Dancing bodies, sharing minds: an ecological approach to expert stage presence

  • Sarah Pini (Speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation


    Paper presented at the Centre for Elite Performance Expertise and Training (CEPET) Annual Conference, Macquarie University


    In Western culture, the concept of presence holds a cluster of different connotations. Theatrical and performance studies have generally focused on the intrinsic actor’s ability to impact audience’s attention or the mutual relationship with the audience. Is presence a state that our minds can regularly experience, or is a special condition that can be accessed only under very particular circumstances? What is the role played by a larger ecology that includes audiences, different performers and unusual environments, in shaping the experience and perception of presence? We investigate presence’s variations by tackling the phenomenon of stage presence, and we are developing a performative cognitive ethnography that addresses questions of embodied cognition in three different dance forms: Contemporary Ballet, in the case of the National Ballet of Marseille; Contact Improvisation, a duet-system based practice; and BodyWeather, a dance training originating from Butoh. The aim of the project is to develop an alternative framework to the classic model of presence, considering not only audiences and performers perceptual relationship but the global cognitive ecology of the performance, including performers co-presence and how they construct meaning, the socio-cultural context and the situatedness of the performative event.
    Period10 Oct 2017
    Held atCentre for Elite Performance Expertise and Training (CEPET): Application University Research Centre