Manifesto for Embodiment: a riposte to machine capture

Digital devices – ‘smart phones’, etc – and their infrastructure are machines for capture. Our jewelled-like devices capture us physically, psychologically and socially. The history of digitisation and machine capture is separation of being and body: disembodiment. A response – or riposte – are practices and human relations through embodiment including dance, movement and physical presence.

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Dancing with Georgica Pettus

Dancer Georgica Pettus and I created movement sequences at the end of June which she set to music with ‘nonsense’ captioning. The result is ambiguous, comic and arresting. The strong graphic elements of the dance space – a dojo (martial arts hall for Aikido), combine with improvised dance practice, and leave us wondering and questioning.

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Pathway – an invisible dance

A path is made by travelling – often repeatedly – along a route and trampling the ground. There is a performative element to it, and the path is a memento or record of movement making a pathway. We could say that we ‘path the walk’ though we usually say that we’ve walked a path. Here is documentation of a walk on the edge of a woodland near Horton-cum-Studley in Oxfordshire which I made in October 2021.

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Falling, folding and shoulder dancing

So much dance tradition involves our feet: stationary and standing, or travelling in space – walking, running on them, etc. But how about dance which is falling, folding in our body, and dancing with our shoulders on the ground? I played with some ideas and created a couple of sequences.

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One year on: stay home, save lives, do Qi Gong!

It’s about a year since the Coronavirus epidemic began in the UK (March 2020) and there have been two periods in lock-down (stay at home order). During this period, I’ve had a regular practice of Qi Gong (Qigong) – the 18 movement form – and this is what I’ve found in it.

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Spring Awakening #HeadstandChallenge

Oxford City Council (as Dancin’ Oxford) asked for contributions to its Spring Awakening project. Dancers contribute video clips of themselves dancing which are edited into a final film for digital distribution. A headstand seemed to summon-up the period in which we were living – the world turned upside down by Coronavirus!

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