‘Somatics – an emancipatory education for the future?’

Kampe, T and Batson, G (2017) ‘Somatics – an emancipatory education for the future?’. In: Dance Fields Conference, 20 April 2017, Roehampton University, London, UK.

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Somatics – an emancipatory Education for the Future? Throughout much of the 20th century, somatic education (Somatics) was a powerful force that slowly changed the face of dance training. The change took time – approximately seven decades - for Somatics to shift from merely being a curricular ‘adjunct’ of dance conditioning, to emerging sui generis as a powerful medium for training reflective and autonomous dancers. As a non-doing, non-corrective, dismembering of Cartesian dualism, Somatics spawned several generations of process-based movement learning whose hallmarks were self-reflection and embodied empathy. To date, the founding principles and processes of somatic embodiment remain powerful agents of change, potentially transformative not only for the individual (as dancer), but for the larger scope of our collective humanness. With the 21st century well underway, Somatics has re-surfaced as an emancipatory pedagogy responding to complex problems within the larger sphere of biopolitics. Somatic experts, including somatically informed dance activists, are readdressing issues of control - of ourselves and our environment. What lessons can we garner from Somatics at this point in our history that challenge fragmented, compartmentalized, mechanized and reductionist methods of teaching and learning? How can somatic pedagogies help free us from out-worn ideas and behavioural approaches that continue to infiltrate into dance programming and teaching? In this panel, dance educators and somatic practitioners Kampe and Batson offered an overview of the advances and challenges of Somatics within today’s world. Drawing from theories from Morin, Montuori, Rose, and others, the paper reframed the role of Somatics within dance as an emancipatory and world-constituting education.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: dance education; somatic practices
Divisions: Bath School of Music & Performing Arts
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2018 15:15
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2020 15:13
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