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Dance today: Between biopower and biopolitics

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Around 1800, parallel to heavy changes on the political stage in general and the replacement of taxonomical thought by the idea of life as living within life sciences - an observation by Michel Foucault, which he, after The Order of Things, deepens in his lectures on The History of Governmentality between 1977 and 1979 - choreography also changes fundamentally. This change manifests very obviously in the Letters on Dancing and Ballets by Jean Georges Noverre from 1760, published as a manifesto in their first edition approximately 20 years before the closing of the Académie Royale de Danse in Paris. In Noverre, there can be found a lot of hints pointing toward the complex problem of biopolitics, although nowadays many scholars mainly refer to him solely as the inventor of ballet d'action and in this context as an early precursor of romantic ballet in the nineteenth-century.
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Keywords: Giorgio Agamben; Roberto Esposito; biopolitics; choreography; dance; immunity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Academy of Fine Arts, Munich

Publication date: December 1, 2014

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