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Ungoverning DanceContemporary European Theatre Dance and the Commons$
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Ramsay Burt

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199321926

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199321926.001.0001

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Virtual Dance and the Politics of Imagining

Virtual Dance and the Politics of Imagining

(p.211) 10 Virtual Dance and the Politics of Imagining
Ungoverning Dance

Ramsay Burt

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the artistic potential of the virtual in dance performance in discussions of two recent dance pieces—The Visible Men by New Art Club and While We Were Holding It Together, a group piece created by Ivana Müller—each of which in different ways is concerned with memory and the imagination. It develops a framework for analysing the nature of virtuality in these works by revisiting the philosopher Susanne Langer’s discussion of the virtual and affects and Brian Massumi’s recent examination of Langer’s conceptualization of a semblance and its relationship with Walter Benjamin’s idea of the beautiful semblance. The chapter argues that through the semblances that these two pieces bring to life, they initiate a politics of imagining that affords opportunities for new ways of thinking and living.

Keywords:   semblance, affect, the virtual, Susanne Langer, Brian Massumi, Walter Benjamin

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