The body is our anchorage in a world
In this chapter, I detail the experiential methods I employed to consciously attune-to experience differently whilst developing artistic performance works. Between April 2013 and February 2016 I worked with experienced practitioners to learn a range of body-centred practices through one-to-one sessions, workshops, group classes and professional development intensives.
In Section 3.2 of this chapter, I introduce the concept of attunement, which in the context of body-centred practice, is about actively sustaining a conscious awareness of visceral phenomena that usually abides at the edges of ordinary awareness. In many body-centred practices the aim is to avoid using sight as the dominant sense and to instead allow hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting to come to the fore so that a more integrated and unified experience of multi-sensory perception can be experienced. I describe the three body-centred practices that underpin this concept in my practice and introduce the body-centred practitioners who fostered supportive learning environments within which I could develop and build this attunement capacity.
In section 3.3 of this chapter, I detail the first-person methods I employed in discovery workshops with body-centred practitioners. I provide an overview of the ways in which I collaborated with other practitioners in a workshop setting and discuss the methods I used to record and reflect upon these discovery workshop events.
In Section 3.4 of this chapter, I discuss a key corporeal practice that I utilised in this project. This corporeal practice involves activating the imagination though the use of sensory metaphors. I claim that using sensory metaphors can create visceral shifts in lived experience that support the capacity of life to harness and divert things through unexpected and innovative use so that things are always opening out, always differentiating. I describe how these visceral shifts in lived experience can help to initiate and sustain creative ideas, and can be used to catalyse, build, and sustain artistic performative material.
In Section 3.5, of this chapter I describe other attunement practices I have used in this research to underpin an experiential methodology in the enactment of my Performance Research. These practices are shared amongst myself and other practitioners. They have significantly expanded my performance practice, and have enabled progress to be made on my research inquiry.
In Section 3.6 I close this chapter by describing the reflective practice methods I used in the processes of learning throughout my project. I explain how I have used journals, audience reflections and inter-subjective dialogues to document, test and reflect upon my ideas and practices in processes of continuous action and reflection.
2 Phenomenology of Perception, 1945/2012, p. 146