The Art and Science of Partnering

My doctoral work focuses on the philosophy of partnering. I have been interested in the significance of discretionary power, consent, and trust in physical exchanges, as well as the ways physical interaction can be evaluated from the inside (by partners themselves) and from the outside. I have worked on controlled studies in academic spaces (Harvard, MIT, University of Illionois-Urbana, Coventry University), in collaboration with researchers at the Robotics, Automation, and Dance Lab (University of Illinois), the Yale Department of Physics, the Fluid Interfaces Group at the MIT Media Lab, and the Neurology Department at Beth Israel Hospital (Boston). My approach to partner was developed through my own background in dance, as well as creative choreographic residencies at Jacob's Pillow, Centre for Dance ResearchNYU Center for Ballet and the Arts (in collaboration with Argentinian Tango dancer, Valeria Solomonoff), and with professional dancers from companies including the Erick Hawkins Dance Company, The Cambrians, Chicago Hubbard Street, Boston Ballet, and The Royal Swedish Ballet.

As an educator, my teaching method is centered on ethical social practice. I have developed a practice called Somatic Enrichment, which offers tools for dialogue, fusing theory and physical practice. The training model is tailored for different audiences, from performing artists in dance and music, to medical practitioners, educators, and corporate professionals. Somatic Enrichment offers tools for professional development for those whose practice involves collaborative decision-making.

My research has led to the development of the Partnering Lab, which investigates the complexity of physical interaction across disciplines including clinical care, professional development, and arts-based practice of collaboration in music and dance. The lab focuses on formal research in the education and training of ethical physical interaction, including medical and corporate professionals seeking to enhance non-verbal communication skills. Part of the research includes the design and implementation of wearable technology to understand and destabilize implicit biases of non-verbal communication. 

© 2019 Ilya Vidrin