Bodies for writing, words for dancing

As a classically trained dancer dipping a pointed toe into the world of contemporary art writing, I have long been interested in the relationship between the two forms. My early encounters with art writing point to an opportunity to choreograph a new pas de deux. Growing up in a regional town meant opportunities to view and experience the world of dance were relatively limited. Instead, reading was how I immersed myself in dance culture and history; performance, movement, and ephemera transcribed and animated in my imagination. Through text I was offered a vital access point into an art form bound by space and time. As such, this essay examines the expansive practices of artists working between dance and contemporary art, illuminating pathways for contemporary art writers to engage with a foreign discipline. Contemporary dance art constitutes a rich visual landscape: the centrality of embodied experience, the possibility for interdisciplinary languaging, and the importance of documenting fleeting work underscores a need to write the scene.

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