Johanna Kirk


Johanna Kirk PhD I

Johanna Kirk received her PhD in Culture and Performance from the University of California Los Angeles. She is a
choreographer, writer, and movement educator with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Dance theory and
practice. Her research interests include performance-art-based health education, the choreographies of clinical care, dance interventions in pre- and post-natal care, interpretive phenomenology, and art/science collaboration.


“Fit and Firm Pregnancy: Paradoxical Phenomenology and Prenatal Dance Fitness,” under revision for Women & Performance . “Moving from the Membranes: Exploring the Integumentary System through Experiential Anatomy and Dance,” Journal of Dance Education, Volume 17, Issue 1, 8-15. 2017.  “Experiencing Our Anatomy: Incorporating Human Biology into Dance Class via Imagery, Imagination, and Somatics,” Journal of Dance Education, Volume 14, Issue 2, 59-66. 2014. “Sensing into Self Beyond Sight,” Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies, Society of Dance History Scholars, Special Issue – Visual Culture and Dance — an Academic Discipline, Volume XXXII, 18-21. 2012.  “of air and amnion: A Female Creative Process,” Currents, a Journal of the Body Mind Centering Association, Volume 16, Issue 1, 20-25. 2013. Journalist and Interviewer, Dance Magazine and Dance Teacher Magazine 


My research looks at community-building through dance-making surrounding experiences of pregnancy. I explore
choreographies of pregnancy for how they disclose or define individuals’ experiences of their bodies as the look,
feel, and function of these bodies change, and I conjecture the implications of artistic representations of pregnancy
on individuals’ experiences of and beyond their pregnancies. In this paper, I consider how, through attending to and
expressing what mattered to them about their pregnant embodiments, a cast of pregnant performers confronted and affected social attitudes toward pregnant bodies that they found limiting or damaging. In this way, I present their work, Six Twelve One by One, as a liberatory, theatrical, and pedagogical practice. This work was created for a
group of pregnant individuals who did not identify as “dancers” and was shepherded into creation by a non-
pregnant, gender non-binary artist who wished to support the cast’s physical and emotional wellness through
fostering a nurturing, healthy, inquisitive movement praxis for them. I look at the community fostered by this
collaboration and the ways that this inclusive project eschewed gendered, canonical dance, and medical paradigms
of “the” body in making sense of these specific pregnant bodies.

Six Twelve One by One

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