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ERIC Number: EJ965727
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-1356-9783
"Tilting at Windmills" in a Changing Climate: A Performative Walking Practice and Dance-Documentary Film as an Embodied Mode of Engagement and Persuasion
Allen, Jess; Jones, Sara Penrhyn
Research in Drama Education, v17 n2 p209-227 2012
In August 2010, dance artist Jess Allen undertook an eight-day journey on foot and public transport between the 10 wind farms of mid-Wales, talking to the people encountered about changing landscapes and changing values in a changing climate. The sound recordings of interviews and encounters conducted in this process were edited into a score that then formed the basis for a creative exchange with environmentalist and documentary film-maker Sara Penrhyn Jones. The resulting 15-minute film installation sits between the genres of dance and documentary. What we offer here is a reflexive account of the process of creating this work. We consider how walking, talking and being in landscape with greater attention to the senses can combine to foster a more deeply felt sense of embodiment in walker/researcher, respondents and film-maker alike. In pointing to the parallels between this and the application of somatic practices in dance training and performance, we ask if embodiment can be tangibly communicated from performer to audience to bring about greater ecological and social awareness. We also observe that, while coming from our seemingly disparate fields, the practices of somatics and of observational documentary are ultimately both about opening "space". It is this we sought to amplify in the film: space for the subjects to speak in their own voices and, in limiting distracting visual images (unusually, the speakers themselves are not seen at all), greater space for the viewer to contemplate their message. We suggest that, in combining our fields of experience in this way, a practice is emerging which may represent an "activism by stealth", stimulating debate and encouraging a more embodied and everyday engagement with the issues of climate change. We conclude with a discussion of the capacity of participative-collaborative arts projects to facilitate a move away from more traditional consumptive attitudes to the arts, counteracting passivity tore-frame our lives in the context of a changing climate. (Contains 7 notes and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Wales)