Caroline Sutton Clark
One of my favorite pastimes for years has been getting together with another dancer friend or two over coffee and hearing their stories and insights about dance. There’s really nothing better than listening to someone talk about what he or she loves to do, even though such deep investment in dance, as in anything, invariably includes some history of pain and sacrifice. Talking with dancers of many forms, I’ve watched spines elongate, breath deepen, gestures become more fluid or expansive, and eyes begin to shine. Overall, as people reintegrate memories and feel listened to, they become both energised and more peaceful.
As the 2017 Caroline Plummer Research Fellow in Dance, I have been in Dunedin, New Zealand, since February seeking out the many ways that people dance here. I use oral history as my research methodology for the fellowship. In addition, for my own welfare, I participate in as many dance practices throughout Dunedin as I can. In these sessions I meet people, learn about the city by going to studios and community halls, feel the benefits of exercise, challenge my brain with new patterns, rhythms, and ideas, and stimulate mind, body, and soul in a positive, supportive environment.