To the Motion Itself : Toward a Phenomenological Methodology of Dance Research

Stewart, Nigel (2023) To the Motion Itself : Toward a Phenomenological Methodology of Dance Research. In: Dance Research Methodologies : Ethics, Orientations, and Practices. Routledge, London, pp. 164-181. ISBN 9780367703080

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This chapter demonstrates an approach to dance research based primarily on the descriptive phenomenology of Edmund Husserl. The first part concerns the “things themselves” to which Husserl urges the researcher of any discipline to return. These are defined with reference to key concepts of phenomenology in general: originary presentative consciousness and immanent knowledge; intentionality and the relation of noema to noesis; the unity of subject and object; intersubjectivity, Merleau-Ponty’s principle of the chiasm and Gadamer’s theory of historically effected consciousness; Heidegger’s idea of a onefold into which the elements of a thing are gathered; and essences. The second part elucidates a five-stage methodology for dance research influenced by Herbert Spiegelberg’s own phenomenological method and Maxine Sheets-Johnstone’s four components of virtual force: (1) the epoché or phenomenological reduction; (2) re-languaging the dance through phenomenological description; (3) watching appearances and time consciousness; (4) eidetic reduction; and (5) interpreting, with particular reference to Roland Barthes’ notion of the punctum and Jean-Luc Marion’s concept of the saturated phenomenon. At each stage, this methodology is used to explore the “forcetimespace” of a phrase from Stephen Pier’s performance of Jóse Limón’s Psalm.

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14 Mar 2023 10:20
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17 Jun 2024 08:25