Skip to main content

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

Performing Temporality in Contemporary European Dance

Unbecoming Rhythms

Develops a new framework to understand performance and temporality in contemporary dance.
Performing Temporality in Contemporary European Dance probes rhythm, offbeats, and other patterns to examine how twenty-first-century choreographers perform time. Jonas Rutgeerts calls on the philosophical writings of Henri Bergson, Gilles Deleuze, and Gaston Bachelard to theorize work by choreographers renowned for their productively idiosyncratic approaches to dance: Jonathan Burrows, Matteo Fargion, Ivana Müller, Mette Edvardsen, and Mårten Spångberg. Rutgeerts analyzes syncopation in the work of Burrows and Fargion, hesitation in Müller’s While We Were Holding It Together, repetition in pieces by Edvardsen, and the audience’s experience of the present in Spångberg’s Natten.

208 pages | 13 halftones | 6 3/4 x 9 1/2

Art: Art--General Studies

Intellect Ltd image

View all books from Intellect Ltd

Table of Contents

Introduction 4

          Only Concepts? Dance and the conceptual 5

          Only live? Dance and the ephemeral 8

          Shaping time from within: rhythm and dance 10

          Going against the flow: rhythm in contemporary dance 12

          Dance-philosophy: an infinite conversation. 17

          Articulation of the chapters 19


2. Rhythm is life: rhythm in German Ausdruckstanz. 23

          The ‘doctrine of energy’ and the rise of fatigue. 24

          The birth of Körperkultur: Dalcroze’s Eurhythmics. 28

          Rhythm in the beginning of the twentieth century: Rudolf Bode and Rudolf Laban. 29

          Intermezzo: The evolution of the concept rhythm in Bergson’s oeuvre. 36

          Ausdruckstanz and Körperkultur: Mary Wigman’s ecstatic rhythms. 38

          Intermezzo: German Ausdruckstanz and the body politics during the Nazi era. 43

          Conclusion: Becoming rhythm, becoming life. 44

3. Dancing in the meantime: syncopation in the work of Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion. 47

          On the fence: rhythm and milieu in Deleuze and Guattari’s Of the Refrain. 51

          Playing apart: rhythm and syncopation. 56

          Intermezzo: Transatlantic and the resistance of roots. 61

          Following the rhythm: the relation between rhythms and patterns. 64

          Conclusion: Syncopation’s trouble. 66

4. Still dance: hesitation in Ivana Müller’s While We Were Holding It Together 69

          Intermezzo: dance and movement, a modernist love affair 72

          Still-act: the tableau vivant 73

          Time as hesitation: Bergson and the suspension of time. 75

          Intermezzo: the still, or the cinematographic experience of modern times. 79

          The space of elsewhere: Bachelard’s poetic imagination. 82

          Intermezzo: imagination, intuition and the task of the artist 87

          Conclusion: What about tomorrow.. 90

5. Stumbling through time: repetition in the work of Mette Edvardsen. 93

          The logic of the phrase: repetition in Accumulation and Dance. 98

          Stumbling through language: repetition in Black and No title. 103

          Running Out of Time: Performing the Eternal Return. 107

          Intermezzo: The triple murder of the eternal return, or Deleuze thinks death. 112

          Conclusion: The amnesiac witness. 113

6. Dark Utopia, Or Sleeping Through Marten Spångberg’s Natten. 116

         Dancing with myself 118

         Spending the Natten together. 120

         Conclusion: Sushi or sashimi 123

7. Stealing time: Rhythmic operations in a society of control 125


Bibliography. 152


Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press