Home imagined: Uncovering a sensuous history of people and place through eco-somatic improvisation | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2040-5669
  • E-ISSN: 2040-5677



This article sets out to describe an eco-somatic improvisational danced encounter with the ruins of a 150-year-old migrant dwelling in Aotearoa New Zealand. Interwoven into the description of the project are ‘author’s notes’ as she makes links with the crisis of homelessness and displacement of refugees driven from their homes by war and famine. She asks what it means to reside, dwell or take up residence in a new place; how we might perform our belonging or our alienation; what it might mean to relocate, rebuild a sense of home and what remains of this sensory world amongst the ruins that might be uncovered through improvised dance. Finally, she suggests the ways in which intuitive danced engagement with particular space/place might reveal sensuous narratives of the past, supporting current practices of site-based intuitive somatic improvisation as valid academic practice-based research methodology. The research brings together the voices of writers from performance theory; somatics; phenomenology; social geography; architecture, archaeology and visual media; and those of the author as participant observer and the dancers as inquiring artists.


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