DOCH, School of Dance and Circus

Eleanor Bauer's 50% seminar: A lot of moving parts

Eleanor Bauer is a doctoral candidate in performative and mediated practices – with specialisations in choreography. It's time for her 50% seminar at Dansens Hus 17 May. On 15-16 May you can also see Eleanor at Dansen Hus.

Eleanor describes her seminar and research

50% seminar 

A lot of moving parts is a flexible and interdisciplinary container through which I publish my artistic practice based doctoral research in choreography. I take the word “publish” here in its broadest sense, as in the latin root publicare: to make public. In order to respect media specificity of thought and knowledge, the parts in A lot of moving parts find expression through various media, to date including: dancing, spoken language, choreography, written language, music and video. Continually (re)assembling, (re)composing and (re)performing the questions and findings of my documented artistic research in choreography, A lot of moving parts is a constantly evolving piece as performance as process. The title is literal and the approach of composition is thus: A lot of moving parts.

In this seminar I will perform a unique iteration of A lot of moving parts, share some writing in booklets and in lecture form, and discuss the research with opponent Fiona Templeton and with the attending public.


Doctoral candidate: Eleanor Bauer
Opponent: Fiona Templeton

Research summary

Following the Greek roots of the word “choreography” as dancing-writing or the writing of the dance, starting with the root khoreia as dancing in unison, and continuing to the root graphia as writing, my interest with my doctoral research project called choreo | graphy is to explore what is thought in dance, what is thought in writing, how they do or don’t serve each other, and how perhaps to improve their relationship. As the inquiry of my research project choreo | graphy produces various traces, insights, and artifacts, I look for ways in which the ephemeral, oral, and practice-oriented aspects of dancing-thought can be as valuable as the captured, written, and preservation-oriented tendencies of writing-thought. This leads me to interest in the emergent forms that settle and shift through repetition and practice, hence my most recent guiding choreographic question with my research, what is order that is not control?

By creating space between choreo and graphy, the general project of choreo | graphy is to open up a contemplation of both the autonomy and relationship between dancing and writing, towards new potentials for both, and ultimately, new potentials for their way of meeting in choreographic practice. My research and expertise is rooted mainly in dance and choreography insofar as it pertains to the organization of dance, yet by taking a broader interdisciplinary and philosophical approach, I hope to open my questions to resonate with other fields towards mutual insights.

With firm conviction that there are myriad particular media of thought of which just one is dance and another is writing, and that none is inherently superior to the other (outside of cultural and historical valuations), beyond my concern here with dancing and writing, I am working from the broader premise that every medium of thought – each art form, aesthetic sensibility, mathematic system, scientific discipline, profession, sport, hobby, chore, role in a situation, every single oral and/or written language – has specific structures, grammars, and limitations that condition what is thinkable. This gives each “medium” a certain agency in which thought effectively “expresses itself” through a thinking subject as much as a thinking subject expresses itself through a medium of thought. In short, to understand what dance can do, what writing can do, and thus what choreography can do, I ask how dance thinks, how writing thinks, and how choreography thinks. In this extra step of considering the thinking of the medium in itself, a bit of imagination and speculative fiction combine with accumulated experience to reach towards a more interactive and intra-active portrait of human (and even non-human) thought and understanding.

Eleanor Bauer on Dansens Hus 15-16 May