Choreography as mobile architecture

Erin Manning


This paper explores how choreographic fields generate their own forms and forces of movement. Beginning with a close look at Forsythe’s Synchronous Objects website, I explore how cues and alignments work in a danced choreographic work. Moving back and forth between the dance itself – One Flat Thing, reproduced – and the website as a platform for what I call a “dance of attention,” I look at how the movement moves between choreographic platforms and, especially, how the movement composes a distributed relational environment that exceeds the dancers themselves. This generated spacetime of experience is what I call a mobile architecture. With the concept of mobile architecture, I then turn to participatory installations that do not privilege the choreographic setting into place of rehearsed movement. I ask how these participatory environments can produce mobile architectures of their own. My suggestion is that mobile architectures – proto-architectures for the moving – are a way of thinking the more-than of human movement that co-generates spacetimes of experience. This, I think, leads us not only toward new ways of thinking about choreography, but also about the centrality of the human in dance.

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