Interpretation in dance performing

Donostia Aesthetics Forum

Institute for Logic, Cognition, Language an Information (ILCLI)


Thursday, June 8, 2017, 15:00

Aili Bresnahan (University of Dayton)

Venue: Carlos Santamaria Zentroa, Class 4 (ground floor)


Building upon the groundwork laid in the presentation on improvising dance, this presentation will explore the question of interpretation from the perspective of the performing dancer rather than from that of the choreographer or dance-maker, dance critic, or appreciating audience member. When a dancer is dancing, on stage or in another performance venue and in the context of a live performance, when and how, precisely, is what she does correctly viewed as "interpretation"? If what she is doing is not properly termed interpretation, then how might we characterize what the dance performer does? In a vein that is similar to the one on improvisation, this paper will also criticize the art-object model in this context, suggesting that much of the dance performer's work is not best understood as interpretation of a fixed structure or text, but is instead better characterized as the trained and expressive output of a dancer who moves in a particular way.

(Attendance is free, but it should be notified in advance to