2010 CORD/ASTR Conference: “Embodying Power: Work Over Time”

•December 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment
Welcome to the Workgroup Blog for “What the Body Knows: Performance Practice As Research”.  On this site you can follow and participate in our workgroup discussions and research leading up to the 2010 Joint Conference of The American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR),  The Congress on Research in Dance (CORD), and The Theatre Library Association (TLA). The conference will take place in Seattle, WA from November 18-21, 2010 and is titled: Embodying Power: Work Over Time. Be sure to check out the bios, papers, videos and photos posted by workgroup members in the coming months!

About the Workgroup

•December 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This new workgroup at the ASTR/CORD conference will provide a space for dance and theater practitioners and scholars to investigate performance practice as research.  Central questions to be considered through movement and discussion include: How is it that we perceive, construct and express meaning via our bodies in dance, theater and life? What is the relationship of embodied episteme with other ways of knowing, such as language?  Does kinesthetic perception and expression necessarily require decoding by the brain into language to attain meaning?  What is lost in translation?  We will also look at what forces—external and internalized—shape our continual performances of identity and readings of one another.  Does training in codified movement techniques enhance or hinder a performers’ capacity for authentic expression?  What educational practices in dance and theater foster corporeal intelligence and agency? Our research will involve a personal treasure hunt, unearthing memories and experiences that have been inscribed in our bodies over time by training, the media, and diverse personal, familial and cultural realities.  Together, we will honor the unique nature of what our bodies know, foregrounding the value of embodied scholarship in dance and theater.


Overarching Themes/Threads for Exploration

•December 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment


  • Meaning / Form Connection in different ways of knowing, e.g. the body, language, technology, etc.
  • Performing as one “self” – sincerity, authenticity, character, roles
  • Moment of creation – the body as guide in the choreographic and directing process


  • Between choreographer/director and performers
  • Between audience and performers
  • Across cultures – inter-subjectivity
  • In everyday life
  • Empathy (mirror neurons, cognitive science)


  • Perception / Sensory Processes
  • Power / Control
  • Intentional Fallacy
  • Visceral and intellectual responses