Justus-Liebig-Universität GießenInstitut für Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft

Choreography As Interface: Processes Of Translation

BA 04 / 05
MA 01 / 04
CUP 02 / 05 / 07 / 08 / 09

In the Oxford Dictionary, an interface is defined as ‘A point where two systems, subjects, organizations, etc. meet and interact.’ An interface enables communication in between two entities that don’t have a common language by creating a common ground. In this seminar, we will focus on choreography not primarily as a form of notation but rather as interface where contents are translated to make diverging entities interact: Which techniques, practices and technologies enable these processes of translation? The American dance scholar Jen Joy calls choreography’s entanglement with linguistic capture ‘an underlying debt of dancing to inscription’ in her treatise on ‘The Choreographic’ from 2014. Yet, she claims ‘[...] that this writing down of movements is never simply pure description or representation, but is always a directive conditioned by prevailing notational devices, technologies and pedagogical imperatives.’ (p. 16) Following this observation by Jen Joy, I would like to propose a reading of choreography as interface not to focus upon the product of choreographic operations but the process of translation itself. How do digital technologies change our understanding of ‘choreography’? Starting with an excursion to the realm of media studies to get a hold of the idea of the interface, we will look at different ideas of choreography to explore how they are conceptualizing the moment of translation. Thereby, we will begin with more historical ideas of choreography that are foregrounding the process of writing and work towards more contemporary notions where processes of copying, collage and / or assemblage come into play.