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The Small Dance and the presence: perceptions of the here-now

Grant number: 21/02679-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2021
Effective date (End): August 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Dance
Principal researcher:Julia Ziviani Vitiello
Grantee:Jenniffer Aquino dos Santos
Home Institution: Instituto de Artes (IA). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The present project proposes to investigate the construction and expansion of the scenic presence from the study and use of Steve Paxton's Small Dance as a corporeal tool. The Small Dance, through attention and perception of the subtle changes that occur in our bodies, such as the simple act of standing, builds an intrinsic relationship with the scenic presence. The practice of observing when we are not performing a visible movement, but paying attention to the small and constant movements existing in our bodies such as adjustments between the two feet that occur when the body is in a vertical position, the oscillations of the body axis, the changes in the muscles between tension and relaxation, the involuntary movement of the organs, among other multiple and subtle movements expands the constant and uninterrupted perception of dance and its exchange with the environment. This connection establishes a double state of being both observers and observed, of contemplating what happens to us, at the same time that we observe what we are. This attention built with Small Dance initially worked and taught on the longitudinal axis, can be extended to other spatial relationships beyond verticality when worked together with dance, which will anchor us to the perception of what happens moment by moment, in the Here - Now. That is, it is a way to sensitize us of the small and uninterrupted dance that exists in a movement pause, in the middle of a wide movement, in dancing with others, in the feet off the ground, in the inverted positions, before any conscious intention of a movement to be proposed by the artist. In this way, the research establishes a constant dialogue between theory and practice, where first-person experience is essential and that will result in the study for the expansion of scenic presence shared by the video. When building a state of attention in the primordial intention of inhabiting the scene, we believe this is a possible way to build and expand the artist's scenic presence. (AU)

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