The aim of this Dissertation is to illustrate that the body, in its choreographic dance is shown to articulate the unconscious. The Dissertation has been compiled, following researching the topic and accessing relevant published texts. It does not aim to introduce new ideas or discoveries, but it attempts to compile and condense published material which the author considers supportive to the illustration developed throughout the Dissertation. The reason the method of approach by illustration has been chosen rather than an argumentative or other approach or method, is that the author considers an illustration, giving three examples, to be the most conducive method of clearly illustrating the object of the Dissertation.
To fulfil examination requirements, it is necessary that this Dissertation incorporate an emphasis on material from at least two of the modules presented during the three year course. The two modules selected by this author are:
1. The work of C.G. lung, and
2. An introduction to the work of Sigmund Freud.
The Dissertation is divided into three main sections. Each section approaches the topic of the Dissertation from the theoretical framework of three major clinicians in the history of psychoanalysis. These are, S. Freud, C. lung and l. Lacan. Chapter 1 sketches some modern ideas founded on lung's theories. In Chapter 2, Freud's 'Studies on Hysteria' is given a corporeal focus. I will concentrate on the ideas of dance and movement that inform 'Studies'. In their inaugural text of classical psychoanalysis, Joseph Breuer and Sigmund Freud pay attention to bodies and to parts of the body which have become immovable. Both the first and the last of the case histories in ‘Studies’ contain ideas of the relationship between the body and truth, the body and time and the body and language. These two are the treatment of ‘Anna O.’ by Breuer and ‘Elisabeth con R. ‘s’ treatment by Freud. Chapter 3 is devoted to Lacan’s theories. One of his concepts, i.e. the gaze, is expounded upon as it is understood through a specific ballet, i.e. ‘Swan Lake’.
The Conclusion brings together the main text by drawing it into the choreographic process and only then trying to understand what is the structure of choreography. This is illustrated through the theories of Roman Jakobson and Ferdinand de Saussure.
One text which provided information over and above that condensed for this Dissertation is 'Corporealities' by Susan Leigh Foster. It consists of essays on dance and bodily movement revealing the unconscious. The essays work to resurrect bodies in their cultural significance. They are appropriate to this B. A. degree course in Psychoanalytic Studies, which has a wide range of modules, in that the text of 'Corporealities' moves bodies across disciplinary and theoretical boundaries. It enhances and expands a rethinking of previously stable categories of knowledge. It provides a re-orientation within existing disciplines.