haerenga kōrerorero - choreographing sensing relations

Ruckstuhl-Mann, Rachel
O'Connor, Maria
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Master of Art and Design
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Auckland University of Technology

Two significant worlds here coincide and correspond: whanaukataka and somatic choreographic knowing. Activated through spatial design questioning, this thesis interrogates storytelling as an ethics of performance and as an ontology of relatedness. This is a complex question, but it goes to the heart of significant ways of knowing that have informed both my performance practice and the ethics it has come to embody.

Relatedness is that condition of being with others through an ethics of maintaining and celebrating differences. This Masters performance practice brings me in proximity with a diverse range of people through strategies of invitation, sharing of (water) stories, communal social relations (such as tea drinking), extended durations and diverse spatial environments and dynamics that commonly circulate around water.

Difference is explored not in terms of isolated singular human beings but rather the contingent spatial and temporal dynamics that participate in scenes of relatedness. Difference thereby enters performance through strategies of engaging with extended duration; people from different circles of life; spaces - of image, memory, embodiment, scenic and urban sites, idyllic and everyday conditions; national and international borders (Netherlands, Prague and NZ); and bodies of a singular and collective massing.

As used here, ethics is not that term concerned with a morality of right and wrong, but rather engages with a concern for a subjectivity distributed through the above named networks. It signals in my critical performance practice that “I” am not at the centre of this work but rather the ego of an “I” that wanes (gets a little lost) to make room for a possible otherness that has yet to be imagined.

Relatedness is my term for such unanticipated belonging.

Performance , Relational , Somatic , Indigenous , Māori , Water , Memory , Site-specific , Embodiment , Durational , Storytelling , Difference , Ethics
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