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Practising with DeleuzeDesign, Dance, Art, Writing, Philosophy$
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Suzie Attiwill, Terri Bird, Andrea Eckersley, and Antonia Pont

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474429344

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474429344.001.0001

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Experience and its Others

Experience and its Others

(p.120) 5 Experience and its Others
Practising with Deleuze

Philipa Rothfield

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter draws on Deleuzian thought in order to think through the role of experience within dance and the activity of dancing more generally. It contrasts phenomenological approaches to dancing, which appeal to notions of subjective agency, with a Deleuzian re-reading of subjectivity. In the process, it refers to Deleuze’s reading of Nietzsche, using Nietzsche’s concept of force to account for the many ways in which forces combine to produce movement. The notion of force is able to explain the way action unfolds without being the product of human agency. It offers a way of rethinking phenomenological notions of agency. According to this account, relations of force underlie action, as well as the many modes of interiority (subjectivity). But these two kinds of formation (of force) are different in kind. They belong to differing types (of force). The pursuit of action, including the utilisation of experience in action, constitutes a certain type of ethos, which Deleuze calls the active type, whereas the formation of experience belongs to ‘the reactive apparatus’, that which reacts but does not act. The active type drives a wedge between the dancing and the dancer. Deleuze’s treatment of Nietzsche can be adapted to account for the variety of dance practices, their production of training and technique, custom and virtuosity. In particular, it is able to account for the specific ways in which postmodern dance displaces the subjectivity of the dancer.

Keywords:   Dance, Nietzsche, Phenomenology, Postmodern dance, Kinaesthetics, Philosophy of action, Agency

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