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Entangled histories, part 1: Releasing the Archive

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Releasing the Archive probes the potential for a return to the past as a method for revitalizing corporeal expression in the present. In this trans-hemispherical project, we explore the avant-garde dance practice of Gertrud Bodenwieser (b. 1890 Vienna, d. 1959 Sydney) in Vienna prior to her exile to Australia in 1938 through a somatic approach. What is the potential opened by a recovery of the principles and practices of her dance methods and corporeal project? In inhabiting the archives of former Bodenwieser dancers through an inter-corporeal approach, Releasing the Archive explores what they can do in the present. It renders visible the specific somatic and expressive logic of dance methods that emerged in Vienna in the period 1919–38 and were developed in Australia from 1939, when they were ‘outlawed’ in Austria and Germany. At the same time, it invites an ethics of witnessing the past through the stories of the dancers who embodied it.
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Keywords: Ausdruckstanz; Bodenwieser; Mensendieck; affect; archive; expressionism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Auckland

Publication date: 01 June 2017

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  • This journal focuses on the relationship between dance and somatic practices, and the influence of this body of practice on the wider performing arts. The journal will be aimed at scholars and artists, providing a space for practitioners and theorists to debate the work, to consider the impact and influence of the work on performance, the interventions that somatic practices can have on other disciplines and the implications for research and teaching.
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