Moving with(in) language : kinetic textuality in contemporary performing arts
Within the Western-based performing arts of the last decade, there has been an increasing tendency to investigate artistically the correlation between language and movement and to foreground the intrinsic connection between language and movement as means of expression. In some cases, streams of words are presented as elements that immediately trigger various physical movements, while these movements in turn also function as direct prompts to utter specific words; in other cases, artists explore how textuality itself can incorporate compositional strategies that can be considered choreographic, because the phrases are arranged in such a way that they establish a movement sequence, albeit one made up of words. This dissertation brings together the artistic strategies adopted to highlight the inherent parallels between text and movement under the term “kinetic textuality,” and studies them on the basis of a corpus consisting of twelve performances created between 2011 and 2020 by Chloe Chignell, Hannah De Meyer, Mette Edvardsen, Bryana Fritz, Abke Haring, Daniel Linehan, Dounia Mahammed, and Alma Söderberg. The study of this corpus aims to achieve a better understanding of the use of kinetic textuality in the specific artistic context of the performances (formal, dramaturgical, and poetic choices), as well as in the light of broader trends in contemporary performing arts, and against the background of a longer artistic investigation into the affinity between text and movement. To work towards these aims, medium-specific theoretical discussions on the relation between text and performance and accounts of late 20th and early 21st century dance are combined with transhistorical comparisons between the selected contemporary corpus and a historical corpus of artists who also carried out artistic investigations into the relationship between text and movement, dance and speech, choreography and writing. This historical corpus includes the work of choreographers such as Trisha Brown, Bill T. Jones, and Pina Bausch, but also the writings on dance of poet Stéphane Mallarmé. A recurrent observation throughout the comparisons with the work of these four artists is that the contemporary use of kinetic textuality more radically investigates how choreographic principles can be incorporated into the composition of the text itself. Methodologically, the phenomenological reflections on the relationship between language and embodiment, especially of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, but also of postphenomenologists Don Ihde and Mark Coeckelbergh, provide the main theoretical framework through which this dissertation reads and looks at the selected corpus.
Antwerp : University of Antwerp, Faculty of Arts, Department of Literature , 2023
278 p.
Supervisor: De Laet, Timmy [Supervisor]
Supervisor: Van den Dries, Luk [Supervisor]
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Moving with(in) Language: Kinetic Textuality in Contemporary Performing Arts.
Moving Language: An Investigation into Text's Kinetic Potential in Theatre.
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Publications with a UAntwerp address
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Creation 09.11.2023
Last edited 02.12.2023
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