Embodied Place: Variations of Spatial Engagement in Site-Specific Contemporary Dance Choreography

By Tara Munjee.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Dance is both a spatial and temporal art form, and artistic choices made in spatial utilization contribute not only to the stylistic profile of a dance, but also to the creation and experience of a temporarily-realized place. How do dance choreographers and performers create a sense of both embodiment and place that reflects, speaks to, or critiques the places that they encounter within contemporary culture? How do different choices made in the compositional and aesthetic use of space help create an artistic performance space that can be both inhabited and witnessed by performers and audience alike? Drawing on her extensive experience in modern and postmodern dance performance, choreography, and pedagogy, the author will explore these questions, and discuss the phenomenology of spatial utilization in contemporary American modern and postmodern dance. She will also explore different practices dance artists use to discuss and frame their inquiries on spatiality and aesthetic place, and note how these practices dialogue differently with contemporary culture.

Keywords: Dance, Site-Specific Dance, Performance Space, Dance and Culture, Creation of Place in Art Making, Embodied Place, Aesthetics of Space

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 783.000KB).

Dr. Tara Munjee

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Dance Department, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, Texas, USA

Tara is a doctoral candidate in dance at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. Her choreography and performance work in modern and postmodern dance has been produced in venues throughout the US. Her research interests in dance combined with her interest in the “spatial turn” in cultural studies compel her to explore the phenomenology of spatiality in dance expression. She presented her research on the creation of place in the practice of Cumbia and Bhangra dance in contemporary American popular culture at the National Dance Educators Conference in Tempe, Arizona in October, 2010. Tara holds an MA in dance education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and also is a Certified Movement Analyst (CMA) from the Laban Institute of Movement Studies in New York.