Friday 13th November 2015 at 1.00pm
Lecture Theatre SB42
Garthdee House Annexe
Towards an ecology of gestures
What is a gesture? And how can we map its change in space and time?
One of the key aims of my research is to experiment with different media creating an interstice between the arts, technology, and sciences in various performance contexts.
In this lecture, I will discuss how traditional gestures and techniques can help us to trace future and design new perspectives for future creation / creators. I will show some particular examples of my research, supported by audiovisual documentation. I tend to generate maps of body movement.
My research aims to trace new theatrical practices and scenographic techniques that have been developed through the interplay of a local “native” theatre and contemporary performance aesthetics whilst also offering overview of contemporary malayalee productions. Currently, I conduct a double research project between social anthropology and performing arts. Both, as a visual artist and a researcher I write and direct plays in search of new theoretical paradigms. Between theory and practice, my aim is to understand theatre as a particular creation process.
After Marcel Mauss (1963), Adam Kendon (1997), and Marcel Jousse (1974), the objective of my research is to define what is a gesture: is it a pose or a movement?
Key words – Transmission, body techniques, evolution, morphogenetics, timelapse, digital media, 3D mapping.
My Phd thesis: Which Voice for Which Theatre is an anthropological research that focuses on Kerala contemporary theatre — EHESS (School for Higher Studies in Social Sciences) Paris in 2013.
Through an extensive fieldwork of 3 years in South India (especially Kerala) I examined the life of several theatre groups and by way of participatory observation, I conducted workshop theatre labs in most of them. My thesis is based on 3 monographs of 3 theatre companies Lokadharmi (in Cochin), Sopanam (in Trivandrum), and the Thrissur School of Drama. Because Kerala is a new state, born with Indian Independence, I compare the different orientations taken by the directors regarding politics and aesthetics. I tend to show what makes a theatre « malayam » that which shapes its local identity.
From the morphogenetic analysis of a gesture in performance (that is, either on stage or in a rehearsal context) to a global understanding of body culture movement, my work aims to show that gesture could be perceived as a form that follows the transformation theory (D’Arcy Thompson: 1917). I therefore work at developing a “morphogenetic theatre theory”, where motion capture helps me to show the modification of the shape of the body in time and space.
Moreover based on the assertion that there exist an “ecology of practice” of the gesture (Bateson: 1983), my works includes the notion of “dramadiversity”. As such, I argue that there are necessary factors that allow the growth of a form and consequently, I tend to generate maps of body movement. To go through this process I work with a multidisciplinary team of partners such as dancers, theatre artists, kalarippayattu artists, geographers, digital artists and software engineers. They help me capture the body movement and map it in 3 or 4 dimensions. ). The outcomes of this project will allow new theories of gesture transmission emerge.
At present, I am an associate researcher at CEIAS (CNRS) a laboratory of Social Sciences about Indian Continent, I am also an associate researcher at PACTE (CNRS) laboratory of Social Sciences and political Studies, in Grenoble, France and at AMP (CNRS), a centre for Architecture and Environment studies in Paris.
This Autumn 2015 I am teaching in the Creation Studio at ENSCI (National Superior School for Industrial Design), Paris and I am an associate artist to Stéréolux, Nantes, France.
Anne Dubos – PhD, Paris, France
social anthropology researcher / visual artist