The Sensorium Commune: Coming back-to-our-senses in the post-enlightenment era
Author/s: Ella Dumaresq
Edition: 2017 Vol. 14 Nos. 1-2
In our field of dance movement therapy, the body is often understood as an agent of language, conversant in both verbal and non-verbal forms of communication. As dance movement therapists we speak, listen and respond in an embodied manner through dance, movement, gesture and other nuanced ways of corporal expression. This article will explore the idea of the ‘speaking’ body and examine its significance from a dance movement therapy perspective. In doing so, this article will discuss how the concept of the body which ‘speaks’ poses a fundamental challenge to the pervasive dualism of Cartesian thought which separates ‘mind’ from ‘matter.’ Not only has dualism sought to divorce the mind from the body, but it has also led to a drastic devaluing of the non-verbal realm and the rich sensorial world of the body. This article suggests that dance movement therapy plays an important restorative role in contemporary western thought by challenging the basic assumption upon which dualism rests: the mind body divide.