Embodied engagement in arts research
Barbour, K N. (2006). Embodied engagement in arts research. The International Journal of the Arts in Society, 1(2), 85-91.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/3658
The focus of this paper is to argue the case for embodied ways of knowing in arts research. Recognition of embodied ways of knowing and embodied research has been relatively recent. For too long, arts research had been marginalized in academia, particularly performing arts, due in part to the somatophobia of Western academic cultures. While grounded in dance research myself, I argue that embodied engagement is crucial for performing arts and arts research in general. It is through rigorous and reflective practice that theoretical knowledges and lived experiences can be embodied, made meaningful, and thus contribute to the generation of new understandings. I contend that such embodied knowledge is then available to artists and researchers for subsequent expression and aesthetic communication via a wide range of mediums and interdisciplinary practices. I discuss embodied ways of knowing and suggest some guidelines for undertaking embodied research. I conclude by emphasizing the continuing relevance of performing arts in expressing individual human embodied experience in an increasingly virtual, self-destructive and global world.
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