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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Informed by personal narratives of one of the authors, this chapter explores ways in which his career in dance has been challenged through mental ill health and the physical and emotional disruptions of age. The purpose is to situate the performer as self—as both the researcher and the subject of the research. The reader glimpses a reflexive dialogue concerning transitions in identity traced through embodied memory, dancing nostalgia, loss, reluctance, mental illness, and difference. Interest lies in embracing realms of personal knowledge through appraising being-embodied and being-imaged, and where being multiple and being singular tasks one with gaining self-recognition. Being in Pieces utilizes the material archive from the performances and installations of Falling Apart at the Seams (2008), Council House Movie Star (2012), and Dying Swans and Dragged Up Dames (2013), by delving into a distant dancing self and the somatic archaeology of performing past(s) retrieved, renegotiated, and relanguaged.

Keywords: dance, mental health, ageing, identity, mesearch, living archive

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