Choreographing thought: movement as an image of thought, seen through the Deleuzian Pure Optical and Sound Image
Beatriz Cantinho, 2012
Practice-based PhD Thesis in Dance and Philosophy
The University of Edinburgh

To assume that dance as an art form is about creating and displaying sequences of movement in space is to undermine choreography’s potential as a way of thinking through movement. The interdisciplinary relations between philosophy and dance explored in this research introduce a framework for exploring new possibilities of thinking through choreographic practice. How can dance be perceived as thought, considered as an experimental process, where the articulation between practice and theory becomes fundamental?
The cinematic reversal of the subordination of time to movement proposed by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze in his time-image concept offers a paradigmatic shift which has the potential to find profound resonance in the perception of movement in dance.
This research explores how this shift informs a new perspective on choreography by discussing the implications of approaching choreographic composition through the lenses of Deleuze’s Pure Optical and Sound Image.
As part of the practical choreographic investigation undertaken in this research, I have sought to challenge the conditions of the act of ‘seeing’ dance and to create an ‘opening condition’ for the use of choreography. To maintain an ‘open condition’ within the practice of choreography, it is necessary to acknowledge the constant becoming of its materials that depend on non-hierarchical relations and on duration itself. My approach is improvisational and my compositional strategies, which are manifestly dependent on interdisciplinary collaborative processes, emphasise ways of thinking through both movement and the image.

Academic Presentations

-PSi#19 Now Then: Performance & Temporality.Stanford University. paper proposal: What can choreography do?. June. San Francisco. USA.

-Invited speaker to a Seminar on Ethics and artistic creation at Edinburgh college of Art, Edinburgh University: Changing the rhythm, slowing down time: when ethics and aesthetics entwine. June. Edinburgh.UK.

-Trans.form@work. University of Surrey, paper presentation: Crystal image – beyond metaphor: analysis of movement perception in interdisciplinary artistic work. March. Surrey. UK.

-Making Sense. University of Cambridge, poster presentation: Creating sense through interdisciplinary artistic research. September. Cambridge. UK.

-The Film-Philosophy conference. University of Dundee, paper presentation: A choreographic perspective on movement in cinema. An Analysis on Five by Abbas Kiarostami. July. Dundee. UK.

-The Art of Research. Research Narratives Symposium. Chelsea College of Art & Design, presentation of the practice-based work: Untitled#1 with Vangelis Lympouridis. October. London. UK.

-Dance, Timing and Musical Gesture. University of Edinburgh, Poster presentation: Researching nonhierarchical interactive relationships within interdisciplinary improvisation, June, Edinburgh. UK.

-Edinburgh College of Art seminars. Presentation: Crystal image, beyond metaphor. April. Edinburgh.UK.