Accepted Paper:

The explicitation interview: investigating the pupils' corporeal experience in a contemporary dance class  


Anne Cazemajou (Blaise Pascal University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper addresses how dance pupils' corporeal experience was accessed through interviews. The explicitation interview allowed me to help focus the verbalisations on a specific lived moment and thence on the description of the unfolding action and its sensory and emotional dimensions.

Paper long abstract:

Trying to understand the transmission of corporeal experience as lived by amateur adult pupils in a contemporary dance class, especially during the preparatory work based on Iyengar yoga, it appeared to me that only interviews could provide the information I sought. Indeed, this yoga work is based mainly on verbal instructions, accompanied by descriptions and explanations. As a consequence, observation and video documentation show pupils involved in an activity with a certain intensity, displaying a deep concentration, and trying to do what they are enjoined to do. But in no way do they allow us to know what they are really doing, to understand how the instructions work the corporeal experience, how the pupils go about trying to respond to the instructions and how the different explanations and the numerous 'descriptions in terms of kinaesthetic sensation' (Goldfarb) resonate. Interviews seemed the only way to access these private data.

However, the difficulty lies in the fact that interviews usually take place afterwards and that all lived experience includes a certain implicitness in its very accomplishment. It is in order to bring this implicit to light that CNRS researcher Pierre Vermersch devised the technique of accompaniment called the explicitation interview, which aims to bring the verbalisations of the interviewee back to a specific lived moment, and from there to the description of the unfolding action, which is intimately linked to its sensory and emotional dimension.

It is this techique that I shall present, along with the results it enabled me to obtain.

Panel P10
Corporealities, cognition and the interview