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Animation Project: Activating life at the periphery

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How do new materialist perspectives for decentring the human, and instead attending to the forces of ‘things’, productively address misalignments between ‘dance’ and ‘choreography’ within Western concert dance? Could the non-human kinetics of ‘thinking-feeling’ be foregrounded in performance and what new tools would be required for dancers and audiences to perceive it? How might dance artists propose frames in which these ‘animating circumstances’ might unfold and be shared as the movement of thought? From 2011 to 2015, artist/scholars Megan Nicely and Kate Elswit explored these questions in a studio practice, stage performance, installation and series of workshops titled Animation Project. The process that this article chronicles brought together various strands of philosophical, embodied thought from the work of João Fiadeiro, Deborah Hay, Brian Massumi, Erin Manning and Jane Bennett.
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Keywords: animation; choreography; dance; perception; sensation; thinking

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of San Francisco

Publication date: 01 December 2017

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  • Choreographic Practices operates from the principle that dance embodies ideas and can be productively enlivened when considered as a mode of critical and creative discourse. The journal provides a platform for sharing choreographic practices, critical inquiry and debate.
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