Petrified?     Some Thoughts on Practical Research and Dance     Historiography     KATE ELSWIT     Ernst Kállais 1931 Sch...
aspects of Michel Foucaults genealogical             strategies and benefits of a compact genealogical                    ...
• Valeslta Gert in Otnatílt,                                                                                              ...
through which danced expression conventionally               as a study of origins. It is through these points I          ...
practices commonly associated with notions of        left. It was a short solo, called in 1921 a true workperformance gene...
object. One review by Fritz Böhme explained this        audiences saw one of many half-naïve, half-instability as arising ...
from its 1922 premiere with three dancers andtwelve costumes in a three-color series. It is thisTriadic Ballet, discussed ...
would be far better if its theoretical search for      bad not been fully animated by tbe dancers.                        ...
always or ever be an object in its own time but is       Wissenschaft. 7-9,1925-1927. NendeinA,ichtenstein:     often petr...
Elswit petrified
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Elswit petrified

  1. 1. Petrified? Some Thoughts on Practical Research and Dance Historiography KATE ELSWIT Ernst Kállais 1931 Schrifttanz article bemoaned observation, in which performance functioned as the way in which dance at the time was living a quasi-laboratory apparatus to isolate and above its intellectual means. The article cited a examine natural processes, to the Dadaist and work by Oskar Schlemmer to exemplify how the Futurist manifestations whose provocation was theorization of performances was taking due in part to the use of the stage as a controlled precedence over their physical manifestations environment for the unknown outcomes of often onstage. In the published rebuttal, Schlemmer improvised performances. This article, which claimed his abstractions of the human form had takes as its starting point Schlemmers familiar been misunderstood, thus implicitly supporting avant-garde assertion of experimentation as Kállais assertion that the primary allegiance of bearer of utopie change, is situated in present his dances, although appearing regularly in performance research, where so much energy is performance, was their conceptual framework devoted to legitimizing aesthetic practice as a rather than their performed outcomes. Only at means of generating critical knowledge. Recently the end did Schlemmer confront Källais addressing the question of what might constitute complaint directly, not refuting its accuracy but dance in place of the spectacle of kineticism, instead arguing for the importance of André Lepecki again identified the keyword to be experimentation in and indeed as art. experimentation (2006: 43,40). What follows is Schlemmers conclusion recalled an extract from a proposal for an alternative dance his diary, likely an earlier draft of the essay, historiography that is based upon what is which ended on the speculation: For what else is perceived as a contemporary valuation of process the meaning of experiment if not the next step over product in many professional and into the future? (1972: 284). Perhaps it is pedagogical dance contexts, and which has, in surprising that this debate was published turn, troubled the notion of choreography. I will seventy-seven years ago, given its present not contend that the sense of critical practice is 1 often find myself agreeing with Birritigers topicality: the interrogation of the notion that new to choreography,^ however its current status assessment that the recent performances are constituted by their end of articulation affords an opportunity to critical attention to conceptual dance has a products. However, despite the presents reconsider the ways in which we negotiate tendency to be oblivious to heightened critical awareness of such issues, it historical research. alonghlstory of such vanguard examination seems that certain assumptions continue to be 1 will begin by problematizing certain (J005: ïi). In many made retrospectively concerning theftxityof respects. Birringers article assumptions that remain common to dances might be seen to offer a past choreography as product. negotiations with the past, despite the exciting contemporary toarticulation of Kátiais Experiments performed by artist-researchers recent attention in volumes edited by Alexandra concern for the like Schlemmer were essential to the historical Carter (2004) and Stephanie lordan (2000). From relationship between idea and event. avant-garde, ranging from the Brechtian act of there, I will consider the feasibility of applying61 Performance Research 13(1). pp.61-69 O Taylor S Francis Ltd 2008 • 01: 10.10aO/135Zaiû0802i.65565
  2. 2. aspects of Michel Foucaults genealogical strategies and benefits of a compact genealogical analysis to certain instances of dance approach in troubling the masterpiece scholarship by ascribing an imaginary lineage of mentality that is acquired as dance works age. If practical research methodology to historical methodology guides observation, then the goal of choreographic intent. Here the notion of this article is to do no more than propose an genealogy is explored in a more compact form alternative historiographie frame, one that than the extended pathways of historical productively calls attention to the instability of transmission usually advocated by genealogies dances products. As our relationship with past of performance (Roach 1996), because the performances often occurs through archives, reappropriation of archival records and the which house only the objects that remain, it is identification of disruptions occur across the natural that the performances themselves slip life-span of singular pieces. This stance is then into a position of objectification. As Rebecca tested on two dances of early-twentieth-century Schneider writes, In the archive, flesh is given to Germany, presented by the choreographers be that which slips away. Flesh can house no themselves in different instantiations over memory of bone, only bone speaks to fiesh. Flesh decades, but which have since been petrified by is blindspot (2001:102). It is this bone - this the historical record: Oskar Schlemmers Triadic fixed object-hood in place of what was also once a Ballet and Valeska Gerts Canaille. malleable thing - to which the petrified in the Tbere are countless other potential title of this article refers. Petrified also marks international examples of artist researchers in the potential anxieties, perhaps about loss of dance, ranging from Katherine Dunham to control, tbat enforce this solid state. Yvonne Rainer or Loïe Fuller. However. 1 have Recent performance scholarship has focused chosen examples from within the research on deconstructing the fixity of the arcbive and materials with which I interact on a daily basis. the need to escape its rigid, often auratic In doing so, I have selected one choreographer bindings by establishing a new and polyvocal who was situated primarily witbin a pedagogical entity that represents the past in dialogue witb a institution and one situated within a present context.^ We understand the dangers of Here I am thinking ot professional one, both of whom considered approaching past work, especially dance: thetwo particular sets of themselves and were considered hy their inevitability of change and the falseness ofdialogues relating to theretrieval of past audiences to be. as was written about Gert, verisimilitude, which are countered by a deepperformances. The first Artists who are full of ideas and also want toincludes such archival anxiety over the need to preserve a legacy ofarguments as Schneiders bring these to form (Hermann l-Neiße], sorts. Yet most arguments on practices ofthat interact with Akademie der Künste). It is my contention thatDerridasfamousArchive recreation, reconstruction and reinventionFever essay, and the the mutability of tbeir works was not accidental. assume a degree of finiteness to tbe past. Theysecond, operating from aperformance perspective, Rather, the variation between instantiations was suggest a heterogeneous present, in many ways aincludes Bertolt Brechts indicative of these works as manifestations of cubist approach, like Picasso showing a facehistoricization andcontinues through such embodied research practices, led by process to from many angles, buried inside which is anrecent discussions as accumulate a constellation of results. But how implicit assumption of a single and unified faceMike Pearsons theatrearcheology. can such a constellation be considered in relation tobe shown. to more contemporary conceptual practices in choreography? Or might it perform an inverse FRAMING PRACTICE IN H I S T O R Y / operation by lending itself to a reconsideration of PRACTICING THE FRAMING O F HISTORY choreography itself and perhaps even of the ways The multiple pasts I propose here do not fit in which we document what will become future neatly into historys teleological tendencies, in history? which time has an inescapable directedness from I am interested here in the potential scholarly past to present. In one of the seminal texts of 62
  3. 3. • Valeslta Gert in Otnatílt, 1919, Photoí: Lili Baruch / TheaUrwineníchafiliche Sammlung. Univemtät zu Köln.historiography, E. H. Carr answered his own doing so, I wisb to offer alternative access toquestion what is history? by discussing the them, perhaps not as works at all, but asnecessary ignorance that historians must extended embodied inquiries, whicb were notincreasingly cultivate the closer they came to directed toward a singular outcome as historicalstudying their own time. For Carr, the historians reflection migbt suggest.task was to discover the facts that developed the Perbaps tben, tbis argument begins in tbestory of history as they wanted it to be seen, and present witb the heterogeneity of contemporaryto discard the rest as unhistorical in service of artist-researcbers wbose bodies of knowledge arecoherence and consistency (1961:14-15). However intimately tied to their practice. As I haveself-aware such a perspective might be, it still alluded, practice-led researcb, practice-as-assumed the need for a single coherent narrative, research, practice-based researcb and so fortbeventually traceable to the origin Foucault witbin the context of bigber educationcritiqued for enabling a false field of knowledge constitutes only one of two correspondent loci,based upon its recovery, rather tban accepting eacb witb its own discussions tbat defineand studying tbe presence of the numberless choreograpby in relation to process, thus eacbbeginnings that could never be restored to offering itself as a potential point of access tocontinuity (1977 I19711:145). My desire bere in past works. The complement might be tbosetaking up the proposition of practical research in cboreograpbers working witbin tbe realm ofrelation to past choreographic works is to wbat is sometimes called conceptual dance, by acknowledge tbis potential for non-coherence. In creating performances tbat interrogate the tools
  4. 4. through which danced expression conventionally as a study of origins. It is through these points I operates, but doing so through the traditional seek to explore an alternative dance mechanisms of professional dance commerce, historiography, beginning with dispersion. including festivals and paid puhlic performances. I have argued that subsequent instantiations A pertinent example for this discussion of stage accumulate rather than replacing their practice that is also research might be Xavier Le predecessors. Likewise, Foucault argues that to Roys E.X.T.E.N.S.LO.N.S. project, which follow the complex course of descent is to attempted to create a situation that, according to maintain passing events in their proper Le Roy should be at the same time the product dispersion (1977 I19711:146). The witnessing of and the production of the performance and the such dispersion requires that the genealogist research on the questions related to it (quoted in partakes in an exhaustive collection of source Husemann). The almost-compulsory mentions in material. Just as a genealogical approach does3 Given such open time articles and reviews of Le Roys background as a not reject history hut rather demands theprocesses, thehistoriography argument molecular biologist testify to the perceived re-envisioning of it as raw material, practicalI am making might liminality between performance and research incorrespond most closely research involves a shift of artisticto discussions on tbe his work. consciousness from product to process, openingpreservation of morefluid performances. The The connection between the two contexts of both original creations and historical reflectionopen work, for example, practical research, those within pedagogical and on them to doubt by undermining singularis defined not by a set ofconsistent features but those within commercial frames, can be drawn by outcomes. Here, Foucaults Nietzsche-inspiredby its ontology of flux, as suggesting that hoth participate in what Susan effective history might be introduced, as itvisible in the Fluxusevents of the 1960s, and Melrose has articulated as a discipline-specific abstains from narratives that generatetberefore it has been expert intuition, the operations of which drive continuity by dealing with relational changes innoted that any act ofpreservation must the exploration of ideas through leaps that are place of occurrences. An event in effectiveaccount for the salient history is not a decision, a treaty, a reign or aregularities which can only later recuperated (2005). Melrose arguesand do change over time. that all disciplines participate in and are driven battle, but the reversal of a relationship of forces,The open work has no the usurpation of power, the appropriation of aoriginal nor singular by such intuitive connections. However, it seemsideal performance tbat to me that both forms of practical research are vocabulary (154). Thus, a compact genealogicalprovides a benchmark for inquiry into dance history would not privilegeall subsequent united by a particular shared version of thisperfortnanees; instead intuition, one that can cause problems for the status ofthe performances eventhood overtbere exists only a set of the play of forces within the research practiceclear originating ideas archiving in a present context, as Melrosethat generate all recently has noted, not to mention for relating to that contributed to its coming into being.instantiations of tbeperformance, meaning the past. The discussion of intuition is crucial in Though such an approach implicitly relies onthat any historical destabilizing the solidity of choreographic non-dominant forms of knowledge, includingaccount must address theway in wbich tbe products by drawing attention to the selections perhaps kinetic intelligence, this is also whereperformance has a made between numerous possible outcomes at Foucauits conception of genealogy appears in"career", a bistory, ratberthan an essential nature each moment in the process of creation.^ The most marked contrast to forms of practical dance(Rubidge 2000)- Unlike contemporary focus on practical research hasmany open works, research. For Foucault, genealogy analyses howbowever, wbich often emphasized and articulated the to-some-extent tbe body is imprinted or inscribed by historyeclipse authorial open nature of all dance-making - its intuition,presence entirely, the {147-8). It implies a passive body whereas thehistorical performances 1 contingency, and chance - in a manner that can nature of practical research in dance involves anam considering were be applied not only to the present, but to the past.driven toward inverted proposition of agency in whicb thedifferentiation and As I can obviously not account for the whole of dancing bodies are not only inscribed but alsovariation by a single practical research in this proposal, I wish to callcentral figure and tbat inscribing. This active participation generatespersons research attention to the places at which certain of its heterogeneous and varied results that are notquestions. principles can be seen to correspond to entirely dispersed in the longitudinal Foucaults genealogical interrogation of history transmission and dissemination of cultural 64
  5. 5. practices commonly associated with notions of left. It was a short solo, called in 1921 a true workperformance genealogy as they have come to be of genius, which appeared repeatedly from theutilized by Roach, Diana Taylor and Ramsey Burt, late teens onwards in Germany as well asamong others; instead they cluster around internationally in cities including London, Paris,singular research figures. Nonetheless, the New York and Moscow. In 1922, Canaille wasintersections between genealogical inquiry and staged in a cabaret curated by Brecht, was filmedpractical research can be used to facilitate the by Suse Byk in 1925, and the piece seems to bavemapping of present understandings of remained with Gert for most of her life, because achoreography as process onto the past. 1977 documentary by Volker Schlöndorff In the two examples 1 have chosen, the captured her a few months before her deathchoreographers implemented their practice in upstaging a young performer to whom she hadvery different ways despite their shared epoch, taught it. Given that the nature of Gerts stagedhowever both practices prohlematize the stability practice was entirely bound to the relationshipof choreography as product when framed in this she maintained with her audience. Canaille alsomanner. Because Valeska Gert was concerned functioned emblematically, with the prostitute aswith issues of the social body, her process was the social ñgure whose body most often served ascatalyzed by the presence of her audience, and a site of public interaction.therefore her experimentation - her testing of Gert claimed Canaillewas not improvisedaccepted limits - occurred in the moment of because the movements were set, but that theperformance. In contrast, Oskar Schlemmers structure of the piece allowed her to experience itinitial laboratory for the abstract body was the differently each time, due to changes in thesecure framework of letters and diaries in which underlying emotion. In various writings, shehe formulated his ideas. Whereas Gerts stage described how the girl enjoyed her work somepractice coristituted her research, it seems more days, despised it others, was indifferent, spiteful,accurate to say that Schlemmers research was chaste, giddy, depraved. Despite her claim, thehii practice, with the performances themselves movement itself changed too, sucb as the orgasmas means to share what he saw as predetermined of the two filmed versions. In the 1925 film, Gertresults, but which often took on quite other broke into a Charleston of sorts, with high energymeanings for his audiences who expected that and frenetic kicks, whicb was then emptied of life as her legs continued mechanically, tossing * Because anywhich was performed to be a stable product. In genealogical analysisboth cases, the staging of production (not only her torso about. At the same moment of the 1977 requires exhaustive raw film, she began with tiny jumps, each jostling her material while the spacethe production) ultimately reframed reception, allotted for references islending itself also to examining the nature of the body, but suddenly stopped and began to sing limited, I have chosen not to referencerelationship between the two artists and their instead. And it was natural that this same independently eachaudiences. narrative event had two outcomes in these two quotation or paraphrase in the two case studies, times and places. although I am happy to1. S T A G E PRACTICE AS RESEARCH Despite the claim not to improvise, Gert herself provide that information upon request. AllAll of Valeska Gerts solos followed a basic described how she could rehearse a piece quotations come fromnarrative structure: an introduction, a tragic or limitless times, but that it would always appear German language newspapers, books, andcomic climax and then a resolution, which was different on stage, no matter how carefully it had magazines publisheddeveloped in tension between her been prepared. That this led some reviewers to during the Weimar Republic, andoverdetermined goals to revolutionize theatre critique her for performing only variations translations are my own.and her beliefs in chance and intuition as instead of accomplished composition (Kuc. The majority of sources are housed in Deutschesentering to assist humans where the cleverest Isigned] |date unknownl) suggests a Tanzarchiv Köln, Archivcalculations cease.^ In Canaille, a prostitute contemporary awareness of the ways in which der Akademie der Künste, and Baubaus Archiv.solicited a John, performed her services and then she undermined the production of dance as
  6. 6. object. One review by Fritz Böhme explained this audiences saw one of many half-naïve, half-instability as arising because her dances were depraved streetwalkers, through wbom inquirynot a thing learned and subsequently projected into tbe social was mapped onto inquiry into theoutside of herself. Rather, they become every formal: Vateska Gert does indeed not uncovertime newly created in the moment of production herself, but rather the sexuality of dance ( such a way that the performance guarantees [signedl 1977 I1926I). Tbe same review explainedgenuineness and artistic veracity (Böhme tbat Gert proved tbe absurdity of bourgeois[1930I). Why I cite this review in particular, of the dance through a gradual disrobing of identity,many that commented on her presentness, is that witb her effect on an audience accomplished overBöhme also articulated and praised what I might a long period of development tbat involvedidentify as the main line of inquiry occurring in multiple alterations.Gerts performances: the relationship she What caused Gert to be labelled as grotesque insuccessfully established with her audience by her time might alternately be understood as andeveloping her artistic forms from a process that experimental study of making visible hodilywas experientially of tbe moment, in a scenario excess tbat had been developed from observationengineered to test tbe boundaries of wbat could of tbe normal and tbe everyday. These naturalbe accomplished through expression tbat was forms were tben dissected and magnified, tbeirboth physical and social. Böhme wrote that the boundaries tested in concert witb tbe audience. Asartist must every time conquer ber audience one writer put it, sbe created scraps of dance fromanew, must also be prepared to give berself to scraps of tbe times. Tbough Gert called Canaillethem". He claimed tbat tbe success of her creation ber first socially critical dance pantomime, thewas as a unity between artist and spectator dance was not simply a parody, nor even anmuch deeper, compléter, closer than with a ñxed indictment of a society tbat allowed prostitution.production. By allowing herself to publicly experience the full Gert famously claimed sbe was no solo dancer; trajectory of tbe event, from solicitation throughtbat the audience was her partner. However I coitus and aftermath, Gert migbt have beenmight push tbat further to suggest tbe audience studying wbat it meant actually to sell ones body,was her catalyst. In the way that some dancers go a practice heightened by the presence of aninto a studio, Gert set herself under a spotlight, audience that had indeed paid to watcb ber bodysituating ber body as a social body and of it. This undergo the process. The sharing of this eventwas true of all ber pieces but perbaps tbe witb an audience was in itself a secondprostitute brought her social body to its most experimental practice tbat actualized the first.literal fulfillment, implicating the audience insucb a way tbat tbe film director Sergei 2. STAGING RESEARCH AS PRACTICEEisenstein described her as "only barely social Like Gert, Oskar Schlemmer sought to researchsatire. But sbe is one-bundred percent pure nitric formal change but, in place of tbe audience, theacid for bourgeois ideology (1987:121). Reviews need for aestbetic change itself was bis catalyst.of Canaille tended to combine ratber graphic Thougb Triadic Ballets instantiations are oftendescriptions that comment on tbe social pligbt of referenced as a single entity - Oskar Schlemmerstbe prostitute witb observations tbat dance-of-tbreeness - sucb pbrasing suggests anforegrounded Gerts performance tecbniques, ontological stability tbat was incompatible withmost notably an empatby that enabled one the way in whicb bis performances werereviewer to understand, as he had not before, tbe repeatedly broken down to tbeir constituentintimacies of tbe prostitutes act: how pleasure elements and reassembled. Pbotographs andand torment could come from tbe same hole programmes clearly demonstrate the multiple(Tucholsky 1978119211:204). In Canaille, reconfigurations that 7Viûdic ßu//et underwent 66
  7. 7. from its 1922 premiere with three dancers andtwelve costumes in a three-color series. It is thisTriadic Ballet, discussed in Schlemmers famousMan and Art Figure essay, which is most oftendescribed in place of acknowledging theheterogeneous subsequent instantiations, ofwhich I count seven primary ones, with anadditional one planned but never carried through.These reduced the work from evening-lengtbconcert dance to smaller works and hybrid formsfit into a variety of performances venues. Theorder of the colour series was first rearranged andthen that division eliminated altogether; themusic was changed at least three times; and thenumber of dancers quadrupled to twelve, thendropped to seven. Not only did the number ofcostumes change, but at times they were even lentto other performances, one of which retained thesame title.^ If such mutability of aestheticidentity defined Triadic Ballets modernity, as has Schlemmers expectations of them, as Kállai • Karl Heining, Daisy Spies and Carl von HachI in Triadicbeen suggested, it was not because the products suggested. Schlemmer wrote at length about tbe Ballet, Donaueschingenwere deliberately multiplied but because the 1926 Atelier Crill, Courtesy development of Triadic Ballet out of his personal Deutschem Tanzarchiv Kölnperformances were constituted by their quest for a metaphysical revue, which beprocesses. believed would manifest most prominently with Where Gert had used the stage for research tbe costumes used in the original last section of • The most startling > mutation, in 192b, wasinto human social nature. Schlemmer searched the dance. It was this third series where when the costumes were Schlemmer demanded the most of his costumes rented to a revue at thefor a purely physical nature: the laws of the Mctropol Theatre inhuman body that freed it not only from society in transforming the human bodies that wore Berlin for three months. them, and thus here that the audiences were Although the version wasbut from emotional affect. It is clear that actuallychoreographedSchlemmer was never interested in the called upon to make the greatest imaginative by a Russian ballet leaps in order for the performance practice to mistress anti featured allmechanization of the body for its own sake, but twelve costumes onstageinstead wanted to explore the potential for fulfill the intentions of Schlemmers research. at once, reviews of the One critic described how the 1922 audiences were performance and evenphysical mechanics as starting points for Schlemmer himself didaesthetic transformations. However the taken at first hy the merriment of the dances not distinguish this picturesque costumes, but that, as the piece instantiation from any ofplacement of any form of research within the the others, referring to itpublic domain performs a solidifying operation, progressed, and Schlemmers deeper ideas only asOskar became evident in tbe third series, it was that Schlemmers Triadicmaking it a cultural object, and cultural objects Ba//ef. This chronology section which initially appears foreign and is most clearly detailedare always tied to a valuing group. Though alienating. Thus was pleasure and applause after by Scheper (1977).Schlemmers writings articulate repeatedly his however, telltale signs of the first series much stronger than at the end. it appeared indesire to display the inherent mechanisms of Similarly, many reviews from early instantiations Schlemmers diariesdancing bodies, most contemporaneous reviews when he, for example, complain of Schlemmers attempts to fix too discussed the hiring ofmake reference only to the mechanization of his much meaning through readings of Heinrich von multiple female dancers.dancers, whicb is more than a semantic issue. Kleists essay on the puppet theatre, referencing, In part, this may be due to the fact that, as for example, his burdening of Kleist as amanifestations of research ideas, tbe compurgator and suggesting that the pieceperformances may have been overloaded by
  8. 8. would be far better if its theoretical search for bad not been fully animated by tbe dancers. legitimacy were left aside so that its playful Interestingly, this review finished by noting tbat framework not be overextended. Scblemmer had an impressive idea wbicb must^ Toepfer notes that. In place of utilizing the eras increased be followed up with diligence, as thougb it were abecause the Bauhaus was new work and not already ten years old. Mya plastic art schoo] and technological capacity to create dazzlingnot a dance institution, displays, Schlemmer had sought to show the interest in approaching bistorical dance works asthe lack of obhgation to a natural mechanics already inherent in bodies. In potential practical researcb is to ftnd ways tostructured movementcurricula resulted the process, he forced human bodies to bear the deal with exactly those idiosyncrasies andpositively in the weight and limited range of motion from the incongruences tbat might otherwise beexperimental nature oftheir works, bul it also awkward costumes, leaving many reviewers overlooked without tbe discontinuities enabledmay have prevenled troubled by tbe difficulty tbe dancers faced in by the dispersion of a genealogical approacb. lnfuSfillnient of certaindancerly possibilities in managing the costumes of Triadic Ballet, which particular, as in both examples, tbe reframing ofthe performances (1997: remained rigid rather than conforming to the some historical performances as part of practical mutability of the human form. Obviously, this researcb processes may help to address certain was exaggerated by contrast to the particular issues in their reception. Having said all tbis, suppleness traditionally expected of dancers. however, I am uncertain I will ever be And it is also likely that those audience members comfortable witb the anachronism of applying who commented on the failure of the perfornners the term "practical research to bistorical by traditional standards of excellence missed processes, in place of the term experiment tbat that the dancers were first serving another idea. was so often used. Altbougb it migbt, to some But it was also particular to the fact that, as extent, be valuable to push forward in making tbe many reviewers commented, Schlemmers full analogy between Gerts staged practice as dancers were not always capable of physically researcb and the audience-centric researcb of fulfilling the tasks he conceived for them, due to conceptual dance or between Oskar Schlemmers a lack of tecbnical training.^ One review relationship to the Baubaus and tbe more discussed Schlemmer (under bis stage name) as institutionalized forms of practical researcb in demonstrating an almost touching higher education today, I am concerned about tbe unconsciousness of technical incapacity (O.K. scholarly ethics of such a full-fledged Isigned] 1922). Similarly otbers describe his proposition. inadequate troupe and mention that it might A recent article has taken up tbis prospect to bave been Scblemmers own fault that Triadic discuss Scblemmers research practice, by Ballet did not receive tbe recognition he situating him as an anomalous example of anticipated since "post-modern work on tbe grounds of his embodied thinking (Trimingham 2004:128,132). |hle allowed his work to be presented by a troupe Such extraction of Schlemmer from bis own that did not possess todays intensive body- and spatial-feeling, which he himself so often has context may not allow for the complexity of his proclaimed as the prerequisite of his own dancerly relationship to his own time, nor tbe possibility ideas. Because of that, the performance remained in I raise here, that his performances constituted fact only a Bauhaus fashion show, driven by only one of many such contemporaneous projects conventional balletic grace. (Michel 1932:13) of experiment through performance. To draw attention to my own process, I might admit that A CONCLUSION BY WAY OF A FEW I found myself drawn to a line in tbe original THOUGHTS ON TRANS-HISTORICALITY Performance Research call for papers tbat began: A review of Triadic Ballet from a 1932 dance If choreograpby begins to cballenge conceptions competition in Paris noted tbe welcome novelty of bow bodily movement produces dance as an of tbe exact mathematical deliberation wbicb object... It seems to me tbat dance may not 68
  9. 9. always or ever be an object in its own time but is Wissenschaft. 7-9,1925-1927. NendeinA,ichtenstein: often petrified in retrospect through the Klaus Reprint, 169. mechanisms of preservation and the operations Lepecki. André (2006) Exhausting Dance: Performance of historical reflection. Still, I remain torn and the Politics of Movement, New York: Routiedge. whether it is more important that we use Melrose, Susan (2005) * "... just intuitive ..." (May) contemporary terminology to facilitate increased <> intimacy with historical choreography or Michel, Artur (1932) "Triumph deutscher Tanzkunst in terminology ofthe time in order to contextualize Paris VoÁSische Zeitung, |u!y. Deutsches Tanzarchiv it. In this case the contemporary formulation Köln. may be useful in private, itself just a process and O.K. (signed) (1922) Württembergishes Landestheater: not a product, as a means to approach the pasts Das triadische Ballet, Schwab Merkur. 2 October. 432. more fleshy possibilities. Deutsches Tanzarchiv Köln. Roach, Joseph R. (1996) Cities ofthe Dead: Circum- REFERENCES Atlantic Peformance, New York: Columbia University Böhme, Fritz (1930) Valeska Cert. Schwechtensaal", Press. Deutsche Altgemeine Zeitung, Archiv der Akademie der Rubidge. Sarah (2000) Identity and the Open Work in Künste, 21 November. Stephanie Jordan (ed.) Preservation Politics: Dance Carr. E. H. (1961) (1987) What is History!, London: Revived, Reconstructed. Remade. Huddersfield: Dance Penguin. Books, pp. 205-15. Carter, Alexandra (ed.) (2004) Rethirtking Dance Scheper, Dirk (ed.) (1977) Oskar Schlemmer: The History: A Reader, London: Routledge. Triadic Ballet, trans. Leanore Ickstadt, Berlin: Akademie der Künste. Birringer. lohannes (2005) Dance and Not Dance, PA} Schlemmer. Oskar (1972) The Letters ond Diaries of 80:10-27. Oskar Schlemmer, ed. Tut Schlemmer, trans. Krishna Eisenstein, Sergei (1987) Im Weltmass-stab über Winston, Evanston: Northwestern University Press. Valeska Gert in Frank-Manuel Peter (ed.). Valeska Schlemmer, Oskar (1990 [1931]) Misunderstandings; A Gert: Tänzerin, Schauspielerin, Kabarettiótin, Berlin: Reply to Kállai, in Valerie Preston-Dunlop and Edition Hentrich, p. 121. Susanne Lahusen (ed. and trans.) Schrifttanz: A View Foucault, Michel (1977 I1971I) Nietzsche, Genealogy, of Dance in the Weimar Republic, London: Dance History, trans. Donald F. Bouchard and Sherry Simon, Books, pp. 17-20. in Bouchard (ed.) Language. Counter-Memory. Practice, Schneider, Rebecca (2001) Archives: Performance Cornell University Press. Remains, Performance Research 6.2:100-108. Hermann (-Neiße). Max (date unknown) Valeska Gert, Toepfer, Karl (1997) Empire of Ecstasy: Nudity and Berliner Tageblatt. Archiv der Akademie der Künste. Movement in German Body Culture. igio-ig25 Husemann, Plrkko (2007) Choreography as Berkeley: University of California Press. Experimental F^actice: The Project Series Trimingham, Melissa (2004) Oskar Schlemmers e.X.T.e.N.S.I.O.N.S. by Xavier Le Roy, October <http:// Research Practice at the Dessau Bauhaus", Theatre> Research International 29.2:128-42. Kállai. Ernst (1990 I1931I) Between Ritual ad Cabaret Tucholsky, Kurt {1978I1921I) Valeska Gert", reprinted lexcerptsl. in Valerie Preston-Dun I op and Susanne in Die Weltbühne: Vollständiger Nochdruck der Lahusen (ed. and trans.) Schrifttanz: A View of Dance Jahrgänge 1918-19S3 Königstein: Anthenäum Verlag, in the Weimar Republic. London: Dance Books, pp. 204-205. pp. 16-20. Kuk. (signed) (date unknown) Tanzabend Valeska Gert", Welt am Abend, Archiv der Akademie der Künste. L. (signed) (1977 [1926]) Tanz: Valeska Gert, in Der Kritiker: Wochenschrift für Politik. KunAt. und69