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Failing to do without: writing as classical documentation of post-classical choreographic documentation

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This article focuses on choreographic documentation and it particularly questions the role of the written text as a document of a dance work. It begins by tracing my research's attempt at doing without writing. After discussing the need for documentation in practice-based research, the article exposes ontological assumptions about writing: its ontology of permanence as the ability to remain through classical time. It then moves to a discussion of permanence in relation to post-classical time (duration): permanence as memory. The discussion then shifts to my attempt to create a documentation modality which utilized the bodily and image memories of a choreographic work, and in so doing dispensed with writing and utilized choreography itself as its own documentation vehicle. The final section discusses the limitation of this documentation modality and how, in the end, it returned the research to writing.
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Keywords: choreography; disappearance; ontology; practice-based; writing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: York St John University.

Publication date: 2009-07-01

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  • The Journal of Writing in Creative Practice is the official organ of the Writing Purposefully in Art and Design (Writing PAD) network. It offers art and design institutions an arena in which to explore and develop the notion of thinking through writing as a parallel to visual discourse in art and design practice. The journal aims to extend the debates to all national and international higher educational art and design institutions.
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