Astarti Athanasiadou: From Submission to Dialogue: Thinking Past Indeterminacy in Dance

Advisor/tutor: Bassam el Baroni
Arnhem, June 2017


The aim of this thesis is to articulate a state of determinacy and freedom for the dancing body that is missing from today’s contemporary context. I believe it is essential to acknowledge the prolonged submissive positioning of the dancing body through the apparatuses of selection, training and professionalisation. There have been and are many attempts to liberate dance from its constraints through practice. But these have largely manifest in either a sense-based reactive approach or withdrawal from the activity of dance, reducing it to another scenic event in kind with theatre or performance art. In this work, I rethink dance as a method towards the production of freedom. This is materialised through a focused and analytical perspective on these constraints while enabling dance to emerge. I attempt to do so by establishing a methodology based on a context of relatedness that takes shape through physical and compositional mutuality, dialogue and inference. This methodology is based on looking at the body as a subject of dance doing as opposed to promoting the ontological identity of being a dancer.