What Is Choreography?


Terms are products of their usage. Since that which they designate inevitably changes, some of those who operate with certain terms gradually notice that something has ceased to be all right. Insecurity spreads out. In the course of the past ten or fifteen years, dance has undergone significant changes. While on the surface it looked as if the dancing in dance might become obsolete, it actually expanded the field's potentials, started to flow and began to investigate new territory. The resulting irritation with the identification of dance did not really question the production of art works, but it did do so regarding some handed-down thinking models of the genre.


One of corpus' great pleasures is the investigation and discursive illumination of dance as contemporary dynamics. The joy of discovery, of unveiling communication structures in and about dance, instigated the editors to get a closer view of the current status of a term which is (in)separably connected with dance: choreography. corpus wanted to know how and where artists, theoreticians, curators and critics place the term today. Therefore, more than 100 people from the communication field of performing art were asked to answer this question as concisely as possible: "What does ‘choreography' mean today?"


And 52 of the people thus addressed sent us a total of 50 texts which we are now publishing in German and English. In our opinion, it makes a fantastic polylogue, a many-voiced deliberating, de- and circumscribing, which in reading presents exactly what dance and choreography are today: a volume of possibilities bordering on the ecstatic, in which dance today shows itself. The texts were sorted with regard to inherent associations by a group of the corpus editors, and divided into seven sections.


Each change from one to the next group – when reading chronologically – is intended to be a break, a possibility to pause and reflect. When, in the following, we now list the names of the authors alphabetically but do not disclose in which group their statements are, this – as one might guess – happens in order not to blunt the reader's appetite for finding clues. corpus would like to say a heart-felt thank you to all contributors, for with their deliberations they have made a magnificent gift to us all:


Ric Allsopp
Andrea Amort
Simone Aughterlony
Milli Bitterli
Peter M Boenisch
Claudia Bosse
Jonathan Burrows
Franz Anton Cramer
Scott deLahunta

David Ender
Tim Etchells

João Fiadeiro
Christine Gaigg
Sigrid Gareis
Chris Haring
Jack Hauser
Adrian Heathfield
Raimund Hoghe
Sabina Holzer

Yasmine Hugonnet
Pirkko Husemann
Claudia Jeschke
Krõõt Juurak

Stefan Kaegi
Irmela Kästner
Barbara Kraus
Jennifer Lacey
Rudi Laermans
Jan Lauwers

Xavier Le Roy
Thomas Lehmen
Boyan Manchev
Michikazu Matsune & David Subal
Eva Meyer-Keller

Nikolaus Müller-Schöll
Peter Panayi
Jeroen Peeters

Martine Pisani

Alain Platel
Frans Poelstra &
Robert Steijn

Patrícia Portela
Jan Ritsema
Gerald Siegmund
Peter Stamer
Chris Standfest
Michael Stolhofer
Wim Vandekeybus
Julia Wehren


(2007-12-17 / 2020-01-19)