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Awareness Perception Presence : Inquiring into forming a body of work (2013)

My MA thesis is entitled Awareness Perception Presence : Inquiring into forming a body of work and is centred on a body of somatic movement work that I began developing in 2004 under the name Awareness Perception Presence – Somatic Movement Practice As “Invisible Technique” (APP). The decision to offer this course marked a significant shift for me as a teacher. Rather than simply teaching forms that I had been taught and making them increasingly my own through the act of teaching them, I felt like I was for the first time embarking on developing my own body of work.

Though much of content was derived from two forms of somatic movement education that I have a particular affinity for, the Feldenkrais Method and experiential anatomy, it was supplemented by material that I either picked up from my study of other somatic disciplines or else invented myself. What marked it out as my own is not so much the content as the form in which I brought it all together and the manner in which I taught it.

This thesis was the written component of a period research into the process of developing of this work which coincided an MA course in dance pedagogy. My hope was that in the act of researching it, I might gain insights and make connections that could support its ongoing development and my teaching practice in general. I also hoped, by virtue of the form and context of a thesis, to share something of my process of development with others and in doing so invite dialogue.

At some point during this process, this material forked into two distinct forms of presentation – what I now call Proto-technique which is a movement technique class designed for professional dancers and students of professional dance education – and the BodySchool which I see as useful for anyone.

Generally, although the material and approach offered is broadly very similar, the Proto-technique class is shorter, goes a bit quicker and is directed towards, and ends in, open dancing. In the BodySchool then classes are longer, there is more time for discussion and the material is directed towards dealing with everyday situations.

Download my MA thesis as a PDF