An exploration of the centrality of the body in notions of wellbeing through therapeutic and choreographic perspectives

Sophia Lycouris, Vicky Karkou

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


We (Vicky Karkou, dance movement psychotherapy specialist, and Sophia Lycouris, choreographer) are currently exploring relationships between artistic and therapeutic aspects of dance to reach a deeper understanding of the notion of wellbeing with the support of a novel interdisciplinary framework. This is a long-term dialogue, sustained through a series of self-contained projects, in which we consider dance and its impact on well-being through multiple lenses. We work on the basis that such impact occurs as an interplay between physical, psychological and social factors. This approach reinforces the central place of the body in any developments relating to intellectual, professional and experimental contexts of future research in the area of wellbeing.

In this presentation we wish to present examples of artistic and therapeutic work in movement and dance, accompanied by a twin analytic consideration, informed by our two different interdisciplinary backgrounds (therapeutic and choreographic). In other words we would like to share with an interested audience our experiments on applying therapeutic lenses in order to reach an alternative understanding of (appropriate) choreographic work, and vice versa, what happens if we apply choreographic lenses in order to reach a different understanding of (appropriate) therapeutic work.

In the space of 60 minutes, we will introduce video documentation of the examples in discussion (these could include a) excerpts of work by choreographers such as Pina Bausch and Rosemary Lee, who have both explored how the body expresses feelings and emotions, as well as documentaries in which the working methods of these choreographers with their dancers and/or their consideration of audiences is addressed, and b) short pieces of movement work developed by student dance movement psychotherapist in response to dance movement psychotherapy (i.e. clinical) work). We will then elaborate on what happens if we start using our different approaches (therapeutic and choreographic) in parallel for the purposes of understanding better each one of these examples. We will then proceed with opening up a discussion with the audience about the validity and benefit of these parallel analytic considerations. We would like to conclude this session with a mini-plenary in which our views with those of the audience will be brought together to demonstrate the benefits of interdisciplinary research towards a better understanding of how dance impacts on wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 8 Sep 2011
EventKnowing Ways: Critical Learning in Arts Practice - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Sep 201110 Sep 2011


ConferenceKnowing Ways: Critical Learning in Arts Practice
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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