Words are rooted in language, but we must remember their origin in the physicality of the vocal. Nuanced, resonant and ontological.
Speaking discloses something more with each performative iteration. A childhood narrative, an uncomfortable mood, a difficult relationship. I am disclosed through my decision to speak of them. These are not truths of a fixed me to be revealed and discovered by others. These are voicings, sayings, becomings. Moments when I am speaking in relation to others who are hearing.Audience members are active participants at each performative event. They are made to feel welcome and cared for by the speaking dancer who shares her vulnerabilities and asks the audience to reflect on their perceptions of her, while remembering their own autobiographical narratives. Resonance emerges and the dancer ceases to represent one side of a dancer-audience divide. The dancer-audience relationship transforms from a binary to a collaboration of individuated beings.