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Free Content Emanating awareness: Tracing the impact of Bharatanatyam and Iyengar yoga on my contemporary dance and choreographic practice

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This article examines and reflects on the interdisciplinary dialogue between Bharatanatyam, Iyengar yoga and contemporary dance within the field of choreographic practice and performance. I detail the principles appropriated from Bharatanatyam and Iyengar yoga that have, in a layered and intrinsic manner, directly and indirectly contributed to a heightened kinaesthetic awareness within my dance and choreographic practice.

This practice reflects a strong somatic and philosophical ideology, out of which multiple body-mind perspectives emerge. Moving away from the Cartesian fragmented and objective view of the body, this article presents a holistic body-mind stance originating from a non-dualistic experiential approach. The principles appropriated from Bharatanatyam and Iyengar yoga are highlighted through a mixed-mode framework that includes experiential writing and images in an attempt to evoke the immediacy of the moving body and its sensory experience, as well as the ineffable nature of the creative and choreographic process. These experiences are contextualized with reference to specific choreographic work I have created for my company, Shakram Music and Dance.
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Keywords: Bharatanatyam; Iyengar yoga; choreography; contemporary dance; kinaesthetic awareness; somatics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick

Publication date: 01 January 2014

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  • Research into spirituality receives comparatively little attention in western dance practices but Dance, Movement & Spiritualities provides a platform for those practitioners and researchers who are actively and creatively working with spirituality at the centre of their practice/research. Contributions are invited from across disciplines.
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