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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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3 Which Brazilian Body is Talked About: The Source, the School, the Reference

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We talk about a body that lies on the margin of the Brazilian society. However, this body contains the collective unconsciousness. Among various expressions, this body captures the sacred among the contingencies of the profane. Its manifestation, resulting from the integrations, deepens the meaning of the Dance.

In search of a dance characterized by its identity we traveled through Brazil, where the astonishing similarities of its cultural manifestations create a network throughout the country. It is something that could be mixed up with the folklore and that I will identify as popular culture.1 Breaking the official cultural barriers, we found a school that taught rare stuff.

In the search of this Brazilian body, it was impossible not to consider this body when it produces sings, talks, manipulates objects (incorporating their meanings), goes through, remakes, and retells its own history in an intimate relationship with both personal and collective identity. The integration of all these aspects leads to a unity of the whole body and, as a consequence, the movement exhibits a highly expressive quality. The sources of this study consist of individuals and communities where these senses were located as a result of a cultural resistance. In some groups, there were only traces of a given manifestation and cultural resistance was just a memory. The movement was diffuse and poorly designed, demanding a higher and more detailed effort in its observation. These sources helped to corroborate data from other locations where integrity of the...

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