Thresholds of Representation: Physical Disability in Dance and Perceptions of the Moving Body

  • Michelle DuffyEmail author
  • Paul Atkinson
  • Nichola Wood


Non-representational theory opens up ways to make sense of non-cognitive, bodily, emotional, and affective processes in corporeal movement. Many theories of dance have focused on the continuity of movement, the process of passing seamlessly from one position to another. However, such expectations are readily disrupted by impaired bodies, which, despite their own internal continuity, are read through a normative body. This leads to registering movement in terms of an absence or lack of an expected movement. This prompts the viewer to shift from a direct consideration of the body–space relationship as a field of expression to representational structures that seek to explain the impairment. While this chapter approaches dance through non-representational theory, the authors argue that representation still shapes the conditions for affectual relationships in performance.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia
  2. 2.Monash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  3. 3.Faculty of Environment, University of LeedsLeedsUK

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