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date: 29 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Taking its examples from a European context, this chapter describes three possible ways of reenacting history in dance. First, it analyzes Martin Nachbar’s reconstruction of Dore Hoyer’s cycle of dances, Affectos Humanos, as a way of affecting bodies. Second, William Forsythe’s deconstruction of neo-classical ballet understands dance technique as a residue of dance history and the bodies it produces. Third, the work of the French Albrecht Knust Quartet on the notation of dances highlights choreography as writing and examines the score as the basis for possible reenactments. All three examples center around an impossibility that sets their reenactments adrift: the impossibility of the body of Dore Hoyer, the impossibility of perfectly incorporating dance technique, and the impossibility of translating the notation of Vaslav Nijinsky’s The Afternoon of a Faun into a definitive version of the piece.

Keywords: Martin Nachbar, Dore Hoyer, Affectos Humanos, William Forsythe, Albrecht Knust Quartet, Vaslav Nijinsky, The Afternoon of a Faun

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