The Art and Science of Partnering

My work centers on ethics of physical interaction, which I refer to broadly as the practice of partnering. Discretionary power, consent, care, and trust are key concepts that I explore in physical exchanges. I focus on the methods of evaluation from the inside (by partners themselves), as well as from the outside (by educators, therapists, coaches). I have worked on controlled studies in academic spaces (Harvard, MIT, University of Illionois-Urbana, Coventry University), as well as clinical settings in hospitals and outpatient centers. 


My approach to partnering was developed through my background in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and training in dance and somatic practice, as well as practice-based research residencies at Jacob's Pillow, Centre for Dance ResearchNYU Center for Ballet and the Arts (in collaboration with Argentinian Tango dancer, Valeria Solomonoff), Harvard ArtLab, 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 an approach called Somatic Enrichment, which offers tools for dialogue by 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 physical interaction and non-verbal communication. 

© 2020 Ilya Vidrin