Although the notion of 'choreography' has not disappeared in the context of contemporary 21st Century performance and virtual art, it has certainly undergone a re-evaluation in terms of how bodily movement/physical intelligence produces data or how performers or immersants engage with an interface environment which is programmable and networked, and how environments instruct moving behaviors.

In examinations of augmented environments (and how these systems perform), a few propositions were made by Birringer and other members of the Interaktionslabor and DAP-Lab since 2006 to paraphrase the notion of the 'post choreographic' --not a new notion in itself -- to emphasize evolving systems behaviors, including physical performer articulations in constant exchange with algorithms and responsive or (semi)autonomous, intelligent audio-visual environments, sensorial flows and hypersensual spaces.

The particular challenges to thinking about 'composition' arise from the real-time synthesis of interface designs-in-motion, based not on choreography but on programming and physical adaptation, which generate “virtual movement” through the digital body-environment interaction.

A lively debate arose in February-March, first on the dance-tech list and then on Birringer's blogsite, and back to the dance-tech list. New and provocative discussions have opened up over the past weeks, and it's difficult to keep translating between list and net.

But very valuable insights are being produced, as we all grapple with the "languages" of our practices/theories, and these insights are [and need to be] saved and archived. We invite more responses from the community here to extend the discourses.

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how you 'see' (perceive) effects your options. this collapses the potentials even before you make your choice. this means that the number of potentials is not infinite, but a 'large' set. as such the 5th dimension is not 'abstract', the route we eventually take is/was one of the 'potential timelines'.

"I do not separate improvisation practice from the notion of post-choreographic." so why use the term if they are the same? it does not seem like the 'perception' and 'focus' differ.

what makes something post-choreograhic? or is that not important to you?

what place does the 'technology' have in your "post-choreographic context"?


Hi Matt

I my thank you for this interaction and debate

With regards to your last reply,

This is precisely the point, the nature of our ‘in-here-ness’ effects how we perceive what is potential in a moment, this as you well know includes, what our ‘capacity’; training, culture etc … is, and how active our ‘imaginations’; conceptions, creativities etc … are. All these notions set parameters on our options before we make a physical conscious choice, this I agree with; however I do not agree that this happens before we make a choice as I believe that this perception, being the first act, is the first choice, especially when we consider the psychological role of the sub-consciousness’s ability to make unconscious decisions. You may argue that if it is unconscious, how this can be a decision? this I fear is cause for another debate. Also, although I do agree with you that potentials come in sets, I don’t agree that a set is finite as, you can find ‘eternity in a grain of sand’. It is long time since I did ‘A’ level maths but you can have different sets of infinities, as not all infinities are the same. So that within the matrix of our sub-consciousness, the conscious choice of perceiving a set of an infinite potential is one of the ways we select and concatenate information from the vast infinite sets of infinities. As such the 5th dimension, from the perspective of a performer in the moment before action, is a set of an infinite potential. However it is still ‘abstract’ as it is ‘prior’ to physical action and ‘posterior’ to the perception in the moment, meaning that the first act of perceiving a potential set, presents a tree of possibilities. Only one possibility can be selected at each progressive moment collapsing the rest as we go. Further to this, as the 5th dimension is constituted by parallel time-lines and it is impossible for a performer to inhabit all the different pathways in a potential set at the same time, as such the potential set remains ‘virtual’ and ‘possible’ but never a dimension ‘actual’.

As for the distinction between the ‘choreographic’ and ‘post-choreographic’, the difference for me at present is by degree. I must confess that I am still working by exploring through debate and research like this, to articulate my position. My starting point is a trans-cultural one and is by no means definitive. To illustrate how I am starting use the term ‘post-choreographic’ as a practice is to look at the practice of Bata dance, Capoeira, Body popping and Breakdance. Bata dance is a traditional Yoruba dance form from Oyo and is learnt initially by being introduced to choreographic phrase, postural techniques, rhythmic and movement patterns. The dancer/drummer learns these skills as a kind of performative syntax. Here the Master dancer/drummer teaches what you would call ‘repeatable steps’ and ‘rhythmic patterns’ until they become proficient at the performative logic. As part of the process of becoming proficient, the students engage in improvisational dialogue to augment embody this knowledge. Now, if this ‘improvisation dialogue’ was to be performed within the context of a choreographer’s devised performance, then I believe that we are at the fringes of what we would call the choreographic. However if the improvisational dialogue occurs within the context of a ‘Social space’ or event, where the performance did not occur as a result of someone else’s choreographed intention, but happens spontaneously in what Suzan Kozel describes as interactions resulting from designs of a ‘space creator’, then I would call this post-choreographic in that the performer is choreographing in real-time in a ‘shared space’ as distinct to choreographing in real-time on a ‘staged space’. We can see similarities in the practice of Capoeira, Bodypopping and Breakdance, where we engage in learning choreographed technigues in order to go beyond what is choreographed into ‘play’. So devising spaces and events that facilitate play by ‘users’ as well as what Sarah Rubidge calls ‘expert users is what for me at the moment is what refer to as post choreographic

The role of the technology in the concept of the post-choreographic facilitates new forms of interactivity and intersubjectivity in this ‘shared space’, where the audience and performer have an active role as real-time reflective participants; they become ‘users’ and ‘player’. The role of technology for me acts as the medium where we as post-choreographic artist create a third temporal space; a virtual space, where the ‘actual’ and ‘potential’ meet so that the various degrees of reflective participation can take place.

Kind regard

hello, thanks for the further context(s).

i feel there are several problems with your thinking around the 5th dimension. i'd like to address them in this post, and discuss 'post-choreographic' in another.

"I don’t agree that a set is finite as, you can find ‘eternity in a grain of sand’"

your options are never infinite (without end), they may be a very large set, but they are finite. you will not find eternity in a grain of sand, only many things triggered from the grain.

if i gave you a gain of of rice, you would find a different (but finite) set of things. as an artist you may like to think your choices are infinite, but they are not.

your imagination may produce a larger set of options than you can actually follow. but the 'real world' outcomes are what the audience sees.

"the 5th dimension is constituted by parallel time-lines"

you are looking at the timelines from 'now' forward which is a mistake. they are tree like, and only parallel temporally.

[image also attached below]

the circle is the 'start' of the time-frame, Δ is our first decision. there are three options, and beyond that their respective sets.

the solid line shows the actual path (which is/was also a potential path). the dotted lines are for paths that were not taken.

whilst in this example the path is 'linear', the the real world our 5th-d path is not.

"the potential set remains ‘virtual’ and ‘possible’ but never a dimension ‘actual’"

if this were true then there would be no free will and you discussion of infinite options would be void. at least one option in the potential set becomes actual (for us).

or, from the other perspective ... if the timelines were parallel in the way you suggest, all the potentials would become actual (each would have their own timeline).

in every-day life the "‘actual’ and ‘potential’ meet", we do not need technology to create or mediate this. it is not a virtual space, but an actual intersection.

"it is impossible for a performer to inhabit all the different pathways in a potential set at the same time"

you misunderstand what i was suggesting. because the 5th-d is a dimension above us, you find it hard to visualize (hence your parallel reading). we 'touch' the 5th-d but are restricted to 'our' timeline (choice outcome).

to get to different places (timeline options) in the 5th-d, we would have to move to the 6th-d and then to the 5th-d location. i wasn't suggesting we did this, but that we partially 'touch' the 5th-d.

on a more basic level, the act of perception collapses the option of not perceiving. thus the options/choices are affected and limited by perceiving. there is no need for a debate of unconscious here, as you say:

"perception, being the first act, is the first choice"

not an option, but a choice ... we could decide not to perceive.

we also need to remember that others may collapse our options, we do not control everything. therefore a choice can be collapsed before we make a decision.

this level of understanding seems fundamental to any notion of real-time composition. if our 'primary' space is options, we need to know how they 'function'.


As a small insertion, into this very interesting discussion, I have a posting sent to me from Heide Lazarus (Dresden):

kennst Du diesen Abstract?

[Mir scheint bei der dance-tech-Diskussion, dass langsam die verschiedenen Standorte der Begriffsbildung deutlicher werden und damit der Multikomplex Performance/Performanz als Darstellungskategorie / auf der "Bühne".]

Abstract- Christopher L. Salter
Unstable Events: Performative Science, Materiality and Machinic Practices

It is increasingly accepted that, alongside cybernetics, computer science, music and the visual arts, experimental performance practice is also essential for an understanding of past and present media arts history. After years of obscurity, for example, EAT’s Nine Evenings of Theater and Engineering is now held up by scholars as the quintessential event of art science collaboration. Theoretically, the term performance appeared in the work of anthropologists, sociologists and theatre makers such as Erving Goffman, Victor Turner and Richard Schechner in the 1960s, who wanted to connect the performing arts with the social sciences. However rich theories of social dramas (Turner) or interaction rituals (Goffman) are for understanding performance as a general cultural paradigm, however, these models are proving inadequate for grappling with the complex human-machinic relationships that mark contemporary artistic practices within techno-culture.

Now performance is migrating to the sciences, with increasing interest from disciplines outside of artistic contexts, for example, science and technology studies (STS) and Human Computer Interaction. As articulated by scholars investigating how science constructs and disseminates knowledge, “performance” is seen as a methodology for an understanding of complex, dynamic phenomena and systems. Theorists like John Law, Karen Baarad and Bruno Latour, for example, use performance to grasp the materiality of fluid techno-scientific objects/processes that are produced in scientific practice. The physicist Hans Diebner (2006) focuses on the characteristic of unrepeatability central to the act of performance; something that contradicts the well understood idea of reproducibility in science. Performance involves “the moment of action, its continuity, inherent temporality and relationship to the present.”

Science and its by product, technology, are performative in that they function as potentially unpredictable, material acts that do something to the world we inhabit. This paper examines how the migration/transfer of performance from the arts to the sciences can then be used to understand the practices between humans and machinic systems that mark performance in the artistic domain and how these ideas could articulated to scholars/practitioners working in the design of complex, pervasive computation systems that increasingly pose new kinds of performative relationships between humans and machines in our everyday, quotidian world.


Der Technik/Technologiebegriff wird für mich immer wichtiger.
Ich fand vor kurzem wieder eine Passage aus einem Buch von 2004, wo bspw. Mary Wigman jegliche Technik (mal wieder) abgestritten wird.

Kennst Du "Grundlagenliteratur" dazu?

Heide Lazarus
hello, here a short addition to my discussion with Johannes B. about potential descriptions of the idea of post-choreographic. I think, the starting point is important. For me is important, what is the meaning of choreography if we write post-choreografic. A aspect was: Is post-choreografic the same like improvisation? For me is the question: What happens if we abandon the discourse of choreografic, what happens if we abandon the the fixation of movement, But we create still for the stage, for an audience, for a production.

The dancer of the twenties did solve the problem by preference of the technology of dance and not longer the types of dance (that's common knowledge of modern dance) and they each other not called choreographers but dance-directors.

And now, I copied my letter to JohannesB.:

"Zur letzten Diskussion:
Dass (jegliche?) Bühnenarbeit mit einer
Subjektkonstruktion/-präsentation verbunden ist, ist wichtig fest zu halten. Kunst in jeglicher Form ist ein Beitrag zur "Selbstfindung" des Menschen durch die Möglichkeit (Alltags)distanzierter Reflexion.

Baumgarten und die Ästhetiker bis Heute befassen sich mit einer "Lehre" [Welterkenntnis/-beschreibung] sinnlicher Erkenntnis [in der Kunst].
Indem die Neukantianer Ende des 19.Jahrhunderts Welterkenntnis auf Erleben und Erfahrung rückbeziehen und damit das psychologische Moment gegenüber einer normativen Regelpoetik stark machen (dessen
Kunstauffassung auch das choreografische Arbeiten bis dahin bestimmte) intendieren sie eine Erlebnispädagogik und eine "Kunst des Erlebens".
Dadurch wird das "schauspielerische" und das
biomechanisch-physiologische (bzw. gymnastische) Element stark in den Kunstauffassungen und man verbindet dies mit dem Begriff "Ausdruck".

Die Regelhaftigkeit von "repeatability and sustainability (and a particular precision and timing..." werden somit unwichtiger gegenüber
Vorstellungen synästhetischer Gestaltung.

Deshalb spricht Wigman, und viele "Choreografen" der 20er Jahre, von sich NIE als eines Choreografen, sondern immer nur als eines "Tanzregisseurs". Selbst die Semperoper
richtete 1924 keine Chef-choreografenstelle sondern eine Tanzregisseurstelle ein.

Diese Konzeption/dieses Denken bleibt meines Erachtens den Performance-Konzepten inhärent. Das diese Konzepte durch die Ideologisierung des Denkens in dieser Zeit ideologie-politisch
ausdifferenziert und propagiert werden, steht m.E. auf einem anderen Blatt. Dies ist auch zu bedenken, wenn man einzig den volkserzieherischen Gedanken, der der ästhetischen (Erlebnis)erziehung konzeptionell
inhärent ist stark macht und die Leistungskomponente, die jeder
professionellen und auch Kunstpädagogik inhärent ist, bei der Betrachtung völlig ausklammert.

[Da teilweise Ideologie und Kunstauffassung in den entsprechenden Publikationen in der 1.Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts fast unauflösbar miteinander verwoben sind, prädestiniert sie für entsprechende Verabsolutierungen.]

Wenn Du, Johannes, also über das nicht-"Trainierbare" von (individueller) Improvisation, Spontaneität, Geschicklichkeit und Virtuosität nachdenkst und diese Elemente gegenüber Festschreibungen stark machst, meinst Du
damit nicht das selbe, was Lehmann mit dem Begriff des "post-dramatischen" versucht hat zu fassen?, indem er mit dem post-dramatischen die Konzeptorientierung und (variable) kreative Gestaltung stark macht gegenüber Regelhaftigkeit, Fixierung und Archivierung?

Kreativität, Spontaneität, Umgang mit Materialien, Zeit usw. sind aber m.E. trainierbar. Zudem ist "Authentizität" nie ein "natürliches", sondern immer ein biografisch-kulturbedingtes Konzept - zeitgenössisch bleibt zeitgenössisch und kann nicht universell sein/werden. Universalität ist eine (produktive) Utopie. (Hattet Ihr diese Idee nicht auch schon mal in
der Diskussion?)
Heide Lazarus"

>>> Johannes wrote:
>kennst du> Mazzio, Carlo and David Hillmann, The Body in Parts:
> Discourses and Anatomies in Early Modern Europe, New York : Routledge,
> 1997, da ist einiges drin ueber fruehe "Anatomie",,nervous
>system, usw.

DANKE für die Lit-info, kannte ich nicht.
hello all, Johannes wrote in dance-tech (24. April):
"I asked whether such work ... needs specific performer training and then specific practice-experience in real-time enactment...
The adaptation in real time to a constantly (potentially) real-time organising system, in my suggestion back in 2006, required a improvisational spontaneity, dexterity and virtuosity specifically geared to the sensorial interface ... and at the same time to a dramaturgical sensibility of cohesively "express" or enact with the system or adapt/co-evolve with the system. .... This system, in my thinking, was no longer the choreographic one, and one that relied on repeatability and sustainability ... , but simply provoked a different sensibility ... a kind of multiplicitous synaesthetic becoming.

The implications go back, on the basis of my question, to
1) practice and performer technique, namely how dancers or actors or singers work with
"control systems" and real time compositional frameworks...
and 2) to perception systems"

In dem vorigen Beitrag ich hatte reagiert auf die Diskussion since 2006 about Improvisation or Dramaturgy or direction or choreography or only concept-art, "from body to instrument", technic/dance styls versus (dance-)technology, choreography as a form of fixation of body-movement/"Schritte" or as a form of fixation of the process for body-movement. For my historical Verständnis of Choreography and Notation, this is an idea of post-choreografic.

But there are analysis instruments for this from a dramaturgical position or position of audience?
Well, mein Fokus ist die Frage nach Analysemöglichkeiten als Möglichkeit einer fairen und diskursiven Geschmacksdisdiskussion im Sinne der Begründung des eigenen ästhetischen Urteils.

Now I send to you again a message from me to JohannesB, which was about my Workshop by the symposion of TaMeD (dance-medicin of germany).
Johannes meaning was, that would be good to send that in this discussion but it is again in german. I'm sorry for my kauderwelsch.

"... TaMeD, Michael Giesecke, ... Du kennst die Bücher von (Claudia) Jeschke?
Es geht wirklich um "Aufführungsanalyse" (oder auch choreografischer Komposition) oder wie man das nennt, darum, einen Zugang jenseits von Sinnzuschreibung/(Ideologisierung) zu finden. Den Sinn kann man dann ja wieder dazu packen, wenn man will, aber das ist Geschmackssache.
Aber über das, was die Leute tun, kann man sich streiten - unter der Voraussetzung, dass das die Grundlage unserer Geschmacksbildung/Kritik ist. Jedoch braucht man dazu Kriterien - möglichst welche, auf die sich viele verständigen können.

Mein Ansatz ist der, dass ich die x/y-Achse von Jeschke und ihren selektiven Ansatz übernehme und dabei den Fokus auf die sichtbaren Organsysteme richten will (bes.: Bewegungs-, Stützsystem, Atmung, Haut, Sinnesorgane). Dabei bleibt Jeschke beim Bewegungssystem bzw. -organ wie die meisten Analyse- und Notationssysteme in Europa.
Das ermöglicht einen (medizin- und anatomie-)wissenschaftliche verständlichen Analysezugang jenseits von Inhalten und jenseits körperlicher Festschreibungen. Sie geht biomechanisch-sportbiologisch vor.
(Ich bin gespannt, was die Tagung "Unsettling Theatre: migration, map, memory" with the idea of discourse after Laban bringt. Leider kann ich nicht teilnehmen.)

Zu allen anderen körperlichen (auch sichtbaren)Orientierungsmöglichkeiten hat sie (und alle anderen) nichts ausgearbeitet. Ich finde es trotzdem genial.

Davon ausgehend, bieten die Organsysteme in ihrer Morphologie und Funktion aber auch sehr individuelle Beschreibungs- und choreografische Orientierungsmöglichkeiten, auf die man bzw. die "Europäer" sich offenbar verständigen könnten. Sonst würden die gesamten Körpertherapien und die Trainingsmetaphern von Franklin, Olsen oder BMC oder ... nicht funktionieren.

(>>>see next text..)
Das passiert auf der Ebene der "subjektiven Anatomie" (Uexküll/Fuchs et al etc.), synästhetischer Beschreibungen mit Begriffen aus unserem Alltag und unserer Schulbildung heraus. Die sind nicht "wissenschaftlich", aber (emotional) nachvollziehbar und kreativ/schöpferisch nutzbar.

Da könnte man auch wieder bei der Säftetheorie "ankommen" ... vorausgesetzt, man geht nicht davon aus, dass die subjektive Anatomie, die sich immer nur auf der Basis des kulturell antrainierten Beschreibungssystems äußern kann, wissenschaftlich begründbar ist - es
bleibt bei einem Modell, oder besser: einer Metapher, einem Bild.

Aber: Über die verschiedenen Ausprägungen in Metaphern bzw. Bildern/Modellen kann man sich verständigen, weil die Grundlagen aller identisch sind - der "gesunde", d.h. idealisierte Normkörper.
(Letztlich ist dies wohl ein poetisches Verfahren - aber welche "Welterklärung" ist icht "poetisch" - vielleicht auch ein Literaturwissenschaftliches.
Somit bin ich auch auf die Oktobertagung in Amsterdam gespannt,

Zwei Beispiele, die ich erweiterbar sind und nicht der letzte Weisheitsschluss:
Bsp. 1: Blutsystem: Fluss/Kreislauf: Flüssigkeit : geschlossener Kreislauf : Stoffaustausch : ständige Bewegung ohne Synkopen/Aussetzer : ohne Pause : Rhythmus einer Pumpe : Geschwindigkeitsänderungen
Herz : Pumpe : Aufnahme und Abgabe : ständiger Kreislauf usw.
Aber auch : Ausfluss bei Verletzung oder Schockreaktionen (Schnelle Pumpe, langsame Bewegung

Bsp. 2: Lymphsystem: Fluss : Flüssigkeit : offenes System : Stoffaustausch : ständige Bewegung ohne Pause : "ohne" Rhythmus/ ohne
Pumpe / ohne spürbare Geschwindigkeitsänderung : gelb
Aber auch: Stauung, Kampf

Ansatzpunkt meiner Überlegungen zu Anatomie und Choreografie sind also das Wissen über Organsysteme, welches man kreativ-subjektiv nutzbar machen kann für das eigene und das fremde Beschreiben.
are you suggesting a kind of performatics or performance analysis that takes into account the fluid real time systems (on stage, of the bodies and nervous systems, and the interface systems or architectures) in a dance or theatre event, and does this real time occurence include, then, the viewer or audience as an important factor ?

Olu had said: >>The role of the technology in the concept of the post-choreographic facilitates new forms of interactivity and intersubjectivity in this ‘shared space’, where the audience and performer have an active role as real-time reflective participants; they become ‘users’ and ‘player’.>>

are you also working on this "technology" of audience interaction? but in what cases do audiences control/act upon feedback systems unless they are on stage and in the installation/happening.

with happenings (back in the 60s), i guess, no one spoke of improvisation or choreography. but the seems to be an important dimension of this discussion, no?

regards, Loopos.
Here is my workshop-abstract
it looks like there are no reply buttons anymore after you posted your workshop document..... thanks for that, I am trying to read the german.

i like what you say about "analysis instruments" for the audience (regarding the 'dramaturgy' or the movement or the real time improvisations in performance), and so I guess i have to figure out what you measn by "subjective anatomies" - is this an approach to translating personally experienced kinetics or motion (through one's own body in space, one's onw anatomy and organisms, nervous systems, etc) ? how would such a subjective "anatomy" be visualized or conceptualized if the subjective anatomy is not only subjective (own / "owned") but intersubjective or inter-actional, dispersed, within the augmented digital environments posited for the post choreographic, or within the potential 4D, 5D spaces Olu has spoken of ? can anatomies be thought of as DISPERSED and conjoined in enactments of such virtual art?

apologies for delayed completion,

it seems you are locating 'post choreographic' as improvisation that occurs within a specific context. the context is a 'shared' (participatory) interactive space.

"So devising spaces and events that facilitate play by ‘users’ as well as what Sarah Rubidge calls ‘expert users is what for me at the moment is what [I] refer to as post choreographic"

'devising' ... there lies the issue. the devising is the 'choreography' (structure) and the user 'outcomes' are derivatives of (or in response to) the structure. thus, the 'play' you refer to is a structural navigation, underpinned at all times by the 'rules' of the system (even if you break them).

as such there is little 'post' the choreography other than the performance, which is alway after and separate to the choreography/structure.

and, in devising the 'space' are you not creating the 'stage space' that runs counter to your 'shared/social space'? regardless, in both cases someone 'makes' the decision to instigate and the 'others' follow.

significantly, the movement forms to mention are explicitly designed for realtime improvisation/composition. they have their own structural aesthetic, some components 'fit-together' others do not. in one sense the forms are meta-choreography (although i am not wanting to advance such a term).

i would be interested to read a more detailed explanation as to 'how' technology facilitates the 'post choreographic'.




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