Artistic Practice: Nervous Systems
‘Nervous Systems’ is a somatic practice I developed by mixing and adapting formalist and holistic methodologies from Feldenkrais ‘Awareness through Movement’, Bartenieff Fundamentals and Body Mind Centering (further BMC) into an experiential method for phenomenology and cognitive psychology in dance and interdisciplinary improvisation. My practice grew over an extended period of ten years and is continuously altered by interdisciplinary artistic collaboration and discourse. It is held together by its intriguing inquiry of arts through the experience of expanding awareness of sensations. A perspective based on the principle that sensations are ways of penetrating and gaining insights into our movements and activities, our environment and ourselves.
Differing from the traditional function of somatic practices as therapeutic practices, Nervous Systems is an artistic and an aesthetic dance research practice. My artistic research deals with properties that are concerned with the construction and techniques of somatic dance practices. For example, I investigate how to stimulate physiological issues without relying on scientific contextualization and research how to instruct and facilitate dance experiments with processes of decision-making and interpretation through improvised dance. These artistic properties manageable and can be named or defined in research. When I research aesthetic properties of dance, my perspective shifts from construction and techniques to appearances and experiences of sensations. Aesthetic research makes me approach my practice more intuitively and with more sensitivity to what emerges from the experiencing of dancing and spectating dance. For example, I investigate how one dance affects me or others; I research when its play with appearances and disappearances makes us more conscious, captivates us, or disrupts our being with it, as a dancer, researcher, or spectator. In other words, artistic and aesthetic properties of my dance practice are intertwined, but they are not interchangeable components of my research.