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Identity in Flux: A Theoretical and Choreographic Enquiry into the Identity of The Open Dance Work

Rubidge, Sarah (2000). Identity in Flux: A Theoretical and Choreographic Enquiry into the Identity of The Open Dance Work. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


This thesis presents a work of practical scholarship which re-examines issues of identity in the context of the open dance work. The debate takes the form of a symbiotic philosophical and choreographic enquiry into the identity of the open dance work. The philosophical enquiry examines the adequacy to the open work of theories of identity derived from two distinctive strands of philosophical theory, the first from the analytic tradition, the second from contemporary French philosophy. The choreographic processes which led to the creation of two open dance works constituted a central strand of the debate. Each work interrogates the adequacy of these theories of identity to the artistic theories which underpin open dance works. The first work, Intimate Memories, problematised theories of identity which were developed by analytic philosophers in the 1970s and 80s, and subsequently adopted by dance theorists, through an examination of their applicability to the open dance work. This strand of choreographic research revealed that, although these theories allowed open dance works to be individuated, they did not fully account for the particularities of the processual character of the open dance work. This interim conclusion led to an examination of the pertinence of Deleuze and Guattari’s ontology of the event to questions concerning identity raised by the open dance work. The second dance work, Halo in Performance, which was developed in the context of a collaborative engagement between choreographic and interactive digital arts practices, is an embodiment of Deleuze and Guattari’s process-oriented ontology of the event. This work indicates that theories of identity and/or individuation which are grounded in an ontology of flux are a more appropriate model to apply to the open dance work than those grounded in an ontology of substance.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Departments: Doctoral Theses
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