Ch-Ch-Changes: Change in solo improvised dance making



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This research project focuses on methods to notice, describe, and theorize the notion of change in the movements of a dancer engaged in solo-improvised dance-making (SIDM). Using grounded theory and phenomenology, the research drew on the experiences of five dancers well-versed in dance improvisation to develop a substantive theory to describe changes in movement in solo-improvised dance-making. The development of this substantive theory for change in solo improvised dance-making provides a palette of vocabulary for the observation and creation of dances. It was found that change in movement occurred through three processes - variation of inspiration, variation of action, and the reduction of parameters. It is hypothesized that these processes can be used to observe dance practice as a means for reflection on, and articulation of a dancer’s improvisational process to expand and extend their engagement with dance improvisation. By providing more nuanced language for discussion and theorization about change in movement in solo improvised dance-making, this substantive theory of improvisation in dance can extend practice-based discussions around the notion of change within dance improvisation. Although there is very little written scholarship on the notion of change from the perspective of dance, these research findings contribute to the theoretical discussion that is pertinent to dance and also beyond the dance studio to wider socio-political, cultural, and historical discourses, adding an embodied perspective to wider cross-disciplinary engagements with the notion of change.



solo improvised dance making, dance, improvisation, phenomenology, change