In/visible dances: Commuters’ choreographies as social cartography
Kingston University, London
Year of enrolment: 2019
Using drawing to visualise movement in the absence of a live body, this project investigates the translatability of human and non-human motion; it engages with the social dimension of choreography (Hewitt, 2005) – in particular, with the movement of crowds in busy public spaces such as commuter hubs. Through an interdisciplinary practice-as-research project that draws on techniques for the analysis, representation, mapping and reproduction of movement (from dance notation systems to cartography and animation), I experiment with movement’s relationship with space and time to explore its transformative potentialities. This project intends to place the commuter as performer, increasing our awareness of how we connect with our environments. Combining commuters’ everyday movement patterns with choreology (dance notation) and mapmaking, it aims to generate a space for thinking about the notion of interrelations and the condition of being ‘on-stage’.
In experimenting with the translatability of social interactions, I engage with questions concerning ways in which movement can be documented (Reason, 2006) and foreground an understanding of movement as a resilient force in transient times. The rules of a social space and the tactics brought about by the element of surprise (De Certeau, 1988) result in a social choreography that materialises through the aesthetic gesture of walking (Hewitt, 2005) and in the meeting of performance with text.
The practical output of this project will complement my theoretical exploration by intervening in the spatio-temporal configuration of public choreographies: the movement of crowds and individuals will be the focus of my investigation and will undergo processes of translation across media and formats (notation, illustration, animation, embodied dance). Each stage of documentation, reconstruction and reinvention will engage with the ways in which movement can open new horizons of social existence.