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Aesthetics of Dance: the Mind-Body Gap and the Body as the Subject of Dance

From: 2019-05-24 To:2019-05-24

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  • Thematic Line

    Modern & Contemporary Philosophy
  • Research Group

    Mind, Language & Action
  • 24 May 2019 | 15h30-20h30 | Sala do Departamento de Filosofia (Torre B - Piso 1)

    Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Porto

    Conferences by Una Popović

    1) Aesthetics of Dance: the Mind-Body Gap

    2) Aesthetics of Dance: the Body as the Subject of Dance 

    Philosophy of art has long forgotten the art of dance. Up until the 20th century, the art of dance has rarely been the focus of philosophical research, to the extent that dance is probably the only classical art that has no prominent role in defining the traditional aesthetic understanding of art in general. In these two lectures I will focus on philosophy of dance and present the art of dance as a philosophical problem. The main focus here is the question why did philosophy neglect the art of dance, and how can it contribute to the understanding of dance?

    My first lecture will address the traditional absence of dance in philosophical aesthetics; some rare, but key cases of dance being philosophically investigated; and several of the most important philosophical ideas governing the interpretation of dance in both theory and practice. In this context, the body is seen only as an instrument of the soul - which is considered to be the one that truly produces and creates dance, and which commands the body to realize ‘ideal’ dance in a public domain. Such interpretation of dance was abandoned in both contemporary dance and contemporary philosophy of dance, which opened a perspective for the new philosophical understanding of both body and dance: the body dancing is now at the heart of the philosophy of dance. My second lecture will present these ideas more precisely; first of all, I will address the body-soul inversion – the body becoming the subject of dance, responsible for both production and reception of dance. Finally, I wish to show the way in which contemporary philosophy of dance confronts us with our very basic relation with the world and its objects, with our own bodily existence, and with the realm of meanings underlying our daily conceptions and worldviews.

    Una Popović is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad, where she has been a faculty member since 2009; she also teaches at the Academy of Arts, University of Novi Sad. She teaches courses on Medieval Philosophy, Modern Philosophy, Logic, Philosophy of Mathematics, and Philosophy of Art.
    Una Popović completed her BA studies in philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, in 2008. She has a PhD in philosophy (aesthetics, ontology) by the same University (2014); thesis titled ‘Heidegger’s Philosophy of Language’.
    Una Popović is a member of the executive committee of the Aesthetic Society of Serbia and Serbian Philosophical Society. Her research interests lie in the philosophy of language, philosophy of art and phenomenology; recently she is working on projects concerning Baumgarten’s idea of aesthetics, aesthetics of dance, and the image-word relationship in medieval philosophy.


    Image: Edgar Degas, The Star (Dancer on Stage). Original: L'Etoile (c.1878)


    RG Mind, Language and Action Group
    Instituto de Filosofia da Universidade do Porto - FIL/00502
    Em colaboração com o Seminário de Estética e Artes do Mestrado em Filosofia da FLUP
    Funding: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)

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