Tuesday, 10 October 2017

October 9th 2017

Been pondering about positivist and non-positivist stand-points. I think deep down in me, I do subscribe to the non-positivist view. I like being inquisitive and I love talking about different issues and see where the discussions can lead us. I like hearing what others have to say on a certain subject. Coming from the viewpoint of pragmatism that is programme is framed sits well with me - I like looking at different options and seeing different viewpoints.
However, what is different to get around my head is while there are different options and viewpoints and each has its worth, but the notion of not necessarily arriving at any conclusion, concrete or not, and being secure that it is also ok to end with a question, can at times leave me unfulfilled and even a little frustrated. Even the notion of researching and not finding an answer can leave me wanting to go on - even if it's to find something concrete. I suppose that is one of the points of researching - to keep looking, keep asking, keep being curious. The difference with me is I do want to find that answer eventually (and part of me believes there is an answer to be found).
Coming from a classical dance background, where there is a goal and one works (or do the exercises) to achieve that goal, it is hard to not work to expect an end result - to know what the end result is and work towards achieving it. Does that make dance training positivist? Specifically in the training of classical ballet where there is a 'right' and 'wrong' (to a certain extent), and we work towards that 'certainty' or end result - is that being positivist?
However, research has shown (and in the practice of 'best practices'), that although there might be an 'end result' that we might strive for, there are many different ways of arriving and getting to that 'result'. I think past experiences ( both physically and in life) can contribute to how our physical body responds to corrections or specific ways of executing movement. If our physical self has 'embodied' our past experiences, and experience is knowledge, then each individual will have its own way of moving or executing movement. So while the 'movement' might be the same (as required in a choreography), there will be different ways to arrive at getting that particular 'movement' or indeed, a  different way of interpreting that movement - due to our past experiences and embodied knowledge. I believe that is quite common in the realm of contemporary dance but how can we reconcile that in the realm of classical dance, where so often dancers have to move together as one entity or the very point/reason of a certain sequence is in the beauty of a group of dancers dancing as one? Can each dancer still be autonomous within a group? Or is that now old fashoined and dancing together or moving as group has no place anymore in contemporary choreography (even if it's 'contemporary' ballet choreography)?
So - within the backdrop of dance pedagogy, can the training of dancers (both classical and contemporary) be both positivist and non-positivist? Can we encourage dancers (and dance students) to be autonomous while at the same time work within the framework of 'pragmatism'? For surely, we want dancers (and to train dance students) to be curious and make choices, to be individual, finding and making his or hers own mark and thus hopefully making his or hers own contribution to the wider world.

Would love to hear any thoughts on this....

Friday, 29 September 2017

Have also made a discovery that I have been approaching this from a positivist point of view. I was starting my inquiry process with the assumption that there is something fixed out there to be found. To some extent, I have been researching to 'substantiate' rather than researching with an open mind and trusting and seeing where my inquiry will lead me to....

Monday, 25 September 2017

Hi everyone! Hope everyone had a good summer!

As I finished my 1st module in June, I had sometime to reflect over my feedback from the assessed work and also did some general reflection over the summer on my experience on this programme and my first experience in the field of academia.

Two main things I've learnt during my time dojng module 1. Firstly, the importance of looking broadly and what seems like the outside. Not be afraid to talk about a wide range of subjects. The importance of communicating with others on a specific subject but in a boarder sense. Then, putting my thoughts down in a journal or even on a piece of paper. And from talking and reading from the broader perspective, I found links to my key interest and areas of my research. I was fortunate to have met some interesting people and I found that even when we were discussing on subjects that had no relation to my areas of research, somehow I found links that sparked ideas that could relate to what I was researching or thinking about at that time. One good example was while talking with a couple of old school friends who are currently Lecturers in Law in the University of Hong Kong and who have nothing to do with the field of dance, has led me to finding the title of a piece that I was creating! So lesson learnt here is talk, discuss, read - with whoever and on whatever subject might be at that time. Important thing is to be open, receptive and keeping the channels open.

Whilst trying to look at things in a broader sense, what I've discovered (especially from the feedback) is that I need to be able to narrow down my ideas and be more specific. So looking and researching from a broader perspective so that I have the information to be specific and precise in my research. I guess that's what my supervisors have been saying all this time. Hard thing for me is that I do have so many other interests and want always to be open minded in a broad range of subjects. So - thing for me in module 2 and onwards, be specific!!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Hi everyone! This is my first blog and am also extremely excited to be part of the MAPP DTP!! So, do excuse if this is coming across rather simple and not very deep!!

Reading through the Introduction Handbook - I came across (at the very beginning of the book) - that on this course, we are coming from the starting point of embodiment. I absolutely loved that - as dancers/dance artists or anyone in the field where movement is paramount, I think this is so appropriate. I do believe that so much of our knowledge is gained through bodily experience. Our body is certainly capable of 'knowing' and that knowing certainly happens through experiencing.

I attended a seminar by Susan Klein (of Klein Technique - The Klein School of Movement and Dance) some years ago and she talked about 'body intelligence'. There is the 'intelligence' of the mind and the 'intelligence' of the body. The body does 'know' and can gain 'knowledge'.  The dancer/dance artist that possesses both the intelligence of the mind and body would be the ultimate dance artist extraordinaire.

Don't know what the rest of the community thinks and I hope I am not going off tangent here!!