Document Type

Original Creative Work


Australian Dance Council - Ausdance WA


School of Arts, Regional and Professional Studies / ECU South West Research Centre




This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of: McKenzie, V. (2014). Freedom in surrender, dancewest, pp.22-23. Access information on publisher here.


Background: The work is an artists’ profile of Claudia Alessi published in dancewest, the WA edition of the Australian Dance Council magazine. Alessi is a leading independent dancer and choreographer. It draws on my case study of Alessi to show how embodied knowledge and physical sensation inform her current choreographic process, and the transmission of this knowledge. As a dancer and researcher I use archival, field research and self-reflection to ask: how do we make creative processes explicit when they’re experienced as sudden insight?

Contribution: I was invited to contribute a series of artists’ profiles to dancewest. The research draws on findings in my Early Career Researcher project Moving Knowledge that investigates the creative methodologies of key WA choreographers. Creativity studies are informed by psychology and cognitive science but embodied knowledge is neglected. I address this gap by interpreting Alessi’s articulation of her processes using phenomenology, seeking evidence of somatic modes of attention and embodied imagery. Findings are being shared with researchers working on AusStage Phase 5, ARC LEIF funded research.

Significance: The work is an early articulation of an ongoing investigation. Findings were shared in a paper presented at the International Federation of Theatre Research conference (Warwick, 2014). My case study of Claudia Alessi will be deepened in 2015 with follow up interviews and survey data that will contribute to AusStage Phase 5, ARC LEIF funded research. Alessi’s artist profile has garnered positive feedback from members of the professional community such as dance writer David Hough.

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