Perecquian Perspectives: Dialogues with Site-Dance (Or, ‘On being here and there’)

Victoria Hunter


This paper explores the influence and application of Perec’s work within site-specific dance practice. It considers how Perec’s methods and prose might encourage creative dance approaches engaging with and reflecting on subjective encounters with space and place. It questions how approaches articulated in Species of Spaces (1974) and An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris (1975) may inform site-dance artists reflecting on what we might learn from Perec’s (1989) techniques of recording the ‘infra ordinary’ in a new context.  Discourses of embodiment and multiplicity that approach subjective processes of being-in-the world from holistic and immersive perspectives inform the discussion. Through doing so, it aligns with Deleuzian-informed, non-representational theories that prioritise the ‘event-ness’ of human-nonhuman interactions in real-world environments (Greenhough 2010).  In revealing the infra ordinary Perec invites us to ponder further the extraordinary nature of human-spatial interactions and associated journeyings between the real, imagined and associated landscapes they invoke. For site-dance practitioners, Perecquian geographies inform understandings of holistic site responses in which the interrelated body-self and the site world event phenomenon is identified as the locus of site-subject relations.  Through a discussion of Perecquian informed movement scores site-body entwinements implicating the experiencer and the spatial species under investigation in a co-constitutive dance of knowing and unknowing, fixing and unfixing, advancing and retreating are articulated. This is conceptualized as a dance of ‘being here and there’ - a duet between body-self and site-world in which these elements move along and emerge in relation to one another leading to enhanced awareness and developed understandings of being-in-the-world.


Dance; site; embodiment; movement; scores; performance

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Copyright (c) 2017 Victoria Hunter