DOCH, School of Dance and Circus

DOCH Open Lectures Frédéric Pouillaude

Welcome to DOCH Open Lectures series of spring 2019! Meet writer, researcher, Professor of Aesthetics and philosopher Frédéric Pouillaude.

Dance and Philosophy: Experience, Artwork and Knowledge

Philosophy and, especially, aesthetics have been overlooking and neglecting dance for a very long time. Nevertheless, the various ways in which dance has been reevaluated and rehabilitated by some philosophers throughout the 20th century are not really satisfactory either. Reading Paul Valéry, Erwin Straus or Alain Badiou, we have the strange feeling that dance is never considered as an art but much rather as a mere experience of presence, expenditure and auto-affection. Thought as an origin or a condition of possibility for all the others arts, Dance appears as the “absence of the work”, as incapable of producing any artwork.

Having entered the 21st century since almost twenty years, we can say with certainty that this philosophical blindness to choreographic works has been nowadays overcome. Due to the work of dance scholars and dance philosophers, in which I include myself, choreographic works are now described, analyzed and commented on with all the attention and the technicity they deserve. By the end of this lecture, I will propose another shift: not only from experience to artwork, but from artwork to knowledge. Laying on choreographers like Arkadi Zaides, Dorothée Munyaneza or Sandra Iché, I will suggest that dance is not only producing public objects to be performed, but is also providing specific bodily knowledge and investigation tools about the actual contemporary world in which we live.


After a training in ballet and contemporary dance, Frédéric Pouillaude has studied philosophy at the École normale supérieure de Paris. He has been Associate Professor in Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art at Sorbonne-Université for more than ten years and Junior Member of the Institut universitaire de France. He is currently Professor of Aesthetics at Aix-Marseille Université. He is the author of Unworking Choreography: The Notion of the Work in Dance (English translation, Oxford University Press: 2017; originally published as Le désœuvrement chorégraphique. Étude sur la notion d’œuvre en danse, Paris, Vrin, 2009). His current research is devoted to documentary and non-fiction practices in the art field and, especially, in performance.

DOCH Open Lectures

Artists, thinkers and teachers connected to DOCH's Dance Department share their works and thoughts in various forms. DOCH Open Lectures are open to the public, free and don't require a reservation. Welcome!

Spring program

  • Jeroen Peeters 20 February
  • Eroca Nicols 13 March
  • Biljana Tanurovska Kjulavkovsk 27 March
  • Thomas Hauert 10 April
  • Lea Moro 16 April
  • Frédéric Pouillaude 17 April*
  • André Lepecki 2 May
  • Antonia Baehr 22 May
  • John-Paul Zaccarini 29 May

*Philosophy in the Context of Dance 
-The lecture series Philosophy in the Context of Dance is a part of the BA-program in Dance Performance and is included in the Department of Dance’s Open Lectures at DOCH.

All of the DOCH Open Lectures series are held at DOCH Brinellvägen 58 room G at 5.30 pm.