Title: Reflections on the Embodied Field. Bharata Natyam Dance in Warsaw as an example site


Kaczmarek, Alina

Date issued/created:


Resource type:



Ethnologia Polona 33-34 (2012-2013)


Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology Polish Academy of Sciences

Place of publishing:



24 cm

Type of object:



This article presents an ethnographic reflection on constructing the field when the subject of the research is an encounter with dance practitioners of Bharata Natyam, a classical Indian dance practised in Warsaw. The author shows the essential methodological and theoretical issues related to researching movement, where apart from the researcher’s subject of study, she herself and her body are a part of the researched landscape of experience. The embodied aspect of acquiring the dance of foreign origin by Polish dancers needs a re-conceptualisation of the notion of ethnographic field. The article shows the case of Bharata Natyam dancers in Warsaw, who work on their own corporeality to embody the movement and make it a part of their own body image and therefore their identity. The strategy of researching kinaesthetic culture is outlined on the basis of, among others, the assumptions of phenomenology, which gives the body a respected place in every kind of human experience


Amit V. 2000, Introduction: Constructing the Field, [in:] ed. V. Amit, Constructing the field. Ethnographic Fieldwork in the Contemporary World, London
Browne K. 2003, Negotiations and Fieldworkings: Friendship and Feminist Research, An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, vol. 2, pp. 132–146
Clifford J. 2004, Praktyki przestrzenne: badania terenowe, podróże i praktyki dyscyplinujące w antropologii, [in:] eds. E. Nowicka, M. Kempny, Badanie kultury. Elementy teorii antropologicznej. Kontynuacje, Warszawa
Clifford J. 1997, Routes: travel and translation in the late twentieth century, Cambridge MA
Falk P. 1994, The Consuming Body, Bedfordshire
Grau A. 2007, Dance, anthropology, and research through practice, Le Centre National de la Danse, June 21–24
Hastrup K. 1995, A Passage to Anthropology: Between Experience and Theory, London–New York
Hastrup K. 2004, O ugruntowywaniu się światów, [in:] eds. E. Nowicka, M. Kempny, Badanie kultury. Elementy teorii antropologicznej. Kontynuacje, Warszawa
Jacyno M. 2007, Kultura indywidualizmu, Warszawa
Libera Z. 2008, Antropologia ciała [in:] eds. K. Łeńska-Bąk, M. Sztandara, Doświadczane, opisywane, symboliczne. Ciało w dyskursach kulturowych, Opole
Löytönen T. 2008, Emotions in the Everyday Life of a Dance School: Articulating Unspoken Values, Dance Research Journal, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 17–30
Marcus G. 1995, Etnography in/of the World System: The Emergence of Multi-Sited Etnography, Annual Review of Anthropology, vol. 24, pp. 95–117
McDowell L. 1992, Doing Gender: Feminism, Feminists and Research Methods in Human Geography, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 399–416
Merleau-Ponty M. 2002, Phenomenology of perception, London
Pile S. 2010, Emotions and Affect in Recent Human Geography, Translations of the Institute of British Geographers, vol. 35, pp. 5–20
Rose G. 1997, Situating knowledge: positionality, reflexivities and other tactics, “Progress in Human Geography”, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 303–320
Samudra J. K. 2008, Memory in our body: Thick participation and the translation of kinesthetic experience, American Ethnologist, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 665–681
Shay A., Sellers-Young B. 2003, Belly Dance: Orientalism: Exoticism: Self-Exoticism, Dance Research Journal, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 13–37
Wieczorkiewicz A. 2000, Muzeum ludzkich ciał. Anatomia spojrzenia, Gdańsk
Visweswaran K. 1994, Fictions of feminist ethnography, Minnesota


Ethnologia Polona



Start page:


End page:


Detailed Resource Type:




Resource Identifier:

oai:rcin.org.pl:54895 ; 0137-4079


IAiE PAN, call no. P 366 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P 367 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P 368 ; click here to follow the link




Rights Reserved - Free Access

Terms of use:

Copyright-protected material. May be used within the limits of statutory user freedoms

Digitizing institution:

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Original in:

Library of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences





Citation style:

This page uses 'cookies'. More information