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The Correlation Between the Movement Principle of Nancy Topf Based on Body Awareness and the Movement Principle of T’i-Chi Ch’an

Cho, Eun Sook 1

1중앙대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

Incessant awareness of body helps the alignment of body and efficient performance of dance motion, and it can also influence the process of making creative movement styles. In this context, those areas which are related to somatology as body awareness, body conditioning, and body movement therapy are providing a new paradigm for the discipline of dance. Nancy Topf(1942-1998), a post-contemporary dancer, formulated a technique based on body awareness and applied kinesthetic imagery to choreography and improvisation. From 1970s she had started to study, based on Ideokinesis theory, "the flow of energy," and she had provided a new direction of the interface between Ideokinesis and dance by expressing free motions through the application the flow of energy to body movement. The movements appeared on the work of Topf and her technique seem to be very static and inward-focused. T'ai-Chi Ch'uan, a Chinese traditional body training technique, is a martial art performing a series of consecutive movements to harmonize with awareness and respiration. T'ai-Chi means that everything is created and change is made through the interaction between yin and yang energies. Everything has different properties in its essence, and change is occurring through confrontation and unification of these competing forces. T'ai-Chi Ch'uan is a martial art which is weaving confrontation and unification of yin and yang continuously through body awareness. The basic motion of T'ai-Chi Ch'uan is a circle and it moves slowly and continuously form start to end. T'ai-Chi Ch'uan is often called "a moving meditation," which needs intensive mental concentration when it is performed. In this regard, the movement principle of T'ai-Chi Ch'uan and Topf's movement principle are very similar. The term "body awareness" has been studied from the 20th century in the West, but it consistent with "the monism of mind and body" which has been developed from long time ago in the East. The purpose of this study is to identify similarities between Tops' movement principle and the movement principle of T'ai-Chi Ch'uan. For the purpose, at first, the concept and definition of body awareness are discussed first, then the body awareness characteristics of the movement principles of Topf's and T'ai-Chi Ch'uan are explained. In addition, the similarities between Topf's technique and the movement principle of T'ai-Chi Ch'uan are reviewed.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.