Author Identifiers

Joanna Tollemache Pollitt
ORCID: 0000-0002-2821-7768

Date of Award

2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts

Second Advisor

Dr Jonathan Marshall

Third Advisor

Dr Marcella Polain

Fourth Advisor

Associate Professor Cat Hope

Abstract

With the premise to ‘write like I dance,’ Writing as dancing investigates new methods of accessing and revealing choreographic thinking in three distinct ways; writing as a soloist, writing for the ensemble and writing responsively in collaboration. Resulting iterations have variously emerged in the form of performance, novella, play, artist-book, exhibition and long form poem; the novella The Dancer in Your Hands, being the primary solo work presented alongside this exegesis.

The research posits engagement with solo dance improvisation practice as a dynamically charged, and tangible way of thinking that is transferable to the practice of writing. It draws on the quick shifting associational response systems and states of heightened attention as developed in the response project in my MA (2002). Writing as dancing proposes the activation of the ‘State of Dancingness’ in mobilising the act of writing as the centralisation of embodiment, and investigates the capability of the professional dancing body to reorient the relationship between dancing and the act of writing. This reorientation is discussed through examining fields of performance writing, feminist texts and queer phenomenology to excavate the liminal spaces between disciplines and the unhiding of emergent content. The agency of the dancer as author provokes new publishing platforms and an expanded readership for dance via the publication of embodied texts. She breathes.

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