Somaesthetics and Dance

Contemporary Pragmatism 12 (1):100-115 (2015)
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Abstract

Dance is proposed as the most representative of somaesthetic arts in Thinking Through the Body: Essays in Somaesthetics and other writings of Richard Shusterman. Shuster- man offers a useful, but incomplete approach to somaesthetics of dance. In the examples provided, dance appears as subordinate to another art form or as a means to achieving bodily excellence. Missing, for example, are accounts of the role of dance as an independent art form, how somaesthetics would address differences in varying approaches to dance, and attention to the viewer’s somaesthetic dance experience. Three strategies for developing new directions for dance somaesthetics are offered here: identify a fuller range of applications of somaesthetics to dance as an independent art form ; develop somaesthetics for a wider range of theatre dance ; and relate somaesthetics to more general features of dance necessary for understanding the roles of the choreographer/dancer and the viewer.

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Curtis L. Carter
Marquette University

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