4.2.2. The Birmingham School (Meta Awareness)
Suppose one considers the second layer of the frame in the consequential timeline and imagine that the Chicago School ontogenetic structures are already in place within the body and that the person using ‘The Frame’ is mature and functions in the world. It is then possible to take this person and place them into an experimental environment such as a dance studio and ask them to improvise. It will then become apparent over time that there is a correlation between how the person walks to the way the person dances. One’s idiosyncratic manners of moving result from the relational patterning that is developed in infancy and can be seen in how the person stands, walks, dances. In the way, they inform the person flow of movement. They also become the foundation in which the development of the dance movement is learnt. Of course, dance teachers have to be aware of Derrida deconstruction theory from an educational stance as the idiosyncrasies are perceived in the relationship between the signifier and the signified. However, if the observation is not made by the ‘other’ but by the person who is improvising. One is being observed through an awareness constructed through one’s development and is more accurate in understanding oneself if that person is self-aware. If the person becomes aware of themselves in a type of meta-awareness, then it is possible to appropriate the Birmingham theory into a practical utensil of choice, which is related to subcultures.
Suppose group improvisation can be understood as a subculture with its own special collective identity, which arises from all the shared movement idiosyncrasies of the individuals improvising together. Then the choices that are made in the improvisation are what horizontally develops the identity of the group improvisation. Therefore, the individuals within the group improvisation are responsible for what will happen to the group improvisation: what shape, form or dynamic it will take on. Through their meta-awareness of themselves within the group improvisation, each individual will be influenced by the ‘others’ in the group. The movement generated for this reason is constantly influenced by the ‘others', and the individual is constantly making choices of what s/he wants to be influenced by. One chooses the movement that one identifies with, which further signifies the identity of the evolving group improvisation. Therefore, the Birmingham School theory is a phenomenological technique of embodiment based on a meta-awareness of the epistemic movement form, dynamic, flow or shape that the group improvisation has as an identity. It is the embodiment of this technique that stimulates movement through choice, which feeds the identity of the improvisation. Through practice-led research, the meta-awareness is trained and developed to work effectively as a technique of ‘The Frame’.
As a technique Meta-Awarness