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An action of orientation – Skinner Releasing Technique in reflective practice

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This article contextualizes and critiques Skinner Releasing Technique (SRT), the somatic dance and movement practice developed by American choreographer, dancer and teacher Joan Skinner. The writing arises from conversations between Sally E. Dean and Julie Nathanielsz, each a SRT practitioner and teacher for over fifteen years, and lays out some of their emerging observations and questions about Skinner Releasing: What is the significance of orientating in the process of letting go? Is there an ‘underlying body’ in this technique? How do we understand possible relationships of body and image through the practice? The aim of this writing is to make connections with embodied3 experience rather than ideology, and to open an important dialogue into current practice and teaching of SRT, by first locating the technique in its somatic, historical and cultural context.
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Keywords: SRT; Skinner Releasing Technique; body and image relationship; dance training; developmental movement; evolving dance pedagogy; somatic practice; space-place

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Royal Holloway University 2: Bright Body Studio

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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  • This journal focuses on the relationship between dance and somatic practices, and the influence of this body of practice on the wider performing arts. The journal will be aimed at scholars and artists, providing a space for practitioners and theorists to debate the work, to consider the impact and influence of the work on performance, the interventions that somatic practices can have on other disciplines and the implications for research and teaching.
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