Poetics (as) politics
: performance practices and the spectator

  • Ana Trincão (Student)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The idea of choreography as an expanded concept (Krauss, 1979) or independent from dance, isa way of interpreting social behaviour that is well suited to the ways of organizing bodies in the socio-political space. According to Andrew Hewitt, choreography in this sense does not representpolitics aesthetically, does not reflect the political order, but it is what positions it (2005). In turn,dance is the space of appearance (Arendt, 1958), and satisfies the desire for intellectual disinhibition(Oiticica, 1967).Since both dance and choreography are composed of spatial-temporal relations between bodiesin motion, they can generate modalities (tools) of (dis)ordering and (dis)organization of groupscomposed of people, animals, objects and materials, in short, those relationships that potentially expressthe interdependencies between micropolitics and macropolitics (Rolnik, 2017a).During the creative processes associated with these artistic means, the production ofknowledge(s) is constituted from a particular logic of thought and action. Thus, the research questionthat guides this thesis is as follows: what type(s) of knowledge(s) are we creating with thesemodes of activation?Adopting a multidisciplinary approach, permeated with theoretical, technical and practical toolsfor thinking (Stengers, 2005), here is presented a study that focuses on the idea of practice as technologyof the self (Foucault, 1998), whether artistic or cultural, as a way of acquiring knowledge(s).This study takes practices to mean those activities carried out in a systematic way that generate atechnique or a methodology and that make up a variety of modalities related to the body, the relationshipsbetween bodies and the ways of organizing bodies in individual and social space. Thisstudy analyses choreographic devices, dance methodologies and cultural practices, as examples thattry to understand and explain how the production of knowledge(s) happens and what types of knowledge(s) are possible through these devices, as well as what they have to offer the contemporaryspectator. In this way, the thesis focuses on studying how these methodologies can contribute to the formation of new subjectivities - hence a new individual, a new social body, and new political bodies,in the social as well as in the artistic context.
Date of Award26 Oct 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorLuísa Santos (Supervisor)


  • Doutoramento em Estudos de Cultura

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