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On Multiple Appearances: An Analysis of the Performing Body in Kitt Johnson's Drift
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Musicology and Performance Studies, Musicology and Performance Studies. Free University of Berlin, Germany.
2012 (English)In: Nordic Theatre Studies, ISSN 0904-6380, Vol. 24, 44-53 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

On Multiple Appearances: An Analysis of the Performing Body in Kitt Johnson's Drift In the article, I challenge the prevalent use of phenomenology in dance scholarship, which focusses on the dancer's experience of her body when dancing. This approach often implies the problematic assumption that the dancer's experience is immediately transferred to the spectators who, in turn, are universally 'moved' by her dancing body. Instead of acknowledging that dance is a product of historically and culturally specific circumstances, such an analytical perspective ultimately tends to mystify dance. In this article I propose a different use of analytical tools in dance scholarship: I employ phenomenological reduction and epoche to focus on how dancing bodies appear in a stage context. To test the ability of these tools to explore dancing bodies from a third-person perspective, I analyze Danish choreographer Kitt Johnson's solo performance Drift (2011), focussing on her variable physical appearance. While phenomenology helps me to describe the multiple and radically different guises Johnson assumes in her piece, my analysis does not, ultimately, aim to distil a truer, more real being from her appearances, as is often the case in phenomenological analyses. Instead, I complement my analytical approach with the Deleuzian notion of becoming animal, suggesting that Johnson stages what, in Judith Butler's terms, could be called a critical contingency of bodily appearance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 24, 44-53 p.
National Category
Performing Art Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-91337ISI: 000318835100005OAI: diva2:632821


Available from: 2013-06-25 Created: 2013-06-24 Last updated: 2016-09-06Bibliographically approved

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