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A Practice-Led and Autoethnographic Engagement with Solo Performance and Stigmatised Objects

Gander, R (2022) A Practice-Led and Autoethnographic Engagement with Solo Performance and Stigmatised Objects. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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This research took a practice-led and autoethnographic approach to querying themes of empowerment and objectification in relation to objects used in pole dance – high heels and the vertical pole. Throughout the course of this four-year study, I have created and performed three solo works, The Ten Inch Heels (2019), Unstable (2019) and Pol(e)arity of Self (2020), whilst simultaneously collecting data about the processes on which the works were built, as well as sharing the performances with audiences and gaining feedback from them. The data stands in a variety of forms including journal entry of my creative process and the autobiographical impulses that fuelled the works, video documentation of the live and digital performance pieces, and audience discussion from peer review groups, survey, written feedback, and verbal exchange. All data collected was thematically analysed and triangulated to find a recursive five-part model that clearly shows the ways in which I have used the pole and high heels, objects that have been accused of objectifying women, to achieve a heightened sense of agency in my practice. The found Creative and Reflective Model for Navigating Autobiographical Objects in Solo Performance to Achieve Agency demonstrates specifically how I have blended elements of my own autobiography, with that of the biography of the objects, to find creative ways of working with the objects that resulted in a heightened sense of knowledge and agency for me as the performer. The model details five components, including autobiography of the performer / choice to work with object, object biography via literature search, object (auto) biography and creative use of the object, audience gaze and achieving agency. The hybridity of this research, and its equal 50/50 weighting to both practical work (three works outlined above) and a written thesis (40,000 words) combines personal knowledge, found knowledge and practical knowledge, all of which come together to form an original contribution to knowledge. This knowledge extends discourse in areas of practice-led research, autoethnography, female solo performance practice, autobiographical research, pole dance, and performing with objects.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Practice-Led Research; Solo Performance; Autobiographical Performance; Autoethnographic Performance; Pole Dance; Performing with Objects
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV1580 Dancing
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2022 08:24
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2022 12:57
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00016725
Supervisors: Brooks, P and Parsons, L
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16725
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