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Bonnie Eckard

ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre faculty Bonnie Eckard
May 16, 2017

The Interdisciplinary Research Cluster “Embodied Cognition in Performance” at ASU’s Institute for Humanities Research, led by Bonnie Eckard, a professor in the School of Film, Dance and Theatre, and other ASU colleagues Ana Hedberg Olenina, Eric Amazeen and Jason Papenfuss, presented a research discussion and demonstration on “The Impact of Michael Chekhov’s Acting Exercises on Affect and Height Perception” in April. Cognitive psychology believes that our mind is embodied: We learn about the physical world through engaging with it, experiencing it and forming skills to navigate it.

This scientific perspective on embodiment cuts into territory long explored by actors and performance theorists, who regard the body and the mind as inextricably linked. Proceeding from the premise that sensations accompanying actions contribute to the way we make sense of the environment and see ourselves in it, this cluster has investigated the impact of Michael Chekhov’s renowned acting exercises in an experimental study.