Some Discourses


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Some Discourses

  1. 1. DR635 – Dance & Discourse - Autumn Term 2007 Dance, Discipline, and Difference – Some Discourses
  2. 2. Michel Foucault (1926-1984) <ul><li>Discourse is what produces ‘truths‘ and ‘facts‘ </li></ul><ul><li>It works by discipline – surveillance, control, repression </li></ul><ul><li>Discourse analysis (Genealogy) ‘create[s] a history of the different modes by which, in our culture, human beings are made subjects ‘ </li></ul><ul><li>the prime place for control is the BODY , which is ‘disciplined‘ through the institutions of modern society - sexuality, madness, prison, schools... </li></ul><ul><li>Discipline and Punish (1975), </li></ul><ul><li>The History of Sexuality (3 vols., 1976-1984) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Foucault - Recap <ul><li>‘ Docile bodies‘: </li></ul><ul><li>the human body is more than just biology: it is ‘also directly involved in a political field; power relations have an immediate hold upon it; they invest it, mark it, train it, torture it, force it to carry out tasks, to perform ceremonies, to emit signs‘ </li></ul><ul><li>This ‘machinery of power [...] explores it, breaks it down and rearranges it‘  discpline, subjection </li></ul><ul><li>power mechanisms function in a productive fashion, not repressive: a ‘microphysics of power‘ </li></ul><ul><li>there is not one central seat of power (  discourse) </li></ul>Quotes from Discipline and Punish
  4. 4. Foucault - Recap <ul><li>‘ Discourse transforms bodies into instruments that can in turn incorporate power themselves. This takes place through a form of normalization. All bodies go through a phase of adaptation to a norm, an almost invisible system that makes the body socially acceptable. Along with this normalization, individuality is secured as well, as the norm tolerates a large number of variants. Power only becomes repressive for those who do not want to adapt: those “outside bodies“ are subjected to a complex apparatus of therapy and punishment. Endless repetition becomes a strategy to show the internalization of those power principles. The body disciplines itself. The obligation to perform repetition is not imposed from outside, but comes into being by itself, as a command that has been completely internalized. These are docile bodies. Anyone who does not fit in is barred.‘ </li></ul><ul><li>Luk Van Den Dries: ‘Repeating: Nine Thoughts on the Frames, Crescendo Forces, Discipline and the Copyshop of the Repertoire.‘ - In Ballettanz: Zeit genug . Year Book 2007, 64-71, p. 69 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Foucault - Recap <ul><li>Foucault and ‘genealogy‘: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>this concept argues against ideas of evolution and progress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>genealogy ‘finds that there is “something altogether different“ behind things: not a timeless and essential secret, but the secret that they have no essence or that their essence was fabricated in a piecemeal fashion from alien forms.‘ (‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History‘, p. 148) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the idea of a ‘substantial unity‘ = stable identity is an illusion, a fabrication of discourse </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Julia Kristeva (b. 1941) <ul><li>Philosopher and novelist </li></ul><ul><li>Brings Psychoanalysis (Freud/Lacan) and Feminism together </li></ul><ul><li>‘ intertextuality‘ </li></ul><ul><li>Notion of ‘abject‘ </li></ul><ul><li>symbolic vs. semiotic </li></ul><ul><li>the symbolic order is maintained by clean and proper delimitation </li></ul><ul><li>the ‘improper‘, ‘unclean‘, ‘disorderly‘ is excluded and separated </li></ul><ul><li>yet it ‘hovers at the border of the subject‘s identity, threatening apparent unities and stabilities with disruption and possible dissolution‘ [margin] (Grosz, 144, your reading) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Bodies: Discplines / Abjects <ul><li>Can dance and choreography transgress the grip of these powers constraining the body, ‘the political technology of the body‘? </li></ul><ul><li>Does dance and choreography tap into the ‘abjects‘ of society? </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Further Reading (all in your bibliography): </li></ul><ul><li>Featherstone e.a., eds., The Body: Social Processes and Cultural Theory. London 1991 </li></ul><ul><li>Atkinson, ed., The Body. Basingstoke 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>P Hancock e.a., The Body, Culture, and Society. Buckingham Pa. 2000. </li></ul><ul><li>Weiss/Haber, eds, Perspectives on embodiment: the intersections of nature and culture. London 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Gallagher/Laqueur, eds, The Making of the Modern Body. Berkeley 1987. </li></ul><ul><li>The Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabimow, Penguin 1986 </li></ul><ul><li>P Bourdieu, Distinction, London 1984 </li></ul>Dance & Discourse
  9. 9. Beyond the ‘Docile Body‘ Crash
  10. 10. Beyond the ‘Docile Body‘ <ul><li>in the late 1980s, several choreographers, independently, started to investigate and explore instinct and reflexes as aspects of dance choreography </li></ul><ul><li>the term ‘Euro-Crash‘ was en vogue at the time for this strand of choreography, although it wasn‘t only a European phenomenon </li></ul><ul><li>the same and/or other choreographers began to work with untrained performers, or ‘unusual‘ bodies </li></ul>Crash  Links to Tanztheater/Pina Bausch (cf. last lecture) and to performance art/live art
  11. 11. Beyond the ‘Docile Body‘ <ul><li>Our examples today: </li></ul><ul><li>the early work of DV8: instinct, reflex, no technical dance </li></ul><ul><li>German choreographer Felix Ruckert, a former dancer of Tanztheater Wuppertal: the audience as dancers </li></ul><ul><li>Wim Vandekeybus and his company Ultima Vez: work with untrained and unusual (e.g. blind) performers </li></ul><ul><li>(also remember Édouard Lock and La La La Human Steps: instinct, reflex, energy, yet ballet) </li></ul>?
  12. 12. Lloyd Newson / DV 8 <ul><li>Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men </li></ul><ul><li>Film Version 1990 </li></ul>
  13. 13. Felix Ruckert (b. 1959) <ul><li>studied at Folkwang Schule Essen </li></ul><ul><li>dancer with Pina Bausch (in most of her famous repertory pieces such as Le Sacre du Printemps, Kontakthof, Blaubart, Palermo Palermo), also with Wanda Golonka and Mathilde Monnier </li></ul><ul><li>1995: Hautnah : ‘a solo performance for a solo audience‘ </li></ul>
  14. 14. Felix Ruckert (b. 1959) <ul><li>other pieces include Ring, Secret Service, Deluxe Joy Pilot </li></ul><ul><li>work with physical and emotional manipulation of bodies (the audiences‘ bodies, in most cases) </li></ul><ul><li> link to S/M </li></ul>
  15. 15. Wim Vandekeybus (*1963) ‘ The instinct to protect others and to catch them when they fall is essential. During the dance itself you stop thinking. This is what I mean by “état“. It becomes pure passion. You have no choice.“ (Interview, p. 282 [Further Reading])
  16. 16. <ul><li>no formal dance training, just amateur courses in Modern Dance, Tango, Film, Photography </li></ul><ul><li>1987, founds Ultima Vez in Spain, first production What the Body Does Not Remember </li></ul><ul><li>1993 – 1999, Choreographer in Residence at Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg, Brussels </li></ul><ul><li>‘ movement from within ‘ (Alexandrova) </li></ul><ul><li>typical: films as ‘acts‘ in his productions </li></ul><ul><li>work with blind dancers, from Her Body Doesn‘t Fit Her Soul (1993) </li></ul>Wim Vandekeybus (*1963)
  17. 17. <ul><li>Alexandrova‘s reading (  Further Reading): </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The “going out“ or ec-stasy of the intense dance is not related to an act of showing, revealing, the appearance of something hidden; there is no hidden meaning to be unveiled. Furthermore, it has little to do with the state of being possessed, with anything which comes from outside and beyond into the body.‘ (24 f.) </li></ul><ul><li>? visual replaced by tactile </li></ul>Wim Vandekeybus (*1963)
  18. 18. <ul><li>‘ For me it is important that we work with physical and mental aggression. To make the public question the authenticity of things. Right from the beginning, one of my mottos has been: Back to reality. A return to “real“ movement, which others later called dance.‘ </li></ul><ul><li>Wim Vandekeybus in Boenisch 2002: 252 </li></ul>Wim Vandekeybus (*1963) ‘ It is no longer interesting when things become too analytical. Movements have to seduce; they have to retain some mystery. In this sense, speed protects movement.‘ (Interview 286)
  19. 19. <ul><li>not the filming of a stage production </li></ul><ul><li>combines elements from What the Body Does Not Remember (1986) and Les Porteuses des Mauvaises Nouvelles (1989) (these two pieces were combined in The Weight of a Hand , 1990, into an evening length show) </li></ul>Roseland (1993)