Performing the Self

Dance, somatic practices, and Alexander Technique

Authored by: Michael Huxley

The Routledge Companion to Dance Studies

Print publication date:  November  2019
Online publication date:  October  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138234581
eBook ISBN: 9781315306551
Adobe ISBN:


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In the last thirty years, somatic practices in dance have gained greater visibility, acknowledgment and a place in the discourses of dance studies. Dancers and dance educators have brought a range of practices, techniques and methods into their work for a variety of reasons. For many, this has been a personal journey of exploration. Others have recognized inadequacies and inequities in the classroom that they have sought to address. Some somatic practices have been associated with dance for a long time and their relationships have been mutually supportive. Other practices have distinguished themselves as separate techniques, which those in dance have been able to call on. The apparent synergies between dance and somatics have roots in the new dance and movement practices arising in the 1960s and 1970s in the United States and the UK. Many of the techniques called on have origins over a century old: Alexander Technique is the longest established. The inclusion of these approaches in dance training, practice and performance has generated new areas of discourse that have contributed to the recent development of dance studies.

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