Towards a Decentered History of Dance

10 > 12.06.21

Maison de la danse de Lyon

How is history moved, reconfigured, stimulated, by current research on dance? In connection with the publication of A History of Dance in the West (Ed. Le Seuil, Sept. 2020), this international conference aims to extend questions addressed by scholars’ contributions to the book, as well as generate entirely new dialogues via various acts of “decentering” dance historical scholarship. The polysemic notion of decentering is here understood as an invitation to reevaluate theoretical models, methods, approaches and historiographies of dance.
One idea for a choreographic inspiration for the decentering process are Alwin Nikolais’s 1970 experiments and development of a “travelling center”. For Nikolais, decentering the dancing body provided emancipation and an opening up of the body’s expressive forces, especially in relation to a heritage of codified, hierarchical methods of organizing the body in dance training. Just as Nikolais experimented with a multiplicity of impulses and a polyfocality in space and time, this trans-period conference Towards a Decentered History of Dance hopes to valorize and initiate new ways for researchers to modulate their viewpoints (geographically, through time periods, aesthetics, genres, ethics as well as in relation to both artists and audiences of dance) concerning the history of embodied movement, that is to say, both theatrical as well as social dance practices.

This international conference, Towards a Decentered History of Dance, organized with the support of the Lyon Dance Biennale, the CN D Center National pour la Danse, the Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse (CNSMD) of Lyon, and the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) of Lyon, is dedicated to all dance researchers and seeks particularly to highlight the contributions of emerging scholars and doctoral students.

Scientific committee
Adrien Belgrano (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales) ; Pauline Boivineau (Université d’Angers) ; Adeline Chevrier-Bosseau (Université Clermont Auvergne) ; Federica Fratagnoli (Université Côte d’Azur) ; Yosef Garfinkel (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) ; Patrick Germain-Thomas (Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie Paris Île-de-France) ; Marie Glon (Université de Lille) ; Michael Houseman (École Pratique des Hautes Études) ; Sylvie Jacq-Mioche (historienne de la danse) ; Sergey Konaev (State Institute of Art Studies, Moscou) ; Hélène Marquié (Université Paris-8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis) ; Geraldine Morris (University of Roehampton, Londres) ; Gerald Siegmund (Justus-Liebig Universität, Giessen)