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Dancer – Researcher – Performer: A Learning Process

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Graziela Rodrigues

The author presents the method of research and creation in dance and theater in Brazil, called Bailarino-Pesquisador-Intérprete (Dancer-Researcher-Performer, BPI), which was created by the author herself. Through field research of ritual and Brazilian popular manifestations the author formulates a proposal for body work. She analyzes dance as an activity in which several bodies are integrated to generate knowledge in the sensitive, the perceptible and human relationships from direct contact with the surrounding reality. BPI aims to build a flexible and individualized body, in which the subject has room to develop. It emphasizes the need for a more responsible contact with certain Brazilian cultural segments so that stereotypes of a dance based on an ethnocentric view are not reinforced.

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1 Introduction

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The process of conceiving the dancer-researcher-performer was organized from two interrelated stages. In the first stage, I experienced a crisis in relation to my knowledge about dance, including my experience with the classical, modern, and contemporary dance as well as techniques related to the dynamics of the body and the theatrical performance.

This crisis did not mean a rejection of my previous knowledge; it meant a reinterpretation, drawing on the interaction between my personal findings and the knowledge acquired in the field research about Brazilian cultural manifestations. Beginning with the field research with the candanga women1 from Brasília – after the interaction between my personal findings and the universe of the investigated reality – I initiated the formulation of the body form of the dancer-researcher-performer. The final outcome of this stage was the creation of several dance performances, such as Graça Bailarina de Jesus (Grace, Ballerina of Jesus) and Coração Vermelho I and II (Red Heart I and II).

During the second stage of the Dancer-researcher-performer training process I developed the following script (for more, refer to chapter 9):

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