Bodies in motion: signification, intensities, dance.

Date

2011-05-30

Authors

Bosse, Maggie

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Abstract

In this thesis, the author claims that dance (especially improvisational dance) is a political practice. Rather than following the familiar trope, where the dancing body stands in as a figure of liberation, the author draws on theorists such as Michel Foucault, Pierre Klossowski, and Judith Butler to suggest that bodies in motion are partially determined though discipline, coded language, and norms of sex and gender. Citing empirical cases of dance performances and the author’s own practice, she suggests that the body in motion is also partially undetermined by cultural conventions. She extrapolates from the example of dance improvisation, where the dancer begins with a norm or loose choreography and, from there, moves into unexpected territory, to offer an alternative conception of the body. The author argues that bodies in motion move between extremes of structure and freedom.

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Keywords

Improvisation in dance, performance, gender

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