Presentation Title

docile bodies: A Study on Women and Docility

Location

Guzman 202

Start Date

4-19-2018 6:00 PM

End Date

4-19-2018 6:30 PM

Department

Music, Dance and Performing Arts

Student Type

Undergraduate - Honors

Faculty Mentor

Perry Guevara, Ph.D.

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

docile bodies demonstrates the effects of and critiques what Michel Foucault and Judith Butler identify as the systems of power that enforce docility on women’s bodies. The choreographic work uses the medium of the moving body to present observation as a method of discipline and represent the bodily limitations of feminine gender performativity. My research began with Foucault’s Discipline and Punish, where the theories surrounding effective punishment and the docility-instilling use of the panopticon informed my manipulation of the audience’s observational role. The calculated use of observation to enact analytic managements of discipline appears in my work in the form of setting precise choreography, and demanding uniformity at the cost of autonomy. Foucault’s History of Sexuality provided the framework for a confession of strangeness by a dysfunctional body, extracted by the systems of power. The themes of his argument that women are relegated to their sex, which results in a hysterization of female bodies, appear in several character roles present at the conclusion of my work. Butler’s Gender Trouble offered a definition of gender performativity that manifested itself through a series of repeated gestures, representing the incessant ritual of gender performance. Finally, Butler’s Bodies that Matter confirmed the inherent sexing of bodies, and the fear required to enforce such sexing. I explored those concepts by highlighting the relationship between audience and dancers, and the eventual transition from wild bodies to intelligibly feminine ones. I also examined my relationship to my dancers as an enforcer of power in a collaborative setting; relying on the dancers’ creative ideas challenges the imbalance of power set forth by Foucault and Butler. In some ways the dancers became complicit in their own docility by means of generating the choreography designed to subjugate them.

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Apr 19th, 6:00 PM Apr 19th, 6:30 PM

docile bodies: A Study on Women and Docility

Guzman 202

docile bodies demonstrates the effects of and critiques what Michel Foucault and Judith Butler identify as the systems of power that enforce docility on women’s bodies. The choreographic work uses the medium of the moving body to present observation as a method of discipline and represent the bodily limitations of feminine gender performativity. My research began with Foucault’s Discipline and Punish, where the theories surrounding effective punishment and the docility-instilling use of the panopticon informed my manipulation of the audience’s observational role. The calculated use of observation to enact analytic managements of discipline appears in my work in the form of setting precise choreography, and demanding uniformity at the cost of autonomy. Foucault’s History of Sexuality provided the framework for a confession of strangeness by a dysfunctional body, extracted by the systems of power. The themes of his argument that women are relegated to their sex, which results in a hysterization of female bodies, appear in several character roles present at the conclusion of my work. Butler’s Gender Trouble offered a definition of gender performativity that manifested itself through a series of repeated gestures, representing the incessant ritual of gender performance. Finally, Butler’s Bodies that Matter confirmed the inherent sexing of bodies, and the fear required to enforce such sexing. I explored those concepts by highlighting the relationship between audience and dancers, and the eventual transition from wild bodies to intelligibly feminine ones. I also examined my relationship to my dancers as an enforcer of power in a collaborative setting; relying on the dancers’ creative ideas challenges the imbalance of power set forth by Foucault and Butler. In some ways the dancers became complicit in their own docility by means of generating the choreography designed to subjugate them.