International Journal of Education & the Arts

Volume 14 Number 6

May 15, 2013

Emotions and Feelings in a Collaborative Dance-Making Process

Leena Rouhiainen
Theatre Academy Helsinki, Finland

Soili Hämäläinen
Theatre Academy Helsinki, Finland

Citation: Rouhiainen, L., Hämäläinen, S. (2013). Emotions and feelings in a collaborative dance-making process. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 14(6). Retrieved [date] from
This paper looks into the significance emotions and feelings can have in a collaborative dance-making process. This is done by introducing a narrative based on a dance pedagogy student's writings. They contain observations of her experiences on being the facilitating choreographer in a dance-making process involving a cross-artistic group of students in the performing arts. The narrative we constructed highlights especially the emotional challenges and insights that the student wrote about. In discussing the narrative, we underline that creating collaboratively can be an emotionally and personally deeply meaningful process - involving the construction of subjectivities, relationships, ideas and outcomes. Emotions play an important part in social communication but they likewise have a part to play in making aesthetic and artistic judgments. As a conclusion, we argue that emotional literacy plays an important part in artistic collaboration as does understanding the diverse roles one assumes and relates to the other artistic collaborators with. Owing to the open-ended nature of artistic work, in collaboration, understanding the significance of enacted emotions entails a process of learning, as well.

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