Not unexpectedly, questions of embodiment and connections with the mind and the brain constitute the most extensive section of the Proceedings; many incorporating simultaneously the other Proceedings themes in their discussions. Investigations into embodied cognition and practices from visual artists’ perspectives invite comparisons with dancerly explorations of connecting mind and body, further embedding transdisciplinary concepts. Notions of identity, becoming, stillness, sensory awareness, liminality, embodied knowing, kinaesthetic empathy, somatic and therapeutic practices all find a place in this section, opening up our understandings of mind/body connections in relation to creative arts practices and allowing us to gain insights into related and contrasting mind/body pathways.
How the mind/body works in pedagogy and theory is also explored in this section, which has parallels with papers in re-thinking the way we teach/make dance in terms of espousing knowing-in-action, reflective processes and accepting the holistic premise that dance ‘literacy’ encompasses dancing, teaching and scholarship, from a child’s earliest dance experiences through to adulthood and beyond. We welcome two papers which deal with clinical health and that assist our understanding of sources of physical problems leading to dance injuries as well as how arts-based practices can inform and be informed by therapeutic practices.
Within this section is a grouped set of seven papers under the sub-title of ‘Dance and Cognition’, led by Catherine Stevens. These papers form an ongoing investigation as part of an Australian Research Council grant into the latest research in this area. Revealing how dance and science can inform each other, these papers provide perspectives on the Global Summit themes from the viewpoints of dance, humanities, psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive science.
This section explores neuroaesthetics, how software can effectively contribute to dancers’ creative decisions, how the brain engages in watching and evaluating dance and what that tells us about novice and expert observers’ experiences. These scientific approaches dialogue with case studies of somatic approaches in developing an effective youth dance project experience and the mind/bodily engagement through improvisation to create meaning in dance.