1st Edition

Exhausting Dance Performance and the Politics of Movement

By Andre Lepecki Copyright 2006
    160 Pages
    by Routledge

    160 Pages
    by Routledge

    The only scholarly book in English dedicated to recent European contemporary dance, Exhausting Dance: Performance and the Politics of Movement examines the work of key contemporary choreographers who have transformed the dance scene since the early 1990s in Europe and the US.

    Through their vivid and explicit dialogue with performance art, visual arts and critical theory from the past thirty years, this new generation of choreographers challenge our understanding of dance by exhausting the concept of movement. Their work demands to be read as performed extensions of the radical politics implied in performance art, in post-structuralist and critical theory, in post-colonial theory, and in critical race studies.

    In this far-ranging and exceptional study, Andre Lepecki brilliantly analyzes the work of the choreographers:

    * Jerome Bel (France)
    * Juan Dominguez (Spain)
    * Trisha Brown (US)
    * La Ribot (Spain)
    * Xavier Le Roy (France-Germany)
    * Vera Mantero (Portugal)

    and visual and performance artists:

    * Bruce Nauman (US)
    * William Pope.L (US).

    This book offers a significant and radical revision of the way we think about dance, arguing for the necessity of a renewed engagement between dance studies and experimental artistic and philosophical practices.


    1. Introduction: The Political Ontology of Movement  2. Masculinity, Solipsism, Choreography: Bruce Nauman, Juan Dominguez, Xavier Le Roy  3. Choreography’s 'Slower Ontology': Jérôme Bel’s Critique of Representation  4. Toppling Dance: The Making of Space in Trisha Brown and La Ribot  5. Stumbling Dance: William Pope L.’s crawls  6. The Melancholic Dance of the Post-Colonial Spectral: Vera Mantero Summoning Josephine Baker  7. Concluding Note: Exhausting Dance - To be Done with the Vanishing Point  References  Index


    André Lepecki is Full Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

    'In this book Andre Lepecki aims to bring dance studies up to speed with an extensive examination of a diverse group of contemporary choreographers who since the early 1990s have explored the mobilising potentialalities of standing still.' - Dance Theatre Journal

    'Lepecki is at his best when describing the work and engaging with its curious circumstances and contingencies.' - Michal Sapir, writer, academic and musician, London

    'musings on loss and rage, colonialist pasts, ghostly knockings, and white melancholia offer the reader productive strategies for responding to performances' - Thomas F. DeFrantz, The Dance Review


    "Exhausting Dance represents a significant development for dance studies because it does not merely put dance in dialogue with critical theory; rather, it articulates dance's potentiality as critical theory itself." --Dance Research Journal