2
 

 

Exploring ‘Embodiment’:

Issues in the Appreciation of Dance

 

 

2.0 Introduction

Reflections on my experiences of watching, studying, performing and teaching dance and organising dance events have led me to consider that what is experienced as embodied can often be significant to the appreciation of dance. Sometimes as in the kathak based works of Sushma Mehta and the Egyptian dance of Nina Anderson, dancers draw on different traditions and even other ‘ways of being’ thatat first can make it hard for those accustomed to ballet and ‘contemporary’ dance to appreciate their work other than in relation to its ‘difference’ or skilfulness. However, while knowledge of particular cultural traditions and (as will be discussed in chapter three) experience of particular cultural embodiments are important, to regard dance as simply embodying what is culturally ‘given’ is an oversimplification. Hencean Ethiopian dancer, performing in South London (Morley College, 1996) for an audience knowing little about his dance or the traditions informing it, could be appreciated not only for the agility, intricacy andrhythmic clarity of his performance, but also in that he seemed to embody a delight in moving: his whole bodily way of being infused with this pleasure and conveying a willingness to share his enjoyment thatcommunicated to his audience.

 

Such experiences have led me to contemplate that investigation into the relationship between embodiment and appreciation might prove fruitful in relation to understanding some conflicting viewpoints thathave emerged in relation to the appreciation of dance presented in the (western) theatre. In order to undertake such analysis it is important to consider the terms ’embodiment’ and ‘appreciation’ as they areused in relation to the arts and specifically dance: clarity in relation to the differences in approaches both to the appreciation of dance and embodiment is necessary in order to consider the relationshipbetween them. That the concept of embodiment has become popular in three different, yet relevant, contexts adds to the complexity of such an analysis: From the perspective of the dance practitioner, it isthe ‘lived experience’ of ‘embodying the dance’ that is important; in the fields of anthropology and sociology emphasis is placed on consideration of cultural embodiment, while in philosophical aesthetics it israther the question of how the significance of the work of art may be considered to be embodied that is central. In this chapter it is this last that will be emphasised. Exploring some of the approaches toappreciation that have been, or are, important to (western) theatre dance will inform consideration of the different ways in which significance may be viewed as embodied in dance. However, it will be seenthat in consideration of an ecological approach to art, the embodied acts of artists within a broader cultural framework that is itself embodied become part of a nexus of reciprocal interrelationships withinwhich the work of art may be understood. Further, consideration of what are often considered as oppositional approaches to appreciation in relationship to each other may help to elucidate the ways inwhich how art is appreciated is itself part of a cultural legacy.

 

2.1 AppreciationConsideration of appreciation in relation to the arts has a long tradition that, within western society, can be traced back to the writings of the 'classical' Greek philosophers from the fourth and fifth centuries BC on the nature and functions of art and beauty. Favoured by twentieth century philosophers in the field of philosophical aesthetics, the term 'appreciation' tends to include some sense of making artistic ‘judgements’ that are dependent on sensibility or ‘taste’. In this antecedents are revealed in eighteenth century discussions of taste and, in particular, in the complex philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Thedevelopment of modern western aesthetics draws much of its foundations from Kant’s Critique of Judgement (1790) and, certainly in Britain, the writings of Kant are still widely referred to in academicdiscussion of aesthetics such as those presented in the British Journal of Aesthetics. His legacy is not only confined to the understanding of the foundations of philosophical aesthetics. For example, bypointing to new considerations of Kant’s aesthetics, the dance scholar, Sara Houston, has argued their relevance to recent practices in community dance (Houston, 2002). Kant’s description of aesthetic delight distinguishes it from pleasure in what is agreeable or good. For Kant, the judgement of what is beautiful is aesthetic, disinterested, unbounded by concepts,experienced subjectively but of universal validity:This explication of the beautiful can be inferred from the preceding explication of it as object of a liking devoid of all interest. For if someone likes something and is conscious that he himself does so without any interest, then he cannot help judging that it must contain a basis for being liked [that holds] for everyone …Hence he will talk about the beautiful as if beauty were a characteristic of the object and the judgement were logical (namely a cognition of the object through concepts of it), even though in fact the judgement is only aesthetic and refers the object’s presentation merely to the subject. He will talk in this way because the judgement does resemble a logical judgement inasmuch as we may presuppose it to be valid for everyone. On the other hand this universality cannot arise from concepts. For from concepts there is no transition to the feeling of pleasure or displeasure…It follows that since a judgement of taste involves the consciousness that all interest is kept out of it, it must also involve a claim to being valid for everyone, but without a universality based on concepts.  In other words, a judgement of taste must involve a claim to subjective universality. Kant, 1987 [1790] 54 [212] Drawing on Kant’s analysis, aesthetic experience thus distinguishes aesthetic judgements from the non aesthetic. Further, this distinction serves to distinguish between the fine arts which are aesthetic and the ‘agreeable’ arts ’whose purpose is merely enjoyment’  (Kant,1987 [1790]172 [305]) and under which category, on Kant’s terms come entertainments such as story telling and ‘table’ or background music(Kant,1987 [1790] 173 [306]). Crafts too, by virtue of their often being pursued for mercenary rather than aesthetic ends, are likewise distinguished from the fine arts. The aesthetic experience is described by Kant as a sensation of ‘the facilitated play of the two mental powers (imagination and understanding)’ (Kant, 1987 [1790] 63 [219]. In spite of the subjective nature of aesthetic experience, by virtue of their disinterestedness, aesthetic judgements are structurally related to ethical judgements: in as much as subjective interest is curtailed, they should, according to Kant, be universally agreed. Moreover he also suggests that ‘the beautiful is the symbol of the morally good’ (Kant, 1987[1790] 228 [353]. In general terms Kant’s legacy is the sense that aesthetic appreciation is basedon some sensation or emotion, but is distinct from the subjectively agreeable and should be universally valid. More specifically, aesthetic experience is ‘disinterested’ and cognitive and is what distinguishesthe experience of the 'beautiful' in the arts as opposed to pleasure in what is (merely) entertaining. For dance this distinction suggests that dance presented as a social activity (for example ballroom dance)or as (merely) entertainment (as in musicals) is of a different order to dance which claims its primary purpose to be aesthetic, the enjoyment of which is thus thought of as ‘disinterested’. Kant’s distinction between the aesthetic and the sublime may also be influential in considering the difference between the appreciation of art and nature. According to Beardsley, for Kant the focus in art is on the beautiful whereas the experience of the sublime seems to be reserved for those experiences of nature where the faculty of judgement rather than ‘generating the feeling of beauty out of the harmony it finds in relating the imagination, in its free play, to the understanding, …generates the feeling of the sublime out of the conflict it creates by relating the imagination, even in its fullest exertion, to the reason and its transcendent ideas’ (Beardsley 1975, 220). Whilst the reasoning behind Kant’s distinction may be forgotten, the distinction between the appreciation of art and nature remains. Hence for dance to be valued as art there may be an expectation that it is of a different order to movement that is ‘natural’. Aesthetics has been through many transformations since the eighteenth century. Through different fashions in aesthetics, ‘appreciation’ of art has gained connotations that draw variously on placing different emphases on the attribution of value, interpretation of expressive qualities, coming to an understanding, responding to formal/structural properties and/or tracing contextual references. Yet traces of Kant’sideas may often be found, particularly in further accounts of ‘disinterestedness’, such as in Bullough’s (1912) discussion of approaching art with ‘psychical distance’ and ‘Stolnitz’s (1960) discussion of the ‘aesthetic attitude’. The importance of ‘universal subjectivity’ in Kant’s aesthetics may also suggest the notion of the potential universal agreement about what constitutes art. In the next chapter sociological theories underpinning arguments against such universality will be explored; these will raise the possibility that the aesthetic attitude itself emanates from a style of being assimilated by members of particularcultural groups. Thus while philosophical aestheticians such as Beardsley have argued that art works may be defined by their ‘potentiality’ to engender aesthetic appreciation this may limit 'art' to the culture of those groups.  Perhaps due to sensitivity towards such issues in a diverse society, recent approaches to supporting the arts in Britain have tended to ignore the ‘aesthetic’ and instead focus on ‘artistic quality’. For example the Arts Council of England’s most recent outline of policy never mentions aesthetics but is concerned with quality alongside many explicitly social concerns such as participation (especially amongst children and young people) and ‘celebrating diversity’ (Arts Council of England, 2006a). However, while the Arts Council recognises ‘there are different ways of assessing artistic quality’ (Arts Council of England,2006b), the significantly higher proportion of arts funding supporting ballet and established forms of ‘contemporary’ dance (discussed further in chapter five), which are rooted in the artistic values of the nineteenth and first part of twentieth century, suggests older aesthetic concerns may not be as redundant as recent Arts Council policies might at first indicate. This is not to suggest there is lack ofawareness of the blurring of the boundaries between art and entertainment, or what might be termed ‘high’ and ‘low’, or 'mass', culture. Nor is it intended to ignore that challenges to conventional aesthetics have led some theorists (most notably, Dickie, 1974) to posit institutional theories of art whereby art is what art institutions say it is. Rather it is suggested that while the distinctions are blurred, even playedwith in much contemporary practice, the legacy of older aesthetic ideals is significant: dancers in western society will usually know when they dance whether their performance is primarily presented as art or entertainment, as social activity or as intentionally blurring still recognisable boundaries. While theoretically (and politically) it may be difficult to describe the difference between appreciating dance asart and as entertainment, and as much as people may in some quarters grumble that the pressure to make the arts accessible has minimised any distinction [i] , it is suggested that assumptionsabout the role of the aesthetic in distinguishing art underlie categories that dancers seem to understand: if their dancing comes under the ‘art performance‘ category, however much other elements mayfeature in the performance’s success, there will be an expectation that there is ‘something else’ to appreciate 'beyond' the physical attractiveness and skills of the dancers, their ability to entertain theaudience (including the use of physical ‘tricks’) or the social contribution of their dance. On the other hand any dancer auditioning for a musical, pop video or advertisement will recognise that the key factors in deciding whether they get the job would rarely be considered as primarily aesthetic. In relation to dance presented in contemporary London, the potential to engage dance/arts audiences aesthetically is,even in the twenty first century, likely to be implicit in its status as art as opposed to entertainment or social activity.  However, according to the British philosopher Graham McFee (2005), a further distinction should be made between the appreciation of art and other cases of aesthetic interest since not everything that can be appreciated aesthetically counts as art. His account helps to suggest how in the arts, in situating appreciation in the context of traditions, including conceptual ones, art status is transfigurational [ii] . Thus the grace of the gymnast is contrasted with that of the dancer, since only the latter has art status. His use of the gymnast as an example recalls the grumbles of the early twentieth century choreographer Michel Fokine: What is the difference between a dancer who executes thirty-two pirouettes and an acrobat who performs twice as many? I think that an acrobat does his with more certainty, but there should be another difference...  Fokine, in Beaumont 1981 [1916], 142For Fokine the difference was to be found in expressive aims of the dancer, but following McFee’s line of argument, the answer to this question might be that it is by the ascription of art status that the turns are appreciated within the virtuosic traditions in ballet and perhaps also in relation to their significance as suggestive of excitement (or some other relevant quality) within the narrative of the ballet. In this way institutional definitions that ascribe art status affect how work is approached and artistic (rather than merely aesthetic) properties are ascribed. McFee’s distinction is useful in that it suggests that there could be occasions when the actions of a dancer might be appreciated as aesthetic yet the dance might not be considered as art. For instance, in the example of the dancer auditioning for a part in an advertisement, she might be chosen for her aesthetic ‘look’ or movement qualities such as ‘grace’ that are often considered aesthetic, but this would be outside the realms of what are usually considered to be art and thus these qualities would not, in this context, be artistic. However, just as Fokine’s aesthetic concerns place him within the artistic discourse of his time, so do McFee’s. As another philosophical aesthetician, Richard Shusterman (1997), has pointed out, a shift in the wider arts world towards conceptual art that demands consideration of its theoretical position in approaching it as art, has led to the turn away from the centralising of aesthetic experience. Whileagreeing that aesthetic experience cannot provide necessary or sufficient conditions with which to define art, Shusterman suggests that 'it might be regarded as a more general background condition forart' (Shusterman, 1997, 9). For the purposes of this discussion in relation to (western) theatre dance, ‘appreciation’ will be used to indicate that there is a presumption of there being reasons for a danceperformance to warrant its being appreciated in relation to its qualities as art and that these, at least in part, will depend on traditions within western aesthetics in which there is a background expectationof potential aesthetic engagement. Thus while the potential for its aesthetic enjoyment is not seen as the defining criterion of a dance work being termed ‘art’, it is suggested that the assumption of such potential informs the institutional networks that sustain ‘artworld’ decisions as to what is art or not. An approach to art that maintains the importance of a concept that has arisen out of the development of arts practices within western society may be felt to make the presentation of dance drawing on
‘non western’ traditions problematic. However, it should be emphasised that this approach to what is understood as art has arisen from discussions with artists about their experiences of working in the
current cultural context. Further the consideration of the aesthetic is still important to the distinction that in practice is currently made between high and low culture. While perhaps political sensitivities
ensure it is not stated too explicitly, that which is thought of as ‘high’ culture  still seems to draw on what has been understood as ‘aesthetic’
in contrast to a ‘low’ culture that is ‘merely entertaining’. Hence, as will be seen in a discussion of Arts Council funding in chapter five, while at the level of political discourse in general terms all aspects of
dance are embraced as art, patterns of funding suggest that those ‘high’ art forms that are perceived as potentially warranting aesthetic engagement are more likely to receive funding that recognises their
qualities as ‘art’ rather than their merits in relation to encouraging participation in cultural activities.
 2.2 The Concept of Embodiment in Dance Studies‘Embodiment’, is a term that has recently become popular in a number of different academic disciplines. In discussion of the arts beyond the realms of phenomenology it seems to have become important in the 1960s featuring, for example, in the philosophical aesthetics of Louis Arnaud Reid (1969) and Monroe Beardsley (1975) [1966] [iii] ; yet in relation to dance its popularity is comparatively recent. For example in Reading Dancing (1986) Susan Leigh Foster's terminology is derived from semiotics; ‘reading’ a dance does not seem to necessitate consideration of what might be embodied. Yeta decade later in Corporealities the same author, while still developing a semiotic framework, sought to ‘lend greater precision to our understanding of embodiment’ (Foster,1996, xi). By the turn of thecentury ‘embodiment' had found its way into the work of key British based dance educators such as Valerie Preston-Dunlop (1998), Janet Adshead (1999) [iv] and Valerie Preston-Dunlop andAna Sanchez-Colberg (2002). Moreover, in their practice ‘contemporary’ dancers are increasingly asked to ‘embody’ the dance material. As will be discussed below, in one of the earliest references to ‘embodiment’ I have found in a discussion of dance, the philosopher David Best suggests this term is being used to disguise a dualist approach to body and mind (David Best, 1974, 188). Although I am not sure he is correct in the instance he cites, writing in the 1970s he provided a timely warning that ‘embodiment’ could be used to gloss over philosophical problems of mind:body in discussions of dance.Much of the lack of clarity in the use of the term may be tied to a confusion as to the relationships between a number of dualisms, not only mind:body, but also self:society, subject:object. It may also bethat the rise in popularity of the term is a symptom of a growing awareness of the problem of a dualist approach to mind and body that informs many contemporary accounts of ‘embodiment’. This maybe intended to counteract what Sondra Horton-Fraleigh (1987, 9) describes as a tendency in much early dance literature towards an ‘instrumental’ attitude to the body.  That, in Britain, the development of dance as a subject of study in Higher Education since the 1970s corresponds to a growing wider academic interest in bodily experience may suggest that the rise in the use of the term ‘embodiment’ in relation to dance is indicative of a continuing struggle to account for the experience of dance in a manner that challenges body:mind dualism. However, since there are differences in the conceptual starting points providing the framework for its use, it is likely that, as with ‘appreciation’, what is meant by the term is subject to variation. To explore further what may bemeant by both these terms in discussions of dance, they will be discussed jointly in the context of different influential theories as they are presented in approaches to dance as a (western) theatre art.
2.3 Form Versus Feeling: Traditional Approaches to DanceUntil quite late into the twentieth century, theoretical approaches to (western) theatre dance were much concerned with the respective values of formalist and expressionist aesthetics. When originally formulated neither formalist nor expressionist aesthetics considered ‘embodiment’, as it is currently understood, but (as was discussed in the introduction in relation to Beardsley’s translation of Schlegel) the more recent term may be found to be applied retrospectively in discussion of previous approaches to the significance of art. Moreover since dancers, particularly ‘contemporary’ dancers, will talk of ‘embodying the form’ or of expression as embodied, and since formalist and expressionist aesthetics can be argued to have influenced much of the development of (western) theatre dance in the twentieth century, it is important to understand the influence of  these approaches to the appreciation of dance as art.  Both formalist and expressionist aesthetic traditions are rooted in the writings of artists and philosophical aestheticians from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Europe, whose own works draw on various antecedents including aspects of Kant’s aesthetics, and what are understood as the ideals of art in ‘classical’ Greece. These two versions of aesthetics are thus bound up within (or even legitimise themselves by reference to) traditions in western culture. In their extreme forms, they adhere to a universalism, not only in relation to the judgement as to whether they are aesthetically pleasing, but as to their significance.     An expressionist aesthetic, in the sense developed by the Russian nineteenth century writer, Leo Tolstoy, reveals art as a transmission of feeling leading to the aesthetic value of a work of art being bound up with the moral value of feelings it engenders:   Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one man consciously by means of certain external signs, hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that other people are infected by these feelings and also experience. …it is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for the life and progress toward well being of individuals and of humanity.Tolstoy, 1975 [1898], 123Tolstoy was anxious to create art for the ‘people’ and was concerned from the viewpoints of both ethics and aesthetics that the focus on the ‘beautiful’ had been reduced to serving, what in his terms, was the perverted taste of the upper classes of western society (Tolstoy, 1975 [1898], 116). The ideals as espoused by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, writing in the fourth and fifth centuries BC,had linked the beautiful with the divine (Plato, 1964 [not dated], 76-77 [211-212]). Later in the Enlightenment Kant, whilst recognising those with aesthetic sensibilities were not always the most morallyvirtuous, proposed the symbolic virtue of the beautiful (Kant,1987 [1790], 228 [353]). Tolstoy, however, was disillusioned with the result of the notion of art as the pursuit of beauty. He focussed on the moral worth of art, believing its value to be in the good effects it produces in others. His ‘infection’ theory of art may be seen to echo the classical notion of the moral benefits of tragedy advocated by thefourth century Greek philosopher Aristotle (1964 [not dated]106-131[1451-1386]). For ethical reasons, in what might be termed Tolstoy’s strong version of expressionism, the communication of feeling became all important. Kant’s ‘subjective universality’ of the aesthetic emotion was displaced by a belief in the universality of emotional content.  Although such extreme views are rare in contemporary academic discourse on dance, a loosely formulated expressionist aesthetic resulting in the idea that dance communicates some sort of inner lifeof the dancer, and/or choreographer permeated much of what informed the development of early modern dance. There will always be movements which are the perfect expression of that individual body and that individual soul;Duncan, 1902, 127 As will be discussed below, expressionist formulations may be dependent on a dualist approach to mind:body, a dualism that contemporary accounts of embodiment attempt to resolve. However, expressionist aesthetics may still underlie approaches to dance to this day: In the initial interviews for this research, one artist in particular was very clear that she was drawing on personal experience of her emotional feelings as a source for improvisational exploration of movement material to create a solo for herself. The movement material found this way was felt to come from a ‘deeper level’ than movement learned in class and to draw on her sense of her individual personality. In this way the source of the material was suggested as internal feeling in contrast to the forming of this material into a dance which was felt to be more ‘cerebral’ and brought in considerations of how the audience would view it. Drawing on this emotional source in performance was felt to be important so that the audience could ‘cue into’ the performer (Artist A, 2002). Although this artist’ s approach was the most concerned with emotional feeling as a starting point, the sense that audiences in some way connect with the emotion felt by the performer was a prevalent theme that will be explored in more detail in chapter four. Artist A’s approach in which feeling is drawn on to create what might be thought of as symbolic form, may reflect the influence of the theory of the philosopher Susanne Langer on approaches to dance in the degree courses set up in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s. Recognising the difficulties of the ‘infection’ theory of expressionism, Langer explored the realm of dance as art as offering a play of ‘virtual powers’ in which, while dance may consist of ‘actual movement’, what it expresses is ‘virtual self-expression’ (Langer, 1982 [1953] 31). Langer points out that dancers may draw on imagined feeling in order to create ‘virtual gestures’ but do not fully believe themselves to be actually dying, abandoned by their lover and so forth when they dance.  A form of expressionism may also be seen influencing the dance educators, Valerie Preston-Dunlop and Ana Sanchez-Colberg (2002). They developed the theories of the early twentieth century expressionist choreographer and dance theorist Rudolf Laban. Drawing on Laban’s analysis of ‘motion factors’, they reveal how Laban viewed the dynamic content of people’s movement as correlating to the four psychic functions as defined by Jung. This idea is then developed in relation to more contemporary concerns with embodiment and communication:  In terms of dance performance, his (Laban’s) observations confirm that formal dances, which inevitably are created of content that contains dynamic changes in all four motion factors, embody as content the creators’ intuitive, emotional, physical and mental functioning made evident in the movement’s dynamics and read subliminally and intersubjectively by an observer/spectator. The proposal explains why formal dance material itself is never meaningless, irrespective of who dances it, but that it inevitably carries semiotic content of human nature in its form.           Preston- Dunlop and Sanchez-Colberg, 2002, 67 Thus for Preston-Dunlop and Sanchez-Colberg it is the particular ‘effort’ qualities that can be discerned in a piece of non-narrative chorography that are revealing of the particular psycho-physical make up of the creator. As dance practitioners, educators and theorists, the authors are aware that this is contentious ground and are careful to add a contemporary emphasis on the complex interrelationship between choreographer, performer, spectator and culture in constructing movement as meaningful. This formulation of embodiment draws on a particular ‘choreological‘ approach that brings contemporary concerns with semiotics and phenomenology into play alongside a practice based theory that bears the traces of an expressionist approach to dance.  In contrast to expressionism, a formalist aesthetic, as described in early twentieth century accounts of aesthetics by Roger Fry and Clive Bell, posits aesthetic appreciation as an instantaneous and intuitive response to the formal properties of a work, which is entirely distinct from every day perception and experience:  The rapt philosopher and he who contemplates a work of art, inhabit a world with an intense and peculiar significance of its own; that significance is unrelated to the significance of life. It is world with emotions of its own.  To appreciate a work of art we need to bring with us nothing but a sense of form and colour and a knowledge of three dimensional space. Bell, 1969 [1913], 92 This extreme version of formalism is perhaps historically best appreciated as a counter argument to expressionism. While in some ways formalism may have been an attempt to retrieve the aesthetic sensibility as outlined by Kant, the notion of ‘disinterestedness’ has here been developed into a complete disjuncture with the realm of everyday significance. Kant did talk about the ‘pure judgement of taste’ as being in response only to form not content. However, in relation to fine art he brought in the concept of the ‘aesthetic idea’ that the philosophical aesthetician Paul Crowther (whose own aesthetic theory is discussed separately below) suggests, 'gives an "unbounded" aesthetic expansion to its own concept ' (Crowther, 1993, 79). Remembering that for Kant the special quality of aesthetic judgement is the manner in which the imagination and understanding are bought into harmonious play, the aesthetic idea can be an element of that which stimulates the ‘free play’ of mental powers and thus may contribute to the aesthetic experience. This then contrasts with the aesthetic formalism of the early twentieth century, in which the aesthetic response is confined to 'significant form', described by Bell purely in terms of ‘the shapes of forms and the relations and quantities of colours’ (Clive Bell, 1969 [1913], 93).  The American art critic, Clement Greenberg, also took up the formalist cause to champion the work of the American abstract expressionist painters of the mid twentieth century. Historically this was the point when America challenged the European dominance of western art and this may account for the domination of this particular formulation of Modernist aesthetics that, for example, is accepted by Copeland (2000). It is interesting that Greenberg situated his version of Modernism as developing from the intellectual legacy of Kant, a European who for Greenberg was 'the first real modernist' for his 'use of the characteristic methods of a discipline to criticize the discipline itself' (Greenberg, 1992 [1965], 754-755). Greenberg seems to have been less concerned with the nature of the aesthetic experience than with the manner in which the work explored aspects specific to the medium.    Greenberg did not relate ‘specificity of the medium’ to dance and neither did Bell describe what 'significant form' would be in dance. However within academic dance studies consideration of dynamic and spatial forms in dance may replace concern with formal, medium specific aspects such as colour, line and surface in painting. The fact that they exist in performance rather than on a canvas may explain a tendency for dance audiences to interpret movement in relation to human experience. This has made formalism such as Bell’s or Greenberg’s difficult to sustain in relation to this art form. However, formalism, in a less extreme sense, has been most associated with ‘pure’ dance works in which there is minimal use made of the more obviously denotative or mimetic potential of dance, and in which use of design and/or sound often signal to the audience to focus on ‘formal’ features such as spatial and dynamic patterns. This aesthetic approach thus tends to have been favoured by those supporting more abstract, less personal approaches to choreography, whether in Ballet or Modern Dance. Its most lasting legacy is perhaps an antagonism in some quarters towards expressionist dance, towards dance that is too obviously pantomimic and towards interpretations of dance movement that over emphasise the correlation between meaning in dance and interpretation of movement in everyday life. Writing towards the end of the twentieth century, for instance, Roger Copeland berates those who would ‘reduce works of art to their content’ (Roger Copeland, 1990, 37). Copeland argues for a formalism that does not try to ‘limit itself’ to discussion of formal aspects such as line or pattern and ignore considerations of subject matter. Rather he emphasises a focus on the work rather than on the emotions one projects onto the work. In Copeland’s updated formalism: The meaning of the dance is concentrated into the sensuous surface of the dancer’s body; the meaning is entirely there, which is to say, here and now, in this very space which we (as audience members) inhabit together. The dancers aren’t representing another reality, whose essence lies elsewhere, beyond these particular bodies in some other place and time.   Copeland, 1990, 36 Like previous accounts of formalism, his account is dependent on the audience’s ability to transcend the personal in order to achieve an act of ‘disinterested’ perception:
 By preventing us from ‘injecting our personal feelings’ into the work, Balanchine forces us to transcend our own personal experiences thereby entering a shared and public realm.  Copeland, 1990, 36 Since Kant’s time the notion that personal feeling leads to a striving for a shared realm as part of ‘an original contract dictated by our very humanity’ (Kant 1987[1790],164 [298]) has been lost. One other important factor to consider in relation to formalism is that historically, in the McCarthy era of the 1950's, focussing on the specific properties of the art form distanced art from life at a time in American history when politics could be a matter of career life or death. Jonathan Katz, writing from the perspective of queer studies has explored how, in the McCarthy investigations, homosexuality was linked to communism, neither fitting in with the 'national consensus'. He further suggests that the gay strategy of 'the recontextualisation of the extant codes of culture' became absorbed into the arts more generally so that: What was once a specifically gay mode of social negotiation, the closet, was articulated and figured across cold war cultureKatz, 2007, not paged In considering the dominance of aesthetic formalism in accounts of mid twentieth century American modernism, it may be important to consider that artists may have had a variety of reasons to focus the critics' attentions on form [v] . With reference to the medium of dance, contemplation of the distinction between expressionist and formalist aesthetics may also lead to consideration of the apparent polarisation of ‘empty steps’ or ‘meaningless virtuosity’ and ‘natural expression’. For example, within ballet at the beginning of the twentieth century Michel Fokine’s approach to creating works for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes showed the influence of his readings of Tolstoy: The ballet renounced expression and consequently dancing became acrobatic, mechanical and empty. In order to restore dancing its soul we must abandon fixed signs and devise others based on the laws of natural expression.  Fokine in Beaumont, 1981 [1916], 136  Fokine’s dislike of ‘empty’ acrobatics and traditions echo the ideals of earlier reformers of ballet revealed most famously in Jean-Georges Noverre’s Letters of 1760 trumpeting the arrival of Ballet d’Action and in August Bournonville’s criticisms of late nineteenth century Russian ballet as having lost the expressive heart of the Romantic Ballet (Bournonville, 1979 [1848 ], 581). Such concerns are found not only in history but inform contemporary discussions about the relationship between technique and creative expression. According to the dance writer, Sondra Horton-Fraleigh, there is a tendency for this relationship to be explored through what is an ‘instrumental view of the body’ belying a dualist approach to mind:body that has its roots in western philosophical traditions reaching back to Descartes (Horton-Fraleigh, 1987, 9). Interwoven through the history of (western) theatre dance can be seen a tension between form and expression that itself draws on the complexities of cultural formulations of the relationships between mind:body, self:world. Thus behind Noverre’s (1975) [1760] tirades about the outdated conventions of classical dance lie the Enlightenment philosophers’ debates between empiricism and rationalism. As the philosophical aesthetician Monroe Beardsley 1975 [1966] suggests, the rationalists (concerned with the given, or a priori, rules for art deduced through reasoning) came into conflict with the empiricists (who rather attended to experience to establish knowledge a posteriori about the nature of the experience of aesthetic enjoyment) when a work that followed the rationalist rules did not result in the expected aesthetic enjoyment.  If Noverre’s reforms were in keeping with the aesthetic concerns of his time, Fokine’s approach to the significance of dance was in line with the turn of the twentieth century symbolist artists (Garafola, 1989, Carr, 1989). This movement can be viewed as attempting to resolve the apparent dichotomy between expression and form: seeking forms that correlated to some ‘inner life’, the symbolists believed these were, at some mystical level, universally communicable. Fokine’s search for a resolution between virtuosity and expression thus relied on a belief in ‘natural’ laws governing the relationship between form and content. Despite their antithetical viewpoints, a continued belief in the possibility of a universally ‘shared and public realm’ is, albeit in different ways, at the root of expressionist and formalist aesthetics and the symbolist tradition that grew out of them. In relation to ‘embodiment’ these ‘traditional’ approaches sustained a belief that what is embodied in a dance is objectively ‘really there’ to be perceived by those with the necessary sensitivity. In terms of ‘appreciation’ the Kantian emphasis on the subjective aesthetic experience as awareness of the free play of the imagination and understanding in responding to an object seems to have been sidelined. The expressionists shifted the focus to the response to emotional content, the formalists to the ability to distinguish formal qualities and, by resorting to mysticism, the symbolists combined the latter with the former.      2.4 Interpretation and the Problem of ExpressionAlthough viewed as antithetical, both expressionist and formalist traditions led to an emphasis on the aesthetic qualities which, as Kant had warned in relation to beauty, have often been viewed as objective properties of the work rather than 'the object’s presentation merely to the subject' (Kant, 1987 [1790] 54 [212]). After the mid twentieth century much aesthetic discourse shifted from a concern with the distinction between formalism and expressionism to develop a focus on seeking criteria for making aesthetic judgments. While there was considerable discussion of whether aesthetic properties could be considered as objective features of a work (see for instance Sibley, 1978 [1959], Meager,1970) the argument focussed attention on the possibility of the discernment of aesthetic features of the work rather than the aesthetic experience itself. That some such qualities were viewed as expressive may be one reason why a focus on interpretation came to the fore, in which it was implicit, if not explicitly stated, that some interpretations were better than others and that these could be supported by reference to the discerning perception of aesthetic properties. For example, in dance the influence of this approach can be seen in the development of methodologies for dance analysis in which ‘skills of discerning, describing and naming’ underpin analysis of the dance work and ‘any statements of the character of the dance, or reference to its aesthetic qualities’ (Adshead, 1988, 41 and 181). Linked to an interest in interpretation were concerns about the popular, expressionist conception of dance as expressive of inner feelings. Influenced by Wittgenstein, David Best, writing in the 1970s, attacked this notion. He identified it as revealing a dualist view of the relationship between mind and body and a misconception about the nature of meaning generally, and specifically in relation to movement and the arts. According to Best ‘meaning as naming’ leads to the mistaken view that the expressive meaning of a movement depends upon its symbolising, or ‘standing for’ inner emotions expressed by the person moving (Best, 1974, 23). He is thus critical not only of infection theory expressionism but of Langer’s ‘virtual expression’. He points out that her thesis still separates form and content leading to a resort to intuition as the source of knowledge of what is symbolised (Best, 1974, 185). Best’s critique of ‘meaning as naming’ is important to a discussion of ‘embodiment’. The question of meaning often lies at the heart of approaches to the interpretation of movement in performance. In many approaches, including the traditional expressionist and formalist theories touched on above, there is a sense of an essential, in some way, knowable meaning, whether this is to be recognised as an emotional truth, cognised through appreciation of form, intuited through perception or revealed by analysis. Following any of these strategies it could be reasoned that meaning is set physically in the body in movement. Best however warns against a concept of meaning that is dependent on words, movements or symbols standing for something we can point to. In this way he avoids a concept of ‘mind’ or a mental event such as feeling as a thing, which neatly circumvents the problem of two substance dualism: mind being different conceptually to the idea of a physical body offers Best the means to escape the difficulty of the relationship between two entities, mind and body. Although Best’s discussion centres on the problem of expression, his argument relates to those uses of ‘embodiment’ that would seem to suggest that inner beliefs, ideals, even feelings are embodied in movement. Indeed, towards the end of Expression in Movement in the Arts, Best turns to Louis Arnaud Reid’s account of embodiment, citing Reid’s assertion that:  To ‘’see’’ character in a person’s face, in his posture and gesture, is neither to perceive his body only nor to apprehend his character through his body, but to apprehend one single embodied person with distinguishable aspects... To feel happy, or anger, or at ease or in anxiety, is neither mental only nor physical only, but psycho physical. The aspects are indivisible and convey the idea of meaningful embodied experience. Reid in Best, 1974, 188 Best is in sympathy with Reid to the extent that both disagree with the behaviourist view that character and emotion can be discerned ‘scientifically' so that the verifiable facts of behaviour are the emotion. However Best challenges what he views as the implicit assumption that there are two entities, feeling and body, however closely Reid’s theory binds them together. Best is suspicious that the use of the term ‘embodiment’ in the writings of Reid rather than ‘expression’ is symptomatic of the underlying theoretical difficulties of Reid’s position. For Best, Reid’s view still leaves the question as to the grounds for knowing that feeling is embodied. It is Best’s assertion here and elsewhere that this kind of question leads to realms beyond those that can be communicated or shared publicly; the result of straying into the realm of the intuitive is, according to Best, the loss of a possible publicly shared understanding of art. Influenced by Wittgenstein’s notion of ‘seeing as’, [vi] Best prefers to focus on the act of perception as interpretation: The point is that to see character in a person’s face is not to see the mental embodied in the physical, it is to interpret his physical expression. Best, 1974,188For Best, physical behaviour is a criterion of feeling that is interpreted in relation to the context of the physical behaviour, or in relation to movement in performance, to the whole setting and performance of a dance and our knowledge of those traditions. In spite of his distrust of the term 'embodiment', where Best states the physical movement incorporates the expression of emotion’ (Best, 1974, 46) he perhaps could replace incorporates with ‘embodies’ as long as it is made clear that, for Best, movement is interpreted within a cultural context rather than intuited with reference to some mystical or otherwise mysterious realm. In this light it might be proposed that the significance of what is embodied is dependent on the interpretative act of ‘seeing as’.   Best's approach to expression is not without its problems. Certainly shifting attention to the criteria for interpretation of feeling rather than on the inferring of 'inner' feeling from 'outer' behaviour is logical. Yet his account of behaviour as a criterion of feeling may appear to be at odds with what dancers and choreographers say about what they do. Best allows for this by suggesting their accounts can be meaningful to them while not being philosophically accurate. Writing as a dancer, I cannot help hoping however for a theory that holds itself less at arms length from what artists say it feels like to create, rehearse and perform. Best may also be felt to neglect the importance of a range of senses in the appreciation of dance as his account of interpretation is very visually orientated and he takes pains to dismiss the significance of the kinaesthetic sense (Best, 141-152) that is important to many accounts of dance, including Langer's. An emphasis on the visual may be appropriate to much of the dance Best experienced as an audience member. Yet, as Cynthia Novack’s account of contact improvisation points out (Novack, 1990, 159-162), not all dance forms prioritise the visual. Best, in recognising that not everything can be said about a dance and that, to some extent, art is ‘an expression of unconscious feeling’ (Best, 1973, 178), does seem to admit that his account is partial and may be felt to leave his readers reflecting on those aspects of their experience of dance that are difficult to put into words.  Graham McFee, also drawing on Wittgenstein, prefers to focus on what it is to understand rather than to interpret art. McFee, drawing on Wittgenstein’s comments on understanding music, suggests that the point of explanation in relation to the experience of art is to encourage someone to ‘understand’ for themselves rather than to provide an explanation that stands in place of or interprets the work (McFee, 2001, 92-100). Thus however hard someone tries, they may not be able to help someone perceive what they do: the other person may not be able to ‘understand’ the work in the same way however well an interpretation might be explained to them. For McFee, following Wittgenstein, it follows that the ability to appreciate art is dependent on having learned how to recognise and apply artistic categories to respond to the work’s artistic qualities (McFee, 2001,100-110). In this light, to point out what is seen as embodied in a dance work can be a way of explaining an aspect of how a dance might be appreciated; whether someone else can then understand that depends on their being able to perceive what is embodied for themselves and, if they can, that it contributes to their experience of the work as art. McFee argues artistic values inform perception so that ‘learning to see the work of art in question appropriately is learning what to see as valuable in it (or how to see it as valuable)’ and hence learning to value it (McFee, 2001, 102). Appreciation on these terms is likely to be open to cultural variations and raises interesting questions about the potential for people to learn to appreciate different cultural forms. That McFee agrees with Wittgenstein, that people communicate about how they understand arts though a range of means including non verbal ones, suggests how what may be difficult to say can still be brought into the public domain.   2.5 Phenomenological Approaches to Dance With a focus on lived experience, phenomenological methodologies have attracted a number of writers on dance. A phenomenological perspective tends to highlight the limitations of analysing a performance ‘after the event’ and in particular draws attention to the difficulties of applying analytic frameworks that separate time-space-body-person to dance and performance. The principles of phenomenology were largely brought to the attention of those studying the developing discipline of dance studies by Maxine Sheets-Johnstone. In her 1966 account of phenomenological method, drawing on the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl, Sheets-Johnstone emphasised the potential for a ‘direct intuition’ of dance as a phenomenon, a phenomenon that may be felt to correspond to the ‘field of virtual powers’ that Langer (1983 [1953] 36) described. In Sheets-Johnstone’s account of phenomenology she aspires to a ‘pre-reflective’ consciousness of dance as the starting point for elucidating ‘structures apparent in the phenomenon, forms existing within the total form of life.’ For Sheets-Johnstone, this direct intuition can be ‘apart from any prejudice, expectation or reflection’ (Sheets-Johnstone, 1979 [1966], 12). In Sheets-Johnstone‘s early work ‘embodiment’ is not an apparent concept since the term had yet to become prevalent. However, in her emphasis on the ‘totality’ of the body there is plenty to suggest an approach to embodiment: Any lived experience of the body incorporates a pre-reflective awareness of its spatiality through the bodily schema…To apprehend the body is to live the body and not to reflect upon it as a given object or as the sum and sequence of kinesthetic sensations.Sheets-Johnstone, 1979 [1966], 22-23On the purely physical level, the body as symbol is logically related to the actual human body… as pure appearance, as symbol, the body in movement is not intuited within the natural dimensions of the body…the body as symbol is related to the dancer’s pre reflective awareness of her body…She cannot reflect upon her body in movement as an object and make it exist apart from the form she is creating, without immediately breaking the spatial unity and temporal continuity of the dance into discrete points and instants… If the audience reflects upon the dance as it is being presented, it destroys the illusion of force by dividing it into discrete moments and points and ascribing values which are non existent within the world of illusion.                                                                                                                  Sheets-Johnstone, 1979 [1966], 45-46 It might be surmised from the above that for Sheets-Johnstone, at this stage in the formulation of her phenomenological approach to dance, the symbolic form of the dance is embodied in the lived body of the dancer and that it can be directly intuited by both dancer and audience. However this is dependent on dancer and audience being able to be pre-reflectively aware of the dance rather than reflecting on the dance as an object. In introducing the reprint of The Phenomenology of Dance, Sheets-Johnstone herself recognised how her earlier work could all too easily be interpreted as revealing body:mind dualism (Sheets-Johnstone, 1979, xii). However, following the line of David Best’s arguments referred to above, her phenomenological approach is also problematic in that, by emphasising the direct intuition of the phenomenon of dance, the act of appreciation of a performance could be said to have been removed from the arena of meaningful public debate. Arguably this is particularly noticeable because in this account of phenomenology, the problematic nature of ‘bracketing out’ expectations or of reflecting backwards to elucidate the structures of consciousness is perhaps underplayed. In a later work, Sheets-Johnstone argues that it is not the immediate experience itself that is presumptionless but that in phenomenological method it is ‘in the reflective act that presuppositions within the actual experience come to light’. Having given oneself fully to the experience, it is in reflection that ‘bracketing’ takes place so that ‘worldly beliefs about, or natural attitudes toward the phenomenon‘, are suspended (Sheets-Johnstone, 1984, 139). Sheets-Johnstone is careful to point out the distinction between this and the removal of the aspect of intentionality from the experience. In this later account of phenomenological method she emphasises that it is the ‘essential nature’ of the ‘experience as it is lived’ that is brought to light (Sheets-Johnstone, 1984, 138-139). Referring to the work of philosopherMaurice Merleau-Ponty she reveals an ambiguous attitude to the possibility of essential knowledge that, for her, underpins the transcendental phenomenology of Husserl: Sheets-Johnstone suggests leaving the question of ‘essences’ to those undertaking philosophical inquiry into phenomenology itself (Sheets-Johnstone, 1984, 141). However, she lays out what for her seems to be the crux of the problem: Merleau-Ponty’s criticisms of Husserl are derived from the former’s concern that ‘world and humankind cannot be so separated as to yield a distinctly demarcated ground’ (Sheets-Johnstone, 1984, 140); she suggests Merleau-Ponty thus ‘questions the possibility of essential knowledge’ but Sheets-Johnstone finds that he actually offers a ‘foundational insight’ into the ambiguity that is the ‘essential character of human existence’ (Sheets-Johnstone, 1984, 140).  Strongly influenced by Merleau-Ponty and pursuing an existential phenomenological line of enquiry, Sondra Horton-Fraleigh distances herself from what she also sees as Husserl’s emphasis on the detached observer directly intuiting the form of a dance, preferring to highlight the impossibility of the observer’s separation from the world (Horton-Fraleigh, 1987, 8). In her writings there is a more straight forward account of the process of reflecting backwards than is found in the early work by Sheets-Johnstone, with a similar focus to Sheets-Johnstone’s later work on applying  the process of phenomenological reduction, or reflecting backwards, to reveal the assumptions contained in perception rather than to directly intuit a given form.  In her actual accounts of dance performances, however, it could be argued that what is the product of her individual interpretation at times seems to be presented as if it is more or less ‘pure’ description. For instance, in an account of Anna Sokolow’s Dreams (1961) there is description of a section in which a girl tentatively finds her way over the shoulders of some standing men. Dreams is a work about which it is known that the choreographer has drawn imaginatively on nightmarish incarnations of the holocaust. Knowing this we are likely to interpret the girl as an Anne Frank figure trying to escape. There are good grounds for interpreting this progression over the men’s shoulders, as Horton-Fraleigh does, as being crawling over roof-tops. However, I remember being struck, when I saw this work rehearsed and performed, by the fact that the men over whose shoulders she finds her way, have in an earlier part of the section been Gestapo like figures. As she slowly makes her way forward they maintain a very soldier like, mechanistic attitude as they peel away in twos from the back of the row to the front to enable the continuation of the image. For me this section was impressive because of the ambiguity of this image. I was at least residually aware of the men below her as captors and this added to the nightmarish quality of the dance image.  Horton-Fraleigh’s account of Dreams makes the dance live again in my imagination. I would argue that it is her imaginative response drawing on preconceptions that makes her account so alive. That her interpretation is slightly different to mine may be due to slight variations in the performances we saw, but I suspect it is also reflective of the different assumptions we both brought to our perception of the work. At the same time many of the similarities in our interpretations may well be due to the influence of what the choreographer has made known about her intentions. I am sure that Horton-Fraleigh is aware of the assumptions contained in her perception. Her account is not presented as a rigorous phenomenological description and does not preclude the validity of other interpretations. However, the reason that I have highlighted that Horton-Fraleigh’s description is not the only possible interpretation is that there seems to be an ambiguity in Horton-Fraleigh’s approach to the issue of validity that arises from her distinction between interpretation of dance and wordless communion with dance. Drawing on Merleau-Ponty’s approach to language as having a foundation in lived experience she states:Since dance passes between the dancer and the audience in an intersubjective field, it is subject to many differing and equally valid interpretations. But a dance does not necessarily call for interpretation in words; it exists as a site for a wordless (yet poetic) communion.  Horton-Fraleigh, 1987, 74This distinction between ‘interpretation’ and ‘communion’ could be viewed as informing the distinction Horton-Fraleigh makes between a sign as opposed to a symbol that stands ‘for something outside of what it is’.  Seen as a sign, the dancer does not stand for anything outside of the dance or the vital presence of her dancing. She does not arise from the reflective ‘I think’ but from the existential ‘I am’. She is embodied in her dance and signs it with her being.Horton-Fraleigh, 1987, 252 Embodiment seems here to be linked to this act of communion rather than an interpretation of symbolic actions. In her account of how we attend to the dancer as a sign, Horton-Fraleigh again hints at an act of communion rather than interpretation stating:
 We look behind the poetic image or symbol to our immediate communion with the dancer; we focus on the immanent and inmost hidden body, our expressive elusive body of dance. We pay attention to a silent mystery underlying explicit intention. Horton-Fraleigh, 1987, 252 In a later work Horton-Fraleigh puts forward a view of human actions as embodying human intentions (Horton-Fraleigh, 1999,193). This leads her to a discussion of ‘intention as embodied volition’ in which intention is seen as contained in actual movement rather than as a mental decision preceding action, and the dancer as embodying aesthetic intention: Because it (dance) has an aesthetic intent, it involves us in intentionally created movement, which is meant to be transferred from performer to audience and grasped immediately through intuition.Horton-Fraleigh, 1987, 167  Although separated by over a century of changes in culture, in this and in Horton- Fraleigh’s stress on ‘communing’ rather than interpreting it is not difficult to sense echoes of something akin to an expressionist belief in the ‘transmission of feeling’.  In relation to the problem of dualism discussed above in the context of Best’s concerns in relation to expressionism, Horton-Fraleigh, drawing again on the work of Merleau-Ponty, proposes in the place of the ‘absolute distinction of body and souls’ found in traditional dualism, a ‘bodily lived dialectic’ (Horton-Fraleigh, 1987, 4-15). In this way she suggests a means of accounting for the experience of separation of mind and body prevalent in discussions of actual dance practices while not accepting the metaphysical reality of dualism.  Horton-Fraleigh’s account of existential phenomenology offers a view of embodiment that is bound to the domain of lived experience that is pre-verbal but that is reflected upon through language. By this process of ‘reflecting backwards’ some of the assumptions contained in the perception of dance can be examined, and this allows discussion of equally valid interpretations that inform the appreciation of dance and what is embodied in a dance. However, it may also be felt that in an emphasis on wordless communion with dance there exist traces of an older aesthetic legacy informing a sense of embodiment that allows for significance that is communicated at some metaphysical level. Unless the metaphysical is accepted as given, this, in an academic context, is problematic. However, in focussing attention on the embodiment of intentionality, Horton-Fraleigh offers a description which matches many accounts of what dancers currently often say about what they do. Moreover, it will be seen in chapter four that the sense of communion she discusses is also important to artists. Thus the dancers’ experiences of embodiment and of the ‘connection’ between audience and performer will need to be investigated further. 2.6 Semiotic Approaches to Dance Semiotic analysis, or the study of symbolic systems, may be regarded as the oppositional counterpart to phenomenology. Rather than ‘in the moment’ intuiting of the phenomenon, semiotics offers the tools to analyse dance and performance ‘after the event‘, reflecting on dance works in ways that parallel studies of written texts. Developments in recording techniques, whether through video or notation, have provided those following this approach with the means to scrutinise structural relationships that are sometimes difficult to fathom in one ‘live’ experience of a dance.  Early structuralist semiotics that leaned heavily on the linguistic theories of Ferdinand de Saussure are problematic in application to dance as they are dependent on a clear, distinct relationship between signifier and signified. Except in more mimetic dance, establishing what is signified is difficult and perhaps reveals that Saussure’s linguistics offers too narrow a model of communication into which to force dance. At a more general level, semiotics suggests that significance is a result of differences between signs and that signs are understood within the framework of their cultural context rather than being naturally invested with meaning.  One of the clearest accounts of a structuralist approach to dance emanates from an anthropological approach to dance rather than critical analysis of theatre dance. Drid Williams’ ‘semasiologyoffers an adaptation of structuralist analysis applied to dance. Coming from a background in dance and anthropology she is concerned with developing a means of universal analysis for dances from different cultures. At the outset she distances herself from structuralist semiotics in its purest form when she points out the ‘false dichotimization’ of system and utterance, la langue / la parole. Similarly she is resistant to signifiant (concept) and signifier (action or sound image) being treated ‘as if they were mutually exclusive’ (Williams, 1995, 45). In her account of semasiology however,Williams adopts much of the language of semiotics: human movements can be analysed as ‘action signs’, the human body itself is a ‘signifier’.  Williams identifies ‘structural universals’ which set the parameters for all human movement defining ‘the limitations and constraints under which they operate in a locally Euclidean space’ (Williams, 1995, 48). These consist of a ‘structure of interacting dualisms’ such as up:down, right:left, forwards:backwards; inside:outside which are seen as informing human value systems, spatial orientation being core to intersubjective understanding. Williams presents the idea that a difference between two societies in the hierarchical relationship between one set of interacting dualisms is enough to lead to differences in all their conceptions (Williams, 1995, 51). Thus in her structuralist approach to movement it can be envisaged how value systems might be viewed as embodied in a culture’s dance. Although context bound, in theory at least, they could be perceived accurately by those with an understanding of the relevant cultural conventions. It would be likely that some might be so deeply embedded in a movement culture that they might well be perceived within that culture as universal or even not be noticed at a conscious level as carrying significance. Such an approach would thus support a view that it is possible to perceive values embodied in dance that the dancers are not consciously aware of themselves.  Drawing on approaches closely associated with literary theory, Susan Leigh Foster, utilises both structuralist and poststructuralist theories to formulate an understanding of the body’s movement in dance as an ‘act of writing’ (Foster,1986, 237). In Reading Dancing: Bodies and Subjects in Contemporary American Dance, Foster (1986) draws on theories that update the Saussurian relationship between signifier and signified to explore ways in which dance meanings are created. In particular Foster adapts the structural linguistics of Roman Jakobson. Jakobson analysed the act of communication in terms of the structural relationships between the person sending the message, (addresser), the person receiving it (addressee) the context that is referred to (referent) the (common) code which is used and the physical/psychological connection (contact) between addresser and addressee that facilitates the act of communication. For Jakobson a shift in emphasis in relation to each factor accounts for the different functions of communication. Hence the ‘emotive’ is related to the concerns of the ‘addresser’ to express their attitude to what they are saying, the ‘conative’, is intended to be as precise as possible and orientated to the ‘addressee’, the ‘referential’ is focussed on the context, the ‘phatic’ function, is intended to maintain the channel of communication, and the ‘poetic’ throws attention on the message itself (Jakobson, 1997 [1960] 33-37). Foster however, develops an interpretative framework for contemporary dance that puts the emphasis on the role of the reader, or viewer, in producing the text. The skilled reader is guided by established codes and conventions that provide the context for the choreographic and performance acts that create the dance. For Foster, an understanding of the different ways in which dance can be meaningful is linked to choreographic conventions that are, in part, historical. Recognising that she is broadening Jakobson’s theories, Foster maintains that the context of choreographic codes and conventions is itself embedded in a broader social and historical context that informs readings of a dance. Due to her emphasis on the interpretative role of the reader and the interplay of codes and conventions, Foster’s approach to reading dance may be regarded as poststructuralist. However, one way to look at the distinction between structuralist and poststructuralist is that the structuralist approach to dance tends towards a sense that the meaning of movement is potentially knowable if it is understood with reference to its context. Whereas poststructuralist approaches to dance allow for, even celebrate, the capacity for works of art to generate multiple meanings. A tendency by Foster to define and categorise just which codes and conventions the reader should bring into play in relation to a specific genre results in readings being more fixed than is usually the case with poststructuralist approaches and this would include any interpretation of what is embodied in the dance.  Henrietta Bannerman (1998) also draws on a combination of structuralist and poststructuralist semiotics to discuss the work of Martha Graham. Her analysis, developing upon terminology from Saussure and the semiotics of Charles Peirce and Roland Barthes, allows for movement to carry levels of signification which relate to culturally understood codes. With reference to Graham’s work at the level of denotation, dance movements may be read in relation to clearly defined codes such as the narrative elements and a successful performance of a role might be said to embody the character’s plight. However, Bannerman allows for variations at the level of connotation, recognising in particular how over time the Graham vocabulary itself gained different connotations (Bannerman, 1998, 138). She thus may be seen as accounting within semiotics for differences in what could be understood as embodied in Graham’s dances.  Janet Adshead (1999) applies the poststructuralist concept of ‘intertextuality’ to interpreting dance. As a concept 'intertextuality' was developed by Julia Kristeva who, as a doctoral student, worked closely with Roland Barthes. The latter's proclamation of the 'death of the author' in 1968, together with Jacques Derrida's initial critique of the structuralist project in 1966, may be thought of as heralding the poststructuralist concern with deconstructing and destabilising the fixed hierarchical relationships of 'binary opposites' which are viewed as underpinning structuralist approaches to significance. For Barthes, writing in 1971, 'Text is plural'. This he asserts is not the same as saying its meanings are several:  The plural of the Text depends, that is, not on the ambiguity of its contents but on what might be called the stereographic plurality of its weave of signifiers… [This textual 'tissue' is]  …woven entirely with citations, references, echoes, cultural languages…antecedent or contemporary, which cut across it through and through in a vast stereophony.   Barthes, 1977[1971] 159 -160 For Barthes, as with Kristeva, the point is not to search for origins or sources to support interpretation but to recognise the place of the 'Text' within the 'intertextual in which every text is held, it itself being the text-between of another text'… (Barthes, 1977 [1971], 162).  Adshead views the dance as a ‘text’ that allows the reader, or in relation to dance, spectator, to be actively involved in the construction of the text. The text is seen as ‘a series of traces, which endlessly multiply and for which there can be no consensus of interpretation’ (Adshead, 1999, 8). Descriptions of a dance, for example, become texts in themselves and may become traces orintertexts’ that in the reading of the dance as text are sources for the imaginative play which is the ‘reading’ of the text: In this arena the reader’s activity becomes one of unravelling threads, rather than deciphering fixed meanings, choosing which colour in the tapestry to follow, where and when to start, change direction and conclude. Adshead, 1999, 8In contrast to Barthes, Adshead's focus on interpretation leads to a debate about the extent to which a text defines plausible interpretations. For instance alongside some approaches which seem to allow for the open ended play suggested above she quotes Eco’s assertion that ‘you cannot use the text as you want but only as the text wants you to use it’ (Eco, 1979 cited in Adshead, 1999, 4). Eco, writing about the same essay (‘The Role of the Reader’, 1979) states that he 'stressed the difference between interpreting and using a text' (Eco, 1992, 68). Further in this same discussion he clarifies the difference between reading a text within the 'lexical system' of the time and using it to show how it can be read in relation to different cultural frameworks. This distinction between interpreting and using texts also relates to his criticism of deconstructionist strategies that do not make sense in relation to the text as a whole (Eco, 1992a, 65). By drawing on Eco, Adshead seems to be suggesting a similar position to Jordan and Thomas by which intertextual references are used to explore the richness of significance offered by a text but do not extend to an opening out of an endless chain of signifiers.  In relation to ‘embodiment’ Adshead's version of ‘intertextuality’ can be seen to account for the ‘embodiment of ideas outside the dance’ (Adshead,1999, 5). Interestingly, Kristeva's use of psychoanalytic theory to bring the unconscious and pre-verbal experience into the realms of intertextuality is not brought into Adshead's account. Rather, to support this view of embodiment Adshead draws our attention to two of her post graduate students’ analyses that are included as chapters in the book. For example, dance scholar, Sherryl Dodds approaches the work of the British female choreographer, Lea Anderson. In Dodds’ account attitudes and understanding of sub culture, fashion and images from popular media all impinge on the ‘reading’ of Anderson’s works. Dodds draws attention to how the dancers take on different ‘looks’ within a single work such as Cross Channel (1992). For her ‘a series of interchangeable, mass produced images that are placed on the dancers for no apparent reason…‘ (Dodds, 1999, 219) is related to Fedric Jameson’s notion of ‘the death of the subject’. This text brings into play a critique of late capitalism and the role of the artist and the idea of the myth of the individual bourgeois subject. This ‘death of the subject’ is, for Dodds, also revealed in Anderson’s use of unison and specifically in the manner in which every-day, quite personal gestures are repeated by more than one dancer.  In this way one can see how the dance can be seen to embody a particular point of view. Then, in keeping with Adshead's intertextual approach, Dodds reveals an alternative reading of Anderson’s work which, by emphasising the different bodies of the dancers, reflects their individuality. For Dodds this individualism is ‘superficial’ but it allows for a tension between interpretations within the intertextual reading. The implication here for ‘embodiment’ is that what is perceived to be embodied is dependent on one of many ‘intertexts’ that can be drawn on to support a reading of a dance. Without more sense of how the act of dancing is implicated in a tissue of textuality, what is embodied thus seems curiously reliant on rather disembodied choices of textual references.  Poststructuralist approaches to dance have not been without their critics. Roger Copeland, for instance highlighted what for him were the dangers of some poststructuralist approaches to dance. In particular, partly reacting against what he reveals as a tendency of ‘politically correct’ American art institutions to criticise aspects of works that are out of keeping with feminist and anti elitist agendas, he has warned against the tendency to make ‘considerations of content primary’:  Indeed, to reduce works of arts to their content (political or otherwise) is to lose sight of what makes them works of arts, rather than some other form of expression. Copeland, 1990, 7 He is particularly concerned by Ann Daly's (2002) [1987] account of Balanchine’s ballet The Four Temperaments (1946). By foregrounding the style of partnering, which is perceived in relation to a feminist political stance, she interprets the manner in which the woman’s body is manipulated in a particular pas de deux as violent and sadomasochistic. Copeland offers an alternative reading of this work. He suggests the opening theme which introduces the classical vocabulary leads the spectator to view the ‘very process by which the classical ballet vocabulary transforms flesh and blood human beings into abstractions’ (Copeland, 1990, 36).   In another discussion of Ann Daly’s (1987) article, dance academic Stephanie Jordan and the dance sociologist Helen Thomas draw on the work of Roman Jakobson to highlight the different ways in which dance communicates. They suggest that Ann Daly’s semiotic analysis of The Four Temperaments is limited by being largely denotative, whereas recognising the poetic function of communication would make for a richer interpretation (Jordan and Thomas, 1998, 244). Ignoring for a moment Copeland’s own assertion of formalism we might view both his and Ann Daly’s ‘readings’ from the view point of intertextuality as revealing a tendency to focus on particular aspects of the work rather than fully appreciating the different and sometimes conflicting texts that this ballet can bring into play within the complexities of the choreography. Like Adshead, Jordan and Thomas celebrate the potential for the notion of intertextuality to give rise to multiple readings but pull back from a situation in which ‘any account will do’. Jordan and Thomas in proposing the importance of the interplay between both structuralist and poststructuralist analysis may be read as suggesting that it is the structural relationships perceived in the dance that provide the framework for a poetic interpretation that may draw on other texts, contexts and associations to enrich appreciation of a dance. As in Foster’s approach, the relative value of different interpretations seems to be linked to their being informed by appropriate codes and conventions.  Not all poststructuralist theorists would be happy with this solution. The question to be resolved becomes which texts are focussed on and why? And, if what is perceived to be embodied in the dance is one ‘text’ alongside (or even dependent upon) others, is it simply a matter of preference how much consideration is given to such ‘texts’? In relation to appreciation, the notions of reading dance and tracing texts and intertexts provide the tools to analyse what informs understanding and perception, in the sense that perception is itself an interpretative act. However, as Bonnie Rowell points out, intertextuality poses questions in relation to the value and validity of interpretations. Either the question of their validity becomes irrelevant or prioritising certain interpretations fixes the significance of the text, rather defeating the concept of intertextuality (Rowell, 2003, 236). Further, the problem for dance is that it can at times seem as if what is less easily accounted for in words is lost in a translation of dance into text. In celebrating the reading of dance as text, both Foster and Adshead reveal the extent to which dance discourse has become concerned with interpreting, rather than understanding dance. In a cultural climate in which postmodern accounts often (at least at a surface level) seem to consign the aesthetic experience to history [vii] , questions of judgement and value of dance as art may all too easily become linked to the concepts drawn on in analysis to interpret a dance. Adsheadrecognises the validity of concerns that over reliance on other disciplines can draw the focus away from dance itself, but points to the parallels between common debates in relation to interpreting dance and the concerns of structuralism, poststructuralism and semiotics. However, writing at the very end of the twentieth century she is confident that the trend of poststructuralist thinking generally, and the notion of intertextuality specifically, towards multiple interpretations is unlikely to be challenged (Adshead, 1999, 3-4).   2.7 The Concept of ‘Embodiment’ within an Ecological Theory of ArtWhilst in the context of intertextuality what is read as being embodied in a dance may be thought of as one text amongst many, in an ecological theory of art developed by Paul Crowther, human embodiment is central to the appreciation of all art, not only performance. Drawing on his readings of the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty together with an understanding of aesthetic traditions reaching back to Kant, Crowther develops an aesthetic theory that foregrounds human embodiment in the context of continual reciprocal interactions:  The artwork as symbolically sensuous manifold is able to express the decisive relation between subject and world (ontological reciprocity, as I have termed it) at a level which does not obliterate the concreteness of the relation…The artwork, in other words, reflects our mode of embodied inherence in the world, and by clarifying this inherence it brings about a harmony between subject and object of expression- a full realization of the self.Crowther, 1993, 7 On Crowther’s terms the originality of a work of art is ‘internally related to the existence of its specific creator or creative ensemble’ (Paul Crowther, 1993, 187). The artist being caught up in a web of reciprocal relationships ensures that the work embodies more than the purely individual being of the artist. In this context, to appreciate art is itself an embodied act responding to what is understood as embodied in the art object through direct acquaintance with it.  Crowther does not relate his theory to dance but his work has been developed upon in relation to this area by Bonnie Rowell. In particular she reflects on the question of the subject:object relationship that in dance is complicated by the subjectivity of the performer:
 When it comes to the special case of dance works, we are dealing with the notion of ideas being embodied within the artwork, but we are dealing with the added complexity ­ superficially at least ­ of the human physicality of the medium itself, the fact that what embodies the ideas are themselves intentional human beings. Rowell, 2003, 213 To develop her account Rowell makes comparisons with Sondra Horton-Fraleigh’s analysis of the relationship between audience and dancer. Rowell agrees that in a successful presentation of dance as art the dancer achieves a delicate balance between the subject of the dancer and the object of the dance. However Rowell disagrees with Horton-Fraleigh that the audience respond empathetically to the dancer as subject. This returns us to the earlier discussion of Horton-Fraleigh’s account of the potential for communing with, as opposed to interpreting, dance. This sense of communing with dance (or dancer) is problematic, not least in that it takes the experience of a dance out of any publicly sharable domain. However, discussions with dance artists lead me to think that this notion reflects an important aspect of many experiences of engagement with dance: For me, performers imbue the movement with some kind of meaning; that they bring something of themselves into the performance and they are the kind of performers that I like to watch. Artist A, 2002 It may help here to explore what is meant by the ‘ideas’ embodied in dance. In the fuller context of her discussion of Crowther it is clear the ‘ideas’ Rowell refers to are complexes informed by Crowther’s account of ontological reciprocity. Thus in her account of Mark Morris’ ‘Waltz of the Snow Flakes’ from The Hard Nut (1991) a nexus of sensory experience and personal and cultural references lead to an understanding of ideas embodied in the dance.  Turning to Crowther himself, in relation to his discussion of ‘aesthetic ideas’ his discussion of Kant develops upon Kant’s presentation of the aesthetic idea: The artist’s imaginative presentation of the concept enables us to relate it to the totality of our being - to the values, aspirations, and possibilities of our own life, and that of humanity in general. This is no mere formal harmony of imagination and understanding, rather the imaginative manifold and its mediating concept open out, and, as it were, reopen our understanding of numerous related possibilities of experience and self knowledge. This is why Kant talks of the aesthetic idea being ‘aesthetically an unbounded expansion’ to the concept of its subject matter. Crowther, 1993, 82
 While the examples Crowther discusses are from literature and painting, Rowell’s example of the Mark Morris  ‘Waltz of the Snow Flakes’ demonstrates the potential for dance to embody an ‘unbounded expansion’ of ideas playing on balletic and cultural conventions.  It may be possible that imaginative engagement with the dancer can contribute to the appreciation of aesthetic ideas. For instance, occasionally in watching a Romantic ballet it may be felt that a dancer is drawing on his/her own experiences of love and loss to reveal a depth of interpretation that seems more profound than other dancers offering up standard issue, white ballet tragic flutterings. If this sense becomes part of that play of imagination and understanding that, in Kantian terms is aesthetic, it may add to appreciation of the work. If however the audience become focussed on what this tells them about the real life situation of the performer, trying to fix their perception to a concept of them as a person outside the performance, then they have strayed from enjoying the dance itself. The important issue for dance is that through imaginative engagement with the dance the audience may feel that they know what it is like to embody a different way of being in the world. Particularly in dance works which centre the focus of the work onto a few soloists this may include a sense of imaginative empathy with one or more dancers. If this experience contributes to aesthetic appreciation this is not a means to conceptualising aspects of their personality and culture outside of the dance, but part of that unbounded play of cognitive faculties that, in the tradition of western aesthetics, is an important part of immersion in the world of the work. Embodiment on Crowther’s terms allows for ideas to be embodied in the work by recognising the reciprocal relationship between subject and object. The audience come into their own reciprocal relationship with the work in order to understand and thus appreciate it. This is further complicated in dance by the role of the dancers whose own sense of selves interacting with whatever has been demanded of them in rehearsal and performance may also be understood as embodied in the dance. For this research this aspect is simplified by drawing on the experience of those who dance their own choreography. Their accounts will inform further discussion of what is understood as embodied in dance in chapters four and seven.    2.8 Cross Disciplinary Issues  In the next chapter I will draw on the disciplines of anthropology and sociology to look at some of the issues raised above. At this point however it is important to note a certain artifice in the above attempt to clarify the ‘embodiment’ and ‘appreciation’ in relation to different approaches to dance. For the purpose of making clear distinctions I have focussed on key basic principles that distinguish the different approaches. When the texts I have drawn on are taken in their entirety these distinctions become far less clear. I have touched on how expressionist and formalist aesthetics still colour contemporary approaches to the interpretation of dance, but it is not only past aesthetic traditions that seep into more contemporary accounts.    For instance, although coming from very different perspectives, we may find echoes of Horton-Fraleigh’s phenomenologically based discussion of ‘intention as embodied volition’ in Williamsstructuralist account of the ‘signifying body’: We have to conceive of human act/actions as embodied intentions and that we have to be able to see a lived space as an intentionally achieved structuring, something that has been willed or is now willed by someone or by some group of persons. Williams, 1995, 52 Whilst the sense of dance as writing is most closely associated with semiotic approaches to dance, it is Horton-Fraleigh in her account of how the body becomes sign who draws our attention to how the body ‘bears the tensions and scheme of the world’ so that ‘the world is thus inscribed in our dancing’ (Horton-Fraleigh, 1987, 252).  Predating phenomenological accounts of dance can be found statements that prioritise the here-and-now experience of dance from choreographers more commonly associated with the debate between form and expression: ‘...art is not to be understood as we use the term but experienced( Graham, 1941, 36). More recently, Valerie Preston-Dunlop, in developing the ‘choreological’ approach to dance, has emphasised a way of looking at dance from the different viewpoints of makers, dancers and viewers, drawing on a combination of semiotic and phenomenological theories in tandem with her development of Laban’s movement analysis to offer rich insights into how dances are experienced (Preston-Dunlop, 1998). These areas where the boundaries between disciplines break down make it hard to untangle different approaches to embodiment and appreciation. Similarities may well be the result of the process of adapting analytic frameworks to dance in a cultural climate in which everyday consciousness is suffused with a kaleidoscopic array of discourses emanating from an array of theories. However they may also reveal some of the more constant features of dance experience within the context of the contemporary western theatre.   The potential for the exploration of the overlap between different disciplines may be fruitful in terms of understanding the dynamics of reciprocity between subject:object in terms of dance. During their development dance artists, particularly those who dance their own choreography, learn to equate their ‘in the moment experience’ of dance to their own and others’ reflections on that experience. This, in part, can be accounted for by the dancer relating their proprioceptive experience of dance to the visual images they see themselves create (via the mirror or video), and the feedback they receive from teachers, peers and audience. But from my own experiences as a dancer, choreographer and teacher I suspect the relationship between the dancer’s and the audience’s awareness of the dance is more complex. My experience suggests to me that skilled dancers may be able to be aware of  themselves as communicating by means of image or symbolic form while being ‘present’ in the moment of the dance. Perhaps it is the process of dance ‘training’ (in western culture) that means that dancers develop an understanding of the interplay between pre-reflective awareness and reflection of the self as a symbolic object. With practice is the dancer able to bring their imagined view of themselves into play with their in-the-moment experience of their dance, and also with their experience of the audience’s response to their dancing? If this were the case such action within the context of (western) theatre dance might be seen as articulating something of the phenomenological experience of the legacy of dualism. 2.9 Embodiment, Appreciation and LanguageTo ask what is meant by saying something is embodied in a dance brings to the surface ontological questions about conceptions of self, world, the other people in it, and the relationships between them. The nature of these relationships is often viewed as diametrically opposed: in simple terms either what is embodied in a dance is understood as being dependent on the accurate perception of elements existing in the object of the dance or as being dependent on subjective interpretation. Crowther’s account of art in the terms of ontological reciprocity offers an approach to embodiment that allows for what is understood as embodied in the work to be dependent on the reciprocity of the subject:object relationship. Understanding the actions of others by reference to an evolving consciousness the self, through immersion in a communicative ecology, is caught in a nexus of reciprocal interactions through which what is created, including dance, can be understood. While it is important to be aware that the term ‘embodiment’ can be used to gloss over issues of body:mind dualism, understanding of ‘embodiment’, in the context of ‘ontological reciprocity’, is a useful means for trying to think a way out of the confines of the underlying dualisms that underpin the shared communicative frameworks into which western society may be felt to be immersed. In terms of art, Crowther returns to elements of Kant’s aesthetics in which while the understanding contributes to aesthetic appreciation, it is brought into play with the imagination (Kant, 1987 [1790] 63 [219]).The aesthetic ideas embodied in art may thus be thought of as related to but not bound by concepts. What is experienced in response to a work of art is the result of direct engagement with the work rather than the result of translation of the work. Language may be used to reflect on the response to a work, bringing the experience of the work into the arena of public debate. However, as McFee discusses, there are other means by which what is understood in a work of art may be communicated. There is, also the possibility that structured movement memories are drawn on, in a similar way to verbal concepts, to create and understand dance ideas that are difficult to verbalise. Relying on such understanding in the appreciation of dance would bring proprioceptive perception or the kinaesthetic sense into the realms of aesthetics. As David Best’s dismissal of the kinaesthetic demonstrates, this can be controversial. However, recent work in the field of philosophical aesthetics (Montero, 2006) suggests that proprioception may be regarded as an aesthetic sense informing aesthetic judgements about movement. That what might be called movement concepts may be difficult to talk about is not an argument leading to the conclusion that the significance of dance is shrouded in mystery, rather that just what is experienced as embodied in the dances we appreciate could be reflected on more deeply [viii] . By considering the day to day experience of movement interactions alongside more linguistically available references it may be possible to recognise more of what informs the perception, and thus the appreciation, of dance. To these ends the next chapter will consider embodiment from the perspectives of the disciplines of anthropology and sociology.

 


 

Notes to Chapter Two

[i] At an Arts Council Presentation (Dance Open Meeting, Sadlers Wells, 26 April, 2004) of their ‘Grants for All’ funding programme to individual artists and small scale companies, what was notable was that while artists not working with traditional (western) aesthetic values still felt marginalised, those artists whose work fell within those traditions but was not firmly established, felt threatened by what was perceived as a social agenda.
[ii] In the use of the term ‘transfigurationalMcFee’s own footnote refers to Arthur C. Danto’s 1981 text The Transfigurational of the Commonplace, Cambridge, Mass.:Harvard University Press.
[iii] It is interesting in this respect that Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological account of art in ‘Eye and Mind’ [1961] was included in Harold Osborne’s 1970 compilation of texts on aesthetics.
[iv] This text was published under the name of Janet Adshead-Lansdale. In earlier texts the same author is identified as Janet Adshead and in later ones as Janet Lansdale. For simplicity her early name is referred to throughout this text while in the bibliography works are listed as published. 
[v] According to Franko (1995), that the expressionism of the Modern Dance of the 1930’s has been over emphasised can also, in part, be attributed to the political context.
[vi] This concept is discussed by Wittgenstein in Philosophical Investigations (part II xi pp165-194).He exemplifies the difference between the continuous seeing of an aspect and the ‘dawning of an aspect’ using the ambiguous duck/rabbit figure. The image does not change but what is seen ­ duck or rabbit ­ does, and this is related to discussion of the recognition of ‘seeing as’ in which it is understood that ‘seeing as’ consists of more than receiving sense data.
[vii] Shusterman (1997,9) surveys some of the theoretical approaches underlying 'The End of the Aesthetic Experience' linking this to problems faced in contemporary art which 'having
completed its philosophical transformation and lost the financial prop of
eighties' speculation, now finds it has lost an experiential point and a public to fall back on’.
[viii] Shusterman (1999, 302) posits a whole new subfield of aesthetics, ‘somaesthetics’, for the purpose of developing the body as ‘a locus of sensory-aesthetic appreciation’