Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Integrative Somatic Practice: Mindfulness Through Movement for Dancers
by Mytych, Abigail Rose, M.F.A., Mills College, 2017, 23; 10635116
Abstract (Summary)

Developing awareness of the inseparable link between mind and body and their mutually informing relationship is critical to contemporary dancers who want to enhance creativity and somatic intelligence. While there are multiple, if not numerous, approaches to somatic learning and mindful practices, I propose a mindfulness-based dance practicum to achieve a self-reflective and inquiry-based relationship of mind to body. My study was devised over a semester-long exploration in the studio, following six years of studying modalities such as yoga, Bartenieff Fundamentals and mindfulness. Mindfulness can be used as a way to generate and activate movement through the practice of Bartenieff fundamentals, breath work and sensing. The dancer can engage in more profound awareness of bodily sensations and begin to develop a deeper and more exploratory connection to their own body. Through different practices, exercises, and activities to engage students, students are able to let go of the product mentality and dive into the process, encouraging exploration of movement pathways and ‘saying no’ to the voices that are filled with judgment and fear. Creating this self-practice, students can grow as movers and individuals who interact with the outside world and whose heightened emotional self- awareness encourages greater creativity. Ultimately, a dancer can experience changes in perception of both self and environment that lead to the opening of new vistas of experiences. The goal of this practicum is to provide tools for students to develop and/or heighten their somatic intelligence ultimately discovering their own somatic practice. This not only creates a smarter body but enhances understanding and acceptance of our individual bodies while deepening reflexive practice as a dance artist.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Murphy, Ann
School: Mills College
Department: Choreography and Performance
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 57/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Therapy, Dance, Spirituality
Keywords: Mindfulness, Movement, Sensation, Somatic, Yoga
Publication Number: 10635116
ISBN: 978-0-355-39475-7
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