Currently reading : hysteric nature of performance

hysteric nature of performance

5 January 2009

Author : jeanne-salome-rochat

To suggest that hysteria and dance are linked beyond their thematic coincidence or visual resemblance is not to view dance from an anti-theatrical perspective (typing it as madness)(reductively), or to diminish the kinds of discipline that distinguish it from performative hysteria. Rather, it entails consideration of how visuality works (on stage and in the clinic) at a particular historical moment; what the audience (dance aficionados or medical practitioners) are looking at, how they look, and what they see.
Of course, that involves to read dance’s visuality in relation to its silence… again.
Dancers are not patients, however in choosing not to speak, dance displays a special affinity with hysteria and with a production of symptoms… Even though the conditions of the dancer’s silence are different from the hysteric’s, it is the dancer’s withholding of speech that makes her (or his!) art enigmatic, multivalent, and thus not only available for the projection of signification on it, but also rich in signification!

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