‘Defamiliarization’ is a concept put forward by Russian formalist Viktor Shklovsky which has influenced art in the 20th-century. To defamiliarize means to make common things unfamiliar to increase the complexity and length of the perceptions of human beings, since the habitual nature of daily experience makes perception stale and automatic.

Just in dealing with the practice of music and movement, we can defamiliarize the movement we've mastered by changing the parameters like the usage of certain body parts, location, time etc. to create a new combination. We can defamiliarize the way of putting music and movement together, that means to always try a new way to approach the goal, like extracting concepts from visual images into movement, extracting motives from an auditory impression left behind by the music, or changing the way about how we are going to work together. To defamiliarize means either the participants or the audience are driven to focus and perceive in an unusual way, so that the process of perception itself is seen as an aesthetic process.

Xueqing Yu