University of Sussex
Hubbard,_Frances_Rosina.pdf (1.24 MB)

Screendance: corporeal ties between dance, film, and audience

Download (1.24 MB)
posted on 2023-06-08, 17:27 authored by Frances Rosina Hubbard
I explore the sensuous, kinaesthetic experience and analysis of screen dance and the interconnectivity between our bodies, film, and heightened embodied sensibility. This physicality creates a dialogue between the rich diversity of screen dance genres under consideration, thereby avoiding hierarchical classifications. It also focuses attention on more abstract cinematic qualities, investigating how cinematic technique (as well as thematic content) generates emotional impact; allowing for the enjoyment of film as a material and sensual medium. However, since our senses have been trained according to the regulatory controls within our socio-historical/cultural contexts, equal attention is given to the ideology of representation, and to the links between embodiment, identities, meanings, and broader relations of inequality. I am particularly interested in how dance and film can function politically, both expressing and disrupting norms and ideologies. But I am also interested in how the presence of dance (and/or choreographed movement) can enhance a film’s agency and its ability to cross time and space, “touching” the viewer and thereby working to transform historical objectification into embodied interaction. I combine a phenomenological lived-body experience of viewing with the epistemological functions that characterise it, using my own somatically felt body as a methodological starting point and a creative practice, and theoretical text-based and socio-historical contextual analyses. This balance between lived-experience and critical discussion is used to explore chapters on the deconstruction of national, cultural, and gendered identity through Flamenco dance and film; dance and physical disability; and avant-garde feminist screendance. A final chapter brings these key themes together by investigating how (psychiatric) disability, feminism, and national identity are treated in a contemporary Hollywood dance film. Whilst embodied perception is never “innocent” and always shaped, I show how the movement of affect and emotion between the film and viewer’s body can constitute an ethical experience, encouraging progressive and self-reflexive political and ideological engagement.


File Version

  • Published version



Department affiliated with

  • Media and Film Theses

Qualification level

  • doctoral

Qualification name

  • phd


  • eng


University of Sussex

Full text available

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


Usage metrics

    University of Sussex (Theses)


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager