Reflections on phenomenology, spirituality, dance and movement-based somatics

Williamson, Amanda (2016) Reflections on phenomenology, spirituality, dance and movement-based somatics. Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, 8 (2). pp. 275-301. doi:10.1386/jdsp.8.2.275_1

Full text not available from this repository.


This article shares academic reflections on applied transcendental and existential phenomenology to dance and movement-based somatics. The article sheds light on how phenomenological traditions and somatically informed movement call us into a deepening exploration and care for the human condition, and how this care for life can be understood as an embodied spirituality of reflection and enactment in the world. The article therefore examines how pedagogical approaches in movementbased somatics attend to our earthly embodied temporal life-journey, and akin to existential phenomenology, are actively engaged in potent issues regarding one’s freedom within facticity, situatedness and contingency. Here I provide experiential touchstones imbedded in transcendental and existential phenomenal enquiry, and applied to moving experience. Freedom, a main concern in this article, is explored in relation to transcendence from within sedimentation, acculturation and objectification. Focusing on the primary texts of Sartre, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and the secondary phenomenal text of Todres, the article is divided into the following sections: ‘Reflections on freedom’; ‘Reflections on time, embodied temporality and the imagination’; ‘Sartre’s being-in-itself and being-for-itself’; ‘Heidegger’s authenticity and inauthenticity’; ‘Nothingness, objectification, self-objectification and its release’; and lastly, ‘Freedom from conceptual rationalism in language’. Additionally, I trace broad connections between movement-based somatics, spirituality and phenomenology through four definitional preludes. My aim is not to provide determinate analysis, but rather to offer a practice-based explorative spring board for students researching and somatically moving within the realms of phenomenology. A further aim is to highlight how existential phenomenology, with its focus on human vulnerability, provides an intimate lens of spirituality intentionally directed towards the contingency of world. Given the emphasis phenomenology places on aesthetics and poiesis, I offer practice-based movement enactments, imagery and poetry within this article.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dance; Existential; Freedom; Phenomenology; Somatics; Spirituality
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Creative Practice and Theory
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2018 13:44
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:23

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.