introduction to WEAVING POLITICS

WEAVING POLITICS addresses choreography, theory and ethics as one and the same weaving labor of politics. And by a cobweb of specific languages and disenchanted knowledge, engages in the reality of today. Not least by a scrutiny of the notion and implementation of human rights and violence.


Under the past decades, choreography has pursued an intensive process of critical self-examination. And, by engaging in critical theory, other sciences and media, popular culture etc. has radically transformed itself, and its entire field of action.

Today, after years of productive de-creation of sign and dispersion of self, and loads of participation, reciprocity and expanded practice, choreography is drowning in its own overdrive, and fails to address its own circumstances. To regain initiative, respond to financial crises, and survive restrictive politics, choreography now must reconsider self-determination, and review its motive.

Turn to ethics, and discuss politics. Not to politicize it-self, as to re-position, but to claim responsibility, and act as politics.

A few fundamental questions must be confronted and discussed.

What knowledge is provided by artistic practice? What experience is produced by theory?
On account of what knowledge experience does politics legitimize its actions?
Who is working? What is being done? From what position and by which circumstances?
According to what criteria is quantification of relevance being assessed?
By whom and where is this alleged relevance to be implemented?
What is the purpose, and utility value of choreography, science, theory, and politics?

If we manage to answer these basic questions and allow meaning to be produced by the acknowledgement of mutuality – then we might have the possibility of a different political space.

And if we manage to discuss art and theory not by the translation of various sets of politics into the realm of aesthetics and language, or by the usual moral navigations between right and wrong, we might actually gain access to the potential of politics.

From there, following questions will be posed:

Is self-determination a prerogative, or an imperative for choreography/politics today?
Is artistic intervention a choice, a need, a duty or a (liberal) simulation of potlatch?
When and how does choreography act as politics, versus stagnate into an aestheticized political gesture?
When and how does politics act upon, or rather shape and form reality, versus stagnate into a rhetorical gesture?
How do we determine Human Rights and how may they be implemented by politics/choreography?
Should politics/choreography address violence as mean of intervention?

Consequentially, the symposium examines the following:

If choreography works by linguisticality, by exposure of incomprehensibility, as gesture of pure mediality, then it is an act of politics, and endurance of violence. Do we then dare name choreography as endurance of violence in terms of poetics?
Can we speak in terms of poetics? Can we expect from politics to restrain its own violence, yet sustain poetics?

Final concerns:

Violence, incomprehensibility, pure mediality, poetics, and endurance stir up a new set of relevant questions:
Having already replaced faith with fiction, what do we do when fiction has grown unbearable?

Do we need a return to political theology? Should teleology be reconsidered?
What will it take to reclaim politics? And regain choreography?

Crucial conclusion:

Is choreography worth regaining? Or should we move on, and redirect our doings?
Is politics worth reclaiming? Or must it be reinvented?

WEAVING POLITICS does not expect to provide answers to these questions, yet has the ambition to set up a critical space, from which to recognize, address and share the urgency of their content. A space thus, dwelled the way Hanna Arendt suggest, not by following required sets of politically correct actions, but rather by staging and perceiving alternative sets of responses; that is, by and as choreography.

WEAVING POLITICS articulates itself by critical interactions of theory, politics and choreographic practice, by a series of keynote events, academic lectures, round-tables, informal discussions, and performative installations.

The symposium turns to practitioners, researchers and doctoral students from the fields of choreography, dance- and performance studies, philosophy and cultural studies, law, sociology and political science, bringing artistic and academic research and practices together. And will be open to the general public for active participation.

Pivotal subject and crucial input to the symposium is the presentation of guest performance/installation, Human Writes by William Forsythe and Kendall Thomas, performed by the Forsythe Company and guests from ccap, the Cullberg Ballet and the community of dancers in Stockholm – 14 and 15 December. Additional interventions will be presented by Cristina Caprioli/ccap, in collaboration with co-researchers.



WEAVING POLITICS is initiated by Cristina Caprioli, choreographer, ccap artistic director, Professor of Choreography at the University of Dance and Circus in Stockholm. The symposium is key event of a two-year research project conducted by Cristina Caprioli with the support of the Swedish Research Council. Produced by ccap, the University of Dance and Circus, the House of Dance in Stockholm, and in collaboration with the Cullberg Ballet.