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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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2 Some Important Questions

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The fragmentation of the body is often shown in the dancer as a consequence of his/her own training. The acquisition of physical skills is centered on the desire to give an answer to the proposed model. The dancer constructs his/her self-image from the physical modeling – external to the dancer – and, each day, without any questions, the dancer assumes this image. The dancer rejects his/her own body in order to pursuit an idealized image. The dissatisfaction and emptiness generated by this process are compensated by the safety offered by this path, because, as the dancer follows the command instructions guided by the model, he/she reaches the estimated and socially accepted answer.

In this context, the dancer calls him/herself an Instrument and places the Dance in a oneiric space distant from him/herself. Upon tuning this Body-Instrument, in which the Dance will be performed, the history and the deepest senses of the dancer must be absent as they interfere in the balance of the perfect shapes. This proposal of body fragmentation dates back to Plato:

Throughout the time that we have the body and our soul is mixed with such bad thing, we will never fully possess the object of our desires! … The body floods us with love, passions, fears, imagination of all sorts, in short, an infinitude of trifles that through it (yes, true is what is said), actually we do not receive any sensible thought, no, not even once!1

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