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Walking as site dance: Choreography and conflict in Tel Aviv

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This article emerges from my experiences of ‘moving and being moved’ on a recent trip to Tel Aviv. The focus is on an exploratory practice as research project, grounded in two conflicted sites – my body and Israel/Tel Aviv – and framed as compositional score, choreography and site dance. The project, based on a walking/lived experience score, aimed to explore a site and its sense of urban flow through embodied experience. This involved conscious walking, being open to sensory and affective elements and to the material phenomena within which the score was situated. This awareness included the city’s representations of itself and its historical narratives through architecture and urban design. The project integrated walking with my daily Gaga dance classes, thus joining two distinct ways of moving as they connected with my experiences of place and my participant-observer status. This article is informed by my dance research-in-motion – my encounters with the dynamic environments of everyday life – and by readings in human geography, spatial/affect theory, phenomenology, urban/architectural history, walking and social choreography, and the adventurous anthropology of Kathleen Stewart. The format of this article combines autobiography with choreographic experience broadly conceived as a practice that entwines the personal within physical, mobile experiences of space and place.
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Keywords: Gaga; Tel Aviv; dance and conflict; embodiment; site dance; urban/architectural history

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: New York University

Publication date: May 1, 2019

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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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