The Neurodiversity of Dance
Choreographies of Diversity and Normalization (2021-2022)

The research project investigates the correlation between a politics of movement and neurodiversity on the basis of specific dance productions. Dance has a long history of using choreographic techniques to discipline and thus standardize movement. Especially in recent times, various dance companies working with dancers with so-called cognitive impairments (neurodiversities), exploring different forms of movement and movement production. The project observes the rehearsal processes of these performances in order to analyze movement in a neurodiverse way. The aim of the research project is to develop a neurodiverse concept of choreography that makes alternative forms of movement visible and questions existing processes of its normalization.

In addition to a detailed analysis of the rehearsal processes and performances, the project investigates the historical and social context of the investigated dance productions. Based on the conducted research on a choreographic politics, the productions will be situated in the history of dance projects working with neurodiverse dancers since the second half of the 20th century. Using my concept of “choreopower”, their relation to social contexts and norms will be examined: In what way are techniques used in dance determined by social conventions of “normal” movements? And to what extent does dance question these movements, making them visible? The aim of the research is to propose a form of critical movement studies that makes movement analysis productive in and beyond its original field of research on dance.

Funded by the German Research Foundation