Victoria Hunter

This entry addresses and encompasses dance and movement responses arising from within, and as, body-world material engagements or entanglements. It does not address dance performance products per se but rather the processual employment of dance, movement or dance-like movement as a form of inquiry, a research tool, practice, or mode of doing research. Through the practice different actors, materials and entities contribute to an entangled process of 'becoming-with' one another in a co-constitutive manner in which "all together the players evoke, trigger, and call forth what-and-who-exists" (Haraway, 2016, p. 16). The players in this context consist of dancing-moving humans, material sites, energies atmospheres and affects and the material components of dance movement practice such as motion, effort, tension and rhythm.

Dance movement can be conceived as a phenomenon or doing that incorporates and generates embodied knowledge, movement know-how and a form of corporeality that facilitates awareness and understanding of relational encounters. Considered through a new materialist lens dance practice is conceived therefore as a composite and, following Maxine Sheets-Johnstone's (1966) phenomenologically informed characterization of dance as 'Forcetimespace', I suggest that we might also come to regard the materials of dance employed and revealed in new materialist practice as 'weightbreathbones', 'motion-stasis-suspension' or any other composite construction that resonates as relevant in light of the particular body-world intra-actions. The complex materiality of dance movement is therefore probed through this lens, this practice, and its ever-changing nature in relation to the context or site of inquiry as the process of 'becoming with' 'calls forth' particular nuanced qualities and characteristics (for example, force, breath, flow). These movement responses arise from and respond to the particular possibilities and demands of the material encounter as it draws on embodied knowledges and evolves on a moment-by-moment basis and the becoming-with ebbs and flows, adjusts, aligns, approaches and retreats in a dance of 'becoming with' the material world.

Through dance and movement inquiry, material-body-world encounters emerge, become known, felt, described and relayed both within and beyond the ephemeral moment of movement/encounter. To follow Donna Haraway (2016), in this mode of research it matters that embodied movement inquiry, dance and corporeal 'utterances' are attended to and selected as the mode of inquiry. It matters that this knowledge is employed to 'tell of' particular intra-actions, to relate relations and to 'world worlds' in this sense (Haraway, 2016, p.12). Human-non-human relations/affects are stirred up through such inquiry physically, corporeally and reflectively through subsequent processes of analysis and evaluation. Taking this position and asserting dance and movement practice as a form of knowing and a mode of knowledge production I am following a philosophical position espoused by theorists such as Erin Manning (2013), Sondra Fraleigh (1987), Maxine Sheets-Johnstone (1966) and Alva Noë (2012) some of whom have developed their viewpoints from phenomenological perspectives. By engaging with new materialist perspectives however kinestheitc and affective knowledge emerging within the practice engages beyond subjective or phenomenological poiesis and extends its 'tentacular' reach (Haraway 2016) beyond an imaginary, impermeable kinesphere to 'seep forth' (Longhurst 2000) into the lived 'hummus' of material world entanglements that Haraway seeks to encourage in her Chthulucenic perspective.

N.B This perspective is expanded further through discussions of New Materialism and site-dance in Hunter, V. Site, Dance and Body: Movement, Materials and Corporeal Engagement (Palgrave: forthcoming 2020)

Keywords: movement, motility, embodiment, corporeality, choreographic inquiry

Haraway, D. (2016) Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, Durham and London: Duke University Press.
Fraleigh, S. (1987) Dance and The Lived Body: A Descriptive Aesthetics. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.
Longhurst, R. (2000) Bodies: Exploring Human Boundaries, London: Routledge.
Manning, E. (2013) Always More than One: Individuation's Dance. Durham and London: Duke University Press.
Noë, A. (2012) Dance as a way of Knowing, (YouTube interview), available online:
Sheets-Johnstone, M., (2009) The Corporeal Turn: An Interdisciplinary Reader. Exeter: Imprint Publishing.

COST Action IS1307 New Materialism: Networking European Scholarship on 'How Matter Comes to Matter'.

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With the changing of societies on local, national and international scales owing to economic, ecological, political and technological developments and crises, a reorganized academic landscape can be observed to be emerging. Scholarship strives to become increasingly interdisciplinary in order to grasp and examine the unfolding complexity of ongoing ecological, socio-cultural and politico-economic changes. Additionally, academics forge... Read more or find out Who's Who

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Genealogies of New Materialisms; examines and intervenes in canonization processes by compiling a web-based bibliography, coordinating the OST 068/13 8 EN... Read more

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New Materialisms Tackling Economical and Identity – Political Crises and Organizational Experiments... Read more


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