Choreography as Form as Dance as AN Activity

  • Stefan Apostolou-Hölscher


During the 1990s, perhaps as part of several strategies aimed at slowing down the boom of the 1980s, a discursivation of the body and its activity took place in the field of dance in analogy to speech acts. This analogy was much needed to help dance  become more intellectual and self-reflexive, but it also made it difficult to think about bodies outside the cultural and ideological grids capturing them. Two further assumptions go hand in hand with this approach: first, that all bodily movements write from the perspective of those performing them; and second, that these movements be read from the perspective of those observing or even performing them. What can a body do? In short, the answer to this famous Spinozian question with regard to a body being understood in terms of language is that it can parody the grid, subvert the discourses, and write singularily. In the 1990s, therefore, the body often moved through already codified spaces of culture and ideology, but it rarely constructed its own spaces.