The kinetic body: foot, memory and dispositions of the body in performance

Madhavan, Arya and Nair, Sreenath (2013) The kinetic body: foot, memory and dispositions of the body in performance. In: Body and performance. Ways of being a body . Triarchy Press, Devon. ISBN 9781909470163

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Item Type:Book Section
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The chapter offers an in-depth study of the body in performance as a temporal practice. Performance is a bodily scheme of practice. It connects the ‘real’ and ‘unreal’, the physical and symbolic, the objective and subjective, the fictive and narrative, and the verbal and gestural dimensions of the body. The body in performance is always about ‘a’ body other than the actor’s and hence, it is fictive and subject to perception. As a key object of analysis in the study, foot is considered as the modus operandi that connects the ‘double’ appearance of the body in space and time through movements enabling perceptual trance-formations between the real and unreal. Physically being the terminal part of the leg, below the ankle joint, foot is always about standing positions and movements. It is about the basic functionality of movement, rhythm and pace: foot is ‘spontaneity without consciousness’ (Bourdieu, 1990: 56) which is embedded in the corporeal logic of action. Foot is synonym for movement; and the movement, which is capable of affecting the mind outside of all representation. Foot as repetition takes the dancer’s body from one fixed position to another through kinetic sequences of body movements. This repetition is not the ‘repeating’ of the same but always terminating into new positions in space: the dancer never returns to a previous position when the dance begins since the time is progressive. It creates patterns of ‘dynamic lines in space’ that speaks a language before words, (Deleuze, 2001: 10) and delivers gestures that organizes the movement of the body before a performance takes place. Foot as the apparatus of movement connects the physis and psyche in pure force of kinetic energy. Foot, as the apparatus of movement, generates kinetic energy employing spatial and temporal properties of the body. It is also the embodiment of feeling in the sense that the foot positions and pathways render the collective ceremony of the bodily re-collections. Underpinning the kinetics of breathing, foot produces temporality, which is the fundamental source of the presence of the body.

Keywords:Kinesthetics, Movement, Presence, performance practice, martial arts, Kutiyattam
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W510 Choreography
W Creative Arts and Design > W410 Acting
W Creative Arts and Design > W520 Body Awareness
W Creative Arts and Design > W400 Drama
W Creative Arts and Design > W500 Dance
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
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ID Code:6219
Deposited On:21 Sep 2012 11:28

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