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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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Dancing Relationality

Dancing Relationality

Responsibility without Obligation

(p.165) 8 Dancing Relationality
Ungoverning Dance

Ramsay Burt

Oxford University Press

The idea of responsibility is generally linked to notions of obligation that may overlap with or entail the kinds of judgments involved in legal thought. This way of thinking about judgment may not be the most appropriate one for understanding the kinds of responsibilities involved during creative processes. The chapter explores ideas about responsibility that have developed within discussions of ethics and relationality, particularly in the work of Gilles Deleuze and Emmanuel Levinas. It considers the responsibilities of the individual dancers during the seemingly chaotic and violent encounters in Steve Paxton’s Magnesium (1972). What kinds of relations emerge when all the participants remain singular but distribute and share common flows of sometimes violent energy? The chapter proposes that performances of this kind of improvised choreography can suggest a model for understanding the kinds of non-repressive, non-hierarchical social organization that briefly emerged in Egypt during the January 2011 revolution.

Keywords:   ethico-aesthetics, responsibility, Egyptian Revolution, contact improvisation

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