Moving and thinking together in dance

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Mapping the uniqueness of dance (and of its differing traditions and styles) requires cognitive scientific enquiry into similarities with and differences from other temporal and performing arts, and other embodied activities such as sport; and this in turn requires close access to the kind of thick description available to participants and experts in each domain. If experimental intervention in this context involves the collaboration of dancers, choreographers, and dance audiences in the creation, development, performance, and analysis of new funded works such as “Red Rain”, “Not Entirely Human”, “Fine Line Terrain”, and “Quiescence”, enthusiasts are likely to embrace this empiricism most willingly. In reflecting on these discussions of ‘bodymind’ and of the choreographic process by Robin Grove and Sue Healey, my remarks focus first on some questions the papers raise about the interplay of cognitive and motor systems – of, roughly, knowing or thinking and doing or moving – in choreographic cognition. Then I’ll briefly sketch one natural extension to the dynamical orientation of this research in the shape of recent ideas about the ‘extended mind’ and ‘distributed cognition'.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThinking in four dimensions
Subtitle of host publicationcreativity and cognition in contemporary dance
EditorsRobin Grove, Catherine Stevens, Shirley McKechnie
Place of PublicationCarlton, Vic.
PublisherMelbourne University Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)0522851444
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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