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New German Dance Studies$
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Susan Manning and Lucia Ruprecht

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036767

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036767.001.0001

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Negotiating Choreography, Letter, and Law in William Forsythe

Negotiating Choreography, Letter, and Law in William Forsythe

Chapter:
(p.200) 12. Negotiating Choreography, Letter, and Law in William Forsythe
Source:
New German Dance Studies
Author(s):

Gerald Siegmund

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252036767.003.0013

This chapter considers William Forsythe, an artist whose intellectual choreographies form a unique—and uniquely successful—part of Germany's dance culture. First, it takes a closer look at the relation between bodies and the law that regulates our status as citizens and as political bodies. The piece Human Writes is emblematic of what choreography does with bodies that engage with the letter of the law, a missed encounter that produces dance. Second, it takes Human Writes as exemplary of Forsythe's methodologies to create impossible choreographies that challenge the dancers and necessitate decisions on their part. This will, third, lead toward a definition of choreography. Choreography appears to be a machine-like structure of relational differences, an inhuman symbolic language that, together with the bodies' manifold possibilities of movement, produces a choreographic text. Choreography is confronted with and simultaneously confronts the body, thereby putting it in a state of dancing. By simultaneously including and excluding the body, choreography creates imaginary bodies, possibilities of bodies that both the dancers and the audiences can then explore.

Keywords:   German dance culture, choreography, William Forsythe, political bodies, Human Writes, dancing

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