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2016 Vol. 13 Nos. 3-4

Editorial

 

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Arts Based Enquiry: Integrating Narrative within Movement

This paper addresses the use of Physical Storytelling (Harvey and Kelly, 1991, 1992, 1993, and Kelly, 2006) as a practice to investigate scenes from life, clinical practice, and research with a goal of introducing a way to make use of dance as an Arts Based Inquiry (McNiff, 1998). Physical Storytelling is a creative improvisational practice with roots in contact improvisation, authentic movement, dance improvisation, and Playback Theatre. The form incorporates improvised movement episodes in response to verbal narratives presented by clients, families, within supervision groups, and in response to research questions. In Physical Storytelling, the therapist functions as a conductor who helps to facilitate verbal reports of emotionally relevant material in a story for mat. The therapist sets up improvised movement episodes with the intention of creating dances that can provide a more meaningful perspective for the storyteller and the participants/audience through the use of performed improvisational dance interactions. This form is useful in providing expression to situations that are complex, conflicted, and hard to present in more traditional ways. The resulting performances offer an opportunity for the dance therapist to use improvised movement as a method that is closely related to their practice to investigate important questions related to their work. In this way, the dance therapist can use Physical Storytelling to create dance as a reflective process about dance therapy either as a separate process or in addition to other more verbal or quantitate approaches.

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‘From little things big things grow’

‘Broadening the Spectrum’ of dance movement therapy (DMT) with other expressive arts (DTAA conference theme, July, 2015, Melbourne), inspired the authors to present an experiential deeply enriched by other arts modalities. They were curious to know at what point a single modal DMT approach, supported by other expressive arts, could change into a multi – modal expressive arts approach (McNiff, 2009). Although they feel that therapists should have expertise in more than one modality to enable them to work in a truly multi – modal way, they found that they could successfully broaden their own work by collaborating with peers from varied backgrounds. Their ideas about single and multi – model approaches are highlighted.

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Performance and therapy – Dancing the space in-between

This paper presents the author’s reflections on the moment and space where a performer an d the audience meet. The author draws on material that was developed in collaboration with colleagues also interested in the moment when something private becomes something public. The author asks “Is there, within this, an opportunity and a space for heal ing, and for transformation, to occur? For the performer, for the audience, for a place?” She writes about her experiences in delivering a workshop at the D ance Movement T herapy A ssociation’s (DTAA) Conference, Broadening the Spectrum in Melbourne in 2015. She delivered this together with colleagues who joined her as co – presenters. Drawing on all their personal experiences as performers, as therapists, as researchers and as humans, she enthusiastically grasped the opportunity to deepen the conversation wit h the community about performance through an experiential approach. The experience opened – up lots of reflections that are shared in this article.

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Entering Authentic Movement Practice by Enlivening Bartenieff Fundamental Movement Patterns

The practices of The Bartenieff Fundamental Developmental Movement Patterns and Authentic Movement were integrated into a recent experiential workshop facilitated by the author. A witness offered tactile and movement cues to a mover to highlight their partner’s unique developmental movement patterns and preferences. After this exchange and with new awareness of their own movement patterns, the mover enters into Authentic Movement. The aim of integrating these two practices was to find out whether their combination could have an impact on personal and clinical practice. Could working with Authentic Movement in this way assist movers in following their internal cues as they concurrently re-educate their body connectivity?

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History and application of Dance Movement Therapy

This article is an edited version of a literature review completed during a Research Strategies course, undertaken as a component of a Master of Social Work. The aim of the review was to begin to address a question being posed, by highlighting existing knowledge and identifying a gap which could only be filled by further research. The question pursued by the writer was ‘What impact does Dance Movement Therapy have on the emotional healing of people aged 65 and over, who have experienced trauma?’. The review therefore begins by introducing and explaining the concepts of Dance Movement Therapy and embodied trauma. It goes on to outline the role of Dance Movement Therapy in healing embodied trauma, by drawing on both experimental research and non – experimental literature. In doing so, the lack of such research or literature surrounding the impact of Dance Movement Therapy on older people who have experienced trauma is identified and discussed. Finally, the importance of addressing this gap in knowledge – via further research – is articulated.

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Words Matter

The feminist movement of last century strongly highlighted the power of language not only to reflect societal/cultural perceptions and attitudes, but to form and reinforce them. The Australian Journal of Dementia Care (AJDC), in several recent issues, has invited discussion of appropriate language when talking about people living with dementia. While some may dismiss these concerns about language as an over-concern with political correctness, in fact the words we use have very real-life impact on the people we work with. How does it feel to be talked about as ‘victim  or ‘sufferer’, a carrier of ‘behaviours’? What difference does it make in our professional behaviour when we view someone as being ‘demented  rather than someone ‘living with dementia’?

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