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To Perform Nascent Knowledge: Perceptual Constructs and Meanings in Sankai Juku's Shijima

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 July 2013


The focal point of this article is sensory perception in terms of action and experience. Perceptual constructs are both physical and cognitive acts that carry meaning in themselves, thus being a vital element of expression in performance making. Liora Malka Yellin's theoretical discussion here draws on J. J. Gibson's information-based model of perception and Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of perception, relating aspects of their thought to that of theatre practitioners and their practice. At the centre of these reflections are references to the shifts undergone by Butoh since its beginnings in the 1960s, and an analysis of Shijima, a dance-theatre work by the Japanese group Sankai Juku, based in Paris. This analysis of the perceptual constructs embedded in the configuration of bodily movement directs attention to what can be called corporeal narrative. Liora Malka Yellin is a Lecturer in Theatre and Dance Studies in the Department of Theatre Arts and the Interdisciplinary Program in the Arts at Tel Aviv University.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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