'Dancing the Downward Slide: Spaces of Affective Adjacency in Rian and Bird with Boy'

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

This chapter examines how the choreography of affect in two dance theatre works creates a space of affective adjacency—a space in which the building of an alternative structure of feeling and an alternative economy of the body can be experienced. Focusing on the choreographic use of repetition in Junk Ensemble’s Bird With Boy (2011) and Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre’s Rian (2011), it shows how the work required to build an alternative affective space can become visible. Although affect is most often viewed as a preconscious, ephemeral phenomenon (a passage of intensities), that can have little or no lasting impact on socio-political action, theorists such as Megan Watkins have argued for a consideration of the ‘cumulative aspects of affect’. Highlighting Spinoza’s distinction between affectus (the capacity for a body to affect and be affected), and affectio (the impact the affecting body leaves on the affected), Watkins points out that affectio can ‘leave a residue’ allowing for the ‘capacity of affect to be retained, to accumulate, to form dispositions and thus shape subjectivities’. The choreography of repetition in Bird With Boy and Rian presents sites for an examination of this accumulation of affect and its capacity not only to form and shape dispositions, but also, as Lauren Berlant suggests, ‘to move along and make worlds, situations, and environments’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication'Dancing the Downward Slide: Spaces of Affective Adjacency in Rian and Bird with Boy'
Subtitle of host publicationChoreography and Corporeality: Relay in Motion
EditorsThomas DeFrantz, Philipa Rothfield
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages193-207
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-54653-1
ISBN (Print)978-1-137-54652-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2016

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