Co-constructing Movement in Mathematics and Dance

An Interdisciplinary Pedagogical Dialogue on Subjectivity and Awareness

  • Dor Abrahamson PhD; Professor, Graduate School of Education, University of California Berkeley
  • Ami Shulman Rehearsal Director at the GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, Sweden. Choreographer, educator, movement artist, and Feldenkrais Method practitioner.
Keywords: dance, design, educational technology, enactivism, Feldenkrais Method, mathematics education, movement, Phenomenology, ratio and proportion

Abstract

A physical movement can be construed in many ways. For some researchers of mathematics education informed by embodiment theories this is important, as they perceive a mathematical concept as a polysemous structure grounded in multiple interrelated sensorimotor constructions. In this dance is no different. Similarly in both disciplines, the more ways one has of thinking about a movement and the more connections one builds across these different constructions, the deeper and richer one’s understanding and proficiency in enacting the movement and the greater one’s capacity to transpose the learning to new contexts. In both mathematics and dance, instructors thus seek to create conditions for students to develop diverse subjective constructions of the movements they are learning to enact and to explore relations across these different constructions. Any pedagogical discussion of movement, whether in dance or mathematics, must be a discussion of the individual’s subjective phenomenology and increasing awareness. In reflection, the very possibility of the authors’ interdisciplinary dialogue is testimony to the cohesive potential in systemic conceptualizations of human movement.

Author Biographies

Dor Abrahamson, PhD; Professor, Graduate School of Education, University of California Berkeley

Dor Abrahamson, PhD, is a Professor of Cognition and Development with a Secondary Mathematics appointment at the Graduate School of Education, University of California Berkeley, where he runs the Embodied Design Research Laboratory. Abrahamson is a design-based researcher, who develops and evaluates theoretical models of mathematics learning and teaching by analyzing empirical data collected during implementations of his pedagogical design. Drawing on embodiment and sociocultural perspectives, Abrahamson theorizes conceptual learning as students’ reconciliation of perceptually immediate and culturally mediated constructions of dynamical situated phenomena.

Ami Shulman, Rehearsal Director at the GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, Sweden. Choreographer, educator, movement artist, and Feldenkrais Method practitioner.

Ami Shulman choreographed for the National Theatre of London; the Shakespeare Theatre Company, for which she received a Helen Hayes Award, and has co-created works with the Cirque Du Soleil, the National Ballet of Canada, and Ballet British Columbia. Ami performed with dance companies Marie Chouinard, Flak, and the DanceOn Ensemble Berlin, and has taught throughout Europe, Canada, and the USA, including for the Juilliard School, Alvin Ailey School, Brown University, UCSD, and Jacob’s Pillow. Ami is currently Rehearsal Director at the Gothenburg Opera Danskompani, Sweden. She co-authored a chapter for the anthology ‘Back to the Dance Itself: Phenomenologies of the Body in Performance’. Ami is a certified Feldenkrais Practitioner.

Published
2019-04-22
How to Cite
Abrahamson, D., & Shulman, A. (2019). Co-constructing Movement in Mathematics and Dance. Feldenkrais Research Journal, 6. Retrieved from https://feldenkraisresearchjournal.org/index.php/journal/article/view/13