Dance philosophy expert Anna Pakes speaks about the notion of authorship, delving into what the criteria for authoring a work might be. She traces the development of choreographic authorship from the techniques and dances created through the individual bodies and aesthetics of 20th century American modern dance choreographers such as Martha Graham and José Limón, towards post-modern challenges to authorial control, and the development of dance that is not tied stylistically to any one individual, citing post-modern makers such as Yvonne Rainer, Jerome Bel and Xavier Le Roy as well as Boris Charmatz. Further referencing Barthes and Foucault, she interrogates authorship as a co-creative activity between audience and maker, as well as the idea of the author as a ‘crystallising point’ for ideas in contrast to the originator of them.
This talk was part of Crossing Borders 2017 and was presented in partnership with London Contemporary Dance School.
Bibliography for the talk, provided by Anna Pakes:
Anna Pakes is Reader in Dance Studies and Director of the Centre for Dance Research at University of Roehampton, London. She was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, the Centre National de la Danse Contemporaine in Angers (France) and Laban Centre London. Anna’s research and teaching now focuses on philosophy of dance, with a particular interest in analytic aesthetics. She has published on a range of philosophical themes as they relate to dance, including the mind-body problem, Husserlian phenomenology, the epistemology of practice as research, dance historiography and performance re-enactment. She co-edited the volume Thinking through Dance: the philosophy of dance performance and practices (published by Dance Books, 2013) with Jenny Bunker and Bonnie Rowell. Her translation of Frédéric Pouillaude’s book Unworking Choreography was published by Oxford University Press in 2017. Her own monograph on the ontology of dance works is forthcoming also with OUP.
Adapted from bio published in 2017