Agency, Authorship and Embodied Aesthetics: The Dancer as Auteur

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Sastradipradja, Linda (2018) Agency, Authorship and Embodied Aesthetics: The Dancer as Auteur. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


The substance of this thesis is to be found in its performative iteration, held at The Substation, Newport, Saturday July 15th, 2017. The performance work aimed to present an opportunity to encounter dancing that reveals the innermost nuances of a dancer’s mode of moving. Five dancers from New York and Australia – Stuart Shugg, Ori Flomin, Rachel Doust, Victoria Chiu and Alexandra Petrarca - each brought their substantial depth of embodied knowledge and aesthetic determination to examine their role as potential auteurs of their dancing. Throughout a series of solos that overlapped and intertwined between the industrial spaces of The Substation, the audience was able to move between the dancing, the dancers and the spaces as they would have at a gallery exhibition, with a view to charting their own journey through the performance experience. The written component of the PhD aims to ground the performative work in a conceptual elaboration of its key components. It begins by claiming the primacy of the dancer within the dance work. This is articulated through the notions of agency and auteurship and is further contextualised through a consideration of the dancer’s lineage and artistic provenance. The figure of the choreographer in relation to the dancer is critically reviewed within the context of this research. The centrality of the dancer is foregrounded within this PhD through the development of individual working methodologies that pertain to the singularity of each dancer’s mode of auteurship. All too often the dancer is displaced in favour of other hegemonic factors, such as hierarchical and organisational workplace priorities that do not recognise the primacy of the dancer as key to dancing. The aim of this thesis then is to explore the concept of the dancer as auteur, and to make this often invisible position manifest by creating work that emphasises its importance to dancing and dance making. Through the creative practice research, the performed presentation and the exegesis, this PhD investigates the consideration of the dancer’s role as auteur and the many constituents that contribute to her auteurship - her role, her/histories, lineages and provenance, her status within workplace hierarchies and her visibility as a protagonist of her dancing.

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Full-text of this thesis is currently unavailable due to size restrictions within the Repository.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing
Current > Division/Research > College of Arts and Education
Keywords dancing; performative work; agency; auteurship; choreographer
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