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Free Content Digital inscriptions and the dancing body: Expanding territories through and with the archive

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This article will reflect on British choreographer Siobhan Davies and her changing relationship with her own digital archive, Siobhan Davies RePlay, to explore the creative potential of archives for dance artists, and the ways in which artists engage with and intervene in the archival process. With a focus on Davies’ work during and since the creation of the archive, the article will chart the way that her choreography has developed in effect in dialogue with the archive, whether explicit or implicit in her developing choreographic oeuvre. This dialogue has enabled Davies to investigate new ways of conceiving time and space in work that tests the conventions of choreographic practice, creating what might be described as a ‘landscape of vitality’, which reflects back on the archive as an articulation of her creative strategies. Consequently, several projects since the launch of RePlay in 2009 have developed out of Davies attending more closely to her own making process. In particular, the article will dwell on her current project, Table of Contents (2014), and trace the way in which Davies has turned towards her own history, and its representation through RePlay, to test the living potential of the archive. Through a process of reconstructing and reimagining past choreographies she is re-inscribing the archival traces through her dancers’ bodies; archival content is re-embodied, performed by finding its way back into the new work and, in turn, questioning her own choreographic choices.
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Keywords: Siobhan Davies; Table of Contents; archive; choreography; compost; inscription

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Coventry University

Publication date: April 1, 2014

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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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