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Writing Movement

Volkswagen Foundation Sponsors Project at Freie Universität on Relationship between Theory and Practice in Art and Science of Dance with 195,000 Euros / Press Image

№ 084/2016 from Mar 24, 2016

The Volkswagen Foundation is supporting a research project at Freie Universität Berlin that is investigating the relationship between theory and practice in the art and science of dance. In a project entitled "Writing Movement" („Bewegung Schreiben“) at the Institute of Theater Studies, artists and scholars from the field of dance are examining written methods for recording movement. The researchers are addressing a central issue of current research on dance. They are looking at both artistic and scholarly practices and forms of documentation of dance. The project is being funded with 196,400 euros over a two-year period.

The description and textualization of movement in texts, notations, and sketches contributes significantly to the mediation of knowledge about dance. While the tension between transitory movement and documentary writing has been seen as problematic both in artistic practice and in academic dance research up to the present time, the researchers in this project aim to investigate the transformations and media transfers between movement and writing as well as the interferences between art and science in light of their potential for writing about movement, whereby writing is regarded both as a process of verbalization and in forms of graphical recording of movement.

In their joint work, the dancers and choreographers Christina Ciupke, Kiran Kumar, and Liz Waterhouse, the performance artist Sophia New, the visual artist Juliane Laitzsch, and the dance and theater scholars Daniela Hahn and Isa Wortelkamp are developing models of writing about movement that should prove to be fruitful for both artistic and academic work processes.

The project is being funded within the "Art and Science in Movement" funding line of the Volkswagen Foundation, which aims to stimulate exchange between academic knowledge and artistic knowledge with respect to the study of movement, thereby setting in motion the processes involved in the production of knowledge itself.

Press Photo

Juliane Laitzsch, Map, pencil, colored pencil on paper · 100 cm × 70 cm (2005); a drawing by an artist involved in the project; Credit: B. Borchardt


Further Information

  • Dr. Isa Wortelkamp (Project Coordinator), Dance and Theater Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Email:
  • Project Name: „Bewegung Schreiben. Im Zwischen von Praxis und Theorie in der Kunst und Wissenschaft des Tanzes“ (Writing Movement: Theory and Practice in the Art and Science of Dance)