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Dance-making: moment-to-moment collaboration in contemporary dance practices
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 14:54 authored by Emily Gilfillan
Collaboration is inherent in group creative process. Given this inherent collaboration, an examination of the interactions between dance-makers, dancers, other creatives, and context, in this thesis will put forward a new theory: the notion of moment-to-moment collaboration. Located at the intersection between psychological and organisational behaviour research into group creativity, and dance studies, this thesis will reveal the collaborative events in-process that result in dance works. This is achieved through a grounded, and discourse, analysis of two case studies involving professional dance-making groups practicing in Australia’s independent dance sector. In Part 1, focus is given to the exchanges in power that enable the development of, and performance of, a dance work. Active power is exchanged between members of a dance-making group, enabling the development and/or performance of a dance work in-process. As a result of this focus on the exchanges in power that occur, the notions of serendipitous and erroneous entailments (creative developments), conflict, play, and negotiation are examined to reveal the nuances of moment-to-moment collaboration. Alongside this examination of exchanges in power, the overarching group and process structures, and the professional dance-making contexts in which each case study process occurs, are explored in Part 2. As professional processes are working towards a public performance/installation dance work, and participants are presumed to embody codifications concerning professional behaviour that are entrained through past practice, it is critical to examine dance-making in context. The motivations to develop professional dance works, and have a career in a particular dance sector(s), inform behaviours in dance-making, and subsequently why and how power is exchanged to ensure the development of dance works. The notion of moment-to-moment collaboration discussed in Part 1 is extended here in the light of context in order to reveal how expectations for process and group structure, professionalism and sector conditions inform moment-to-moment collaborations.