If life is what happens to our plans, then dance is what happens to our steps.
ideas sometimes when you wait they come to you.

Preparation for starting with BAPP

Friday, 27 January 2012


I am in the middle of marking. It is nice to see everyone’s great work.  Here is a quick comment in general about citations:

A quote should be on a separate line, in italics and indented. The quote also needs a ‘lead in’ and ‘lead out’ in your text. You cannot just put it there to make a point by itself.

“Dewey’s Pragmatist perspective further develops the research’s understanding of dance as language. Whereas above phenomenological hermeneutics implies dance could be thought of as dealing with the leftovers of verbal language Dewey reverses this idea:

‘language, signs and significance, come into existence not by intent and mind but by over-flow, by-product, in gestures and sounds. The story of language is the story of the use made of these occurrences; a use that is eventual as well as eventful.’  (Dewey 1958, p.175)

Dewey sees verbal language as an adornment to the act of communicating. He sees communication as the drive to share and collaborate meaning. Effort of doing this can lead to verbal language but communication is not brought into existence by verbal language and the effort of communication could just as well lead to a movement language . ” – Akinleye, unpublished thesis

The citation (Dewey, 1958, p.175) is linked to the following in the bibliography, which should not be separate, but a part of the same document. That means that when you read the above quote you can turn to the back pages and see which book it is. The citation tells us this: to find the book you go to the bibliography and look for the name Dewey. I may have a number of books by Dewey I have quoted from so then you look for the one published in 1958. Now you can locate the full detail example below. 

If there were two books by Dewey published in 1958 in my bibliography then I would put
(Dewey, 1958a p.175). Then the bibliography I would put 1958a again so you know which one of the two books by him published in 1958 I was talking about. So the bibliography entry will look like this:

Dewey, J. (1958) Experience and nature, New York: Dover Publications.

This citation format is Harvard:

Surname, initcal of first name. (Year the book you are looking at was published), where it was published: who published it

Note the punctuation as well as the content of the text. Using this method means your work is in line with standard citation formats, which means that anyone who is used to doing research can read your work and find the very text you have copied the quote from. Every book published in UK is in the British Library. That means that someone can find the book you are talking about. That is what citation is for. It is not to prove you know the quote was in a book by X.

Also note that the date is the date of the book you are holding in your hand when you look at the quote. So for instance Dewey did not first publish ‘Experience and Nature’ in 1958, but that is the date of the book I have, so when I put the page number (…, p.175) you can find the page with the quote on it. In a book published earlier or later the print size maybe different or the size of the book pages etc… this means that that quote is not on page 175 of those books. This is why it is important the date is of the publication you have looked at, otherwise the page number is meaningless.

Please think about this….
Does it make sense?


Saturday, 21 January 2012


On Thursday and Friday I went to a conference about Somaesthetics in Florida. It was primarily a Philosophy conference, Somaesthetics  looks at the body beyond a vessel for carrying (things like the mind). Dr Richard Shusterman offers the word ‘somaeathetics’ to capture this and it was he that invited me to the conference to give a paper.

I talked about the ‘language of dance’ and the relationship dance as a language has with other ‘languages’. My thesis was that different kinds of languages (like dance as a language) change how we perceive the body of an individual in relation to what is ‘around’ them. In other words the ‘edges’ or ways to define ‘things’  - the gaps between ‘self’ and other are changed by the language used to communicate across it. I think dance creates quite different orientations to the world than verbal based languages.  I got everyone up and moving which surprisingly seemed very unexpected to them. There were two other ‘dancers’ there – one from Canada who talked about body awareness work (The Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education) and women with eating disorders. The other ‘dancer’ was from Columbia and talked about work with ex-combatants who were developing new relationships with their bodies after ‘using’ them as weapons of war.

I learnt a lot about the language of people working in philosophy departments. I am still thinking about what I think! I am not sure where the work of dance as a methodology, as a practice beyond tradition staged performances fits into the ‘Academy’ (university).  For me dance is philosophy.

There are many prejudices that I encounter being associated with dance.  There is an interesting one of body reading. Dancers are used to seeing athletic, ‘young’ looking people who ‘have a career’. When people out side dance look at me they assume I am much younger than I am. They assume that I am beginning... were as dancers do not make that assumption! My contrary nature draws me into antagonising the perceptions of myself that people create, this makes me tend to wear pretty dresses and use ‘Hello Kitty’ pens to write at conferences and campus sessions, construction boots to ballet class and suits to protests and marches!!! But then I come from a performance background and I do belief that ones day-to-day life is a work of art and should challenge whoever decides they are my audience. (Audience as opposed to people who do not observe but attempt to get to know me – the interactive art of living).

We talked about this also at the conference and how there is an opposition between athletic looking people – who it is assumed are not ‘serious academics’. This reflects the mind / body divide we are all dealing with, as if you can either spend time on your body OR your mind and time spent on one is time not spent on the other.

I ended up understanding and hanging out and sharing the same principles as the other ‘dancers’ at the conference and yet all three of us also rejected the confines of the dance world and they way in which many dance techniques places judgement and ‘perfection’ on bodies. All three of us had had problems with the identity of ‘dancer’.

The other interesting thing I found was how people from different fields identify what data are and how they present them. There was a lot that went on and I have not processed the whole experience yet.

Overall it was an interesting time. The trees were amazing and lots of interesting talks and sunshine. 

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Playing with film

I am learning stop motion!
What do you think?

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Arts and Education

This is a really good talk to watch. It is especially interesting for people thinking about learning from the practical experience of the arts and linking this to formal learning structures like BA (HON). What do you think of what Sir Ken Robinson says here?