Digital Echoes pp 231-247 | Cite as

In/Tangible: The Duality of Video Documentation in Dance

  • Heather Young Reed


Young Reed looks at digital modes of dance documentation and investigates some of the ways that video and computer applications challenge the notoriously ephemeral notion of dance performance. Within the field of dance, discussions about conserving the legacy of choreographic works have consistently been riddled with a number of philosophical issues relating to the tangibility of live performance. This chapter interrogates this issue through a discussion that illuminates documentation, and foregrounds the practical uses of video records within the wider topic of digital preservation. Specific examples are drawn from a case study that analyses the ways in which Synchronous Objects acted as a documentary tool in a restaging of William Forsythe’s One Flat Thing, reproduced (2000) at the Juilliard School in 2013.


  1. Baker, Peggy. Choreographer’s Trust. Accessed 12 June 2013.
  2. Cohen, Selma Jeanne. 1992. Dance as a Theatre Art: Source Readings in Dance History from 1581 to the Present. Hightstown, NJ: Princeton Book Company Publishers.Google Scholar
  3. Forsythe, William. 2000. One Flat Thing, reproduced. The Forsythe Company, Frankfurt. Performance.Google Scholar
  4. ———. 2009. The Dance. Synchronous Objects. Accessed 22 March 2013.
  5. ———. 2011. Choreographic Objects. In William Forsythe and the Practice of Choreography, ed. Steven Spier, 90–92. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Gilpin, Heidi. 2011. Aberations of Gravity. In William Forsythe and the Practice of Choreography, ed. Steven Spier, 112–127. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Hahn, Tomie. 2007. Sensational Knowledge: Embodying Culture Through Japanese Dance. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Hodes, Stuart. 1992. Dance Preservation and the Oral History Paradigm. Presentation at Dance Reconstructed: A Conference on Modern Dance Art Past, Present, and Future. New Brunswick, NJ, 16–17 October.Google Scholar
  9. Ness, Sally Ann. 2008. The Inscription of Gesture: Inward Migrations in Dance. In Migrations of Gesture, ed. Carrie Noland and Sally Ann Ness, 1–30. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  10. Phelan, Peggy. 1993. Unmarked: The Politics of Performance. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Rosenberg, Douglas. 2012. Screendance: Inscribing the Ephemeral Image. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Shawn, Ted. 1931. O Brother Sun and Sister Moon. Denishawn Company. Performance.Google Scholar
  13. Sheets-Johnstone, Maxine. 1979. The Phenomenology of Dance. 2nd ed. London: Dance Books Ltd.Google Scholar
  14. Siegel, Marcia. 1972. At the Vanishing Point: A Critic Looks at Dance. New York: Saturday Review Press.Google Scholar
  15. Taylor, Diana. 2003. The Archive and the Repertoire. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Thomas, Helen. 2003. The Body, Dance, and Cultural Theory. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Young, Heather. 2013. Field Notes, 2 February–29 March.Google Scholar
  18. Zuniga Shaw, Norah. 2009. The Data. Synchronous Objects. Accessed 22 March 2013.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heather Young Reed
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LincolnLincolnUK

Personalised recommendations