Amy Sheppard profile

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Amy Sheppard

Kingston University London (2023)


Dr Daniela Perazzo


Loss, a practice for making; catalysing new methods for movement practice and performance


This project is concerned with how loss can be experienced and conceptualised within artistic practice to inform a methodology for making movement work. Through practice-as-research, the project explores relationships between notions of loss, choreography, and performance. It argues loss can be identified as a process within artistic practice because artistic practice moves, creates, and is subject to adaptation and change. Considering discourse on loss defined beyond death or fixed event, the project engages with loss through lenses of adaption and change (Harris), politics of mourning as method to reanimate the past (Eng and Kranz), and grief as a means for transformation (Butler). These conceptual frameworks will be explored through processes of movement practice where loss is a transformative, or adaptive, and embodied phenomenon that is repeatedly and continually engaged.

The Covid-19 pandemic produced multiple loss experiences, engendering a sense of commonality whilst being appraised, felt, and reconciled individually (Harris, 2011). This research is rooted in questions emerged during this historical moment and prompts interrogation of how movement itself is already and always engaged in processes of loss. This project considers how loss is perpetually experienced in movement and choreographic practice through creative approaches of not-knowing, unknowing, uncertainty and discovery to engage with what is left and discovered because (and not in spite) of loss.

Drawing on and contributing to foundational discourse on performance ephemerality (Phelan) and the body as archive (Lepecki), temporal and corporeal properties of loss will be interrogated to reveal loss as a complex experience that permeates movement-based improvisation, choreographic research, and acts of performance. Theoretical and embodied research will generate creative outputs including workshops and performances, which will be reflectively and creatively examined through autoethnographic documentation. The project will contribute new theoretical understandings of loss, producing a specific loss methodology for movement practice with epistemological value.