My name is Saulo Silveira, and I am Brazilian currently studying for a doctorate at the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro. The focus of the doctoral research is linked to the processes of de-subjectivisation mediated by the somatic practice of the Laban/Bartenieff Movement System. By de-subjectivisation, I mean that somatic practice can be a field of production of new subjectivities, which are constructed from individual desire. This is in contrast with practices or techniques, including somatic ones, that aim to construct a specific mode of movement, of thought, of action, that also ends up producing fixed subjectivities through its practice. In my research, I focus on the process of creating of the performance entitled Cartografias do Presente (Cartographies of the Present), presented in the city of Juiz de Fora- Minas Gerais-Brazil, in October 2015.
The doctoral program in Brazil offers students the possibility to discuss their research in a postgraduate program abroad with the objective of supporting training through exchange and broadening the discussion of the research developed in Brazil, known as the doctorate sandwich or fellowship program. I chose to develop part of my research at Coventry University, especially at the Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE), because there is a group of internationally renowned professors/researchers who are focusing on the research surrounding somatic field dance such as through the production of the Journal of Dance & Somatic Practice, as well as the biennial Dance and Somatic Practices Conference. During the period from April to September 2017, I was researching with a part of the C-DaRE group of staff and students with whom I had the great pleasure of sharing my current research and critically discussing methodological approaches. The activities and discussions were fundamental to review my way of thinking in dance research and to widen the frontiers of research beyond established approaches in this field of knowledge. The researcher who received me, guided me and gave me the opportunity to participate in C-DaRE’s activities was Emma Meehan. Having Emma as an advisor was fundamental to connect with the activities of the university, with her attentive way of dealing with the questions and such generosity to provoke expansions and at the same time to expand herself with the ways of thinking.
This promoted significant changes in the development and the process of being with the research during those months. Discussions regarding ethical issues which were a little diminished in the scope of somatic practices previously in my work, are now important points in the investigation. New questions were also raised which connect with the transformation of perspectives of the dancer in education, both inside and outside the classroom. This furthers my enquiry into how somatic practices are used not only simply as approaches to movement, but as the production of existential territories of exploration for the mover. I am grateful for the collaboration I had at Coventry University on a daily basis, starting from the front door of the reception to the overall direction.