D.A. (Dance) Kirsi Heimonen is an artist-researcher acting as a visiting researcher at the Performing Arts Research Centre of the Theatre Academy, University of the Arts in Helsinki, Finland. She belongs to a multidisciplinary research project Engraved in the Body. Finnish people’s memories from mental hospital (funded by Kone foundation) in which she focuses on the corporeality of the patients and atmospheres within those institutions. She belongs also to a collaborative research on the notion of silence as a member of the Silence Ensemble that is supported by the Centre for Artistic Research (CfAR), University of the Arts in Helsinki, Finland. She is a certified teacher of the Skinner Releasing Technique, and this somatic practice has a great influence on her artistic research.
Kirsi Heimonen & Leena Rouhiainen Notes on and Examples of Embodiment in Artistic Research of Dance and Performance
The essay discusses the problem of embodiment in artistic research dealing with dance and performance and offers some conceptual and methodological insights that can be of help in crafting new doctoral research in the area. It introduces previous notions related to embodiment within dance studies, especially phenomenological dance research, and offers some topical views from body studies. All of them bear significance to the cases of artistic doctoral research that are likewise discussed. Through the mentioned research examples, the essay aims to highlight how artistic research, performance practice, and conceptions of embodiment can inform each other. The specific interest is in how their intertwinement fosters understanding, as well as ways of working with and exposing dance and performance. The overall aim of the essay is to offer readers insights that serve designing and conducting artistic research whose focal concern is related to the performing body, mainly from the perspective of dance and choreography.