CFP: Dance Through the Looking-Glass, An International Conference on the Philosophy of Dance and Moving Bodies, June 2012



1-2 June 2012

Organised by Drs. Elisabeth Van Dam & the Centre for Critical Philosophy. < > Ghent University, Faculty for Arts and Humanities, Department Philosophy & Moral Science < > With the collaboration of University of Roehampton London, Department of Dance

This conference literally discovers dance ‘through the looking-glass’. It explores the possibilities of dance’s reflection through the combination and gesture of divergent philosophical ‘steps’. Philosophical studies, aesthetical theories, critical investigations, literary responses and research in the field of practice echo the wide range of scholarly lines drawn towards dance. Movements of thought are instruments or mirrors for an exploration of the nature of dance and moving bodies. This conference supports that commitment and brings the complex relation between dance and the mirror before the footlights. It also questions the way in which dancers move artistically and ‘move’ us. The formation and duplication of dancers through the looking-glass has an impact on problems of self-consciousness, body-awareness, identity and the grasp on reality. The performance of freedom in a sensible body puts the ideas of play, elevation and aesthetical judgment to the fore. Poetry and literature as a mirror for the quicksilver spirit of dance prompt us with questions on the possibility to put dance into words. Dance through the Looking-Glass makes space for these topics and moves along with their diverse interpretations.


Catherine Botha, Lecturer, University of Johannesburg, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy; Anna Pakes, Senior Lecturer, Roehampton University London, Department of Dance; Noé Soulier, Dancer and Philosopher, Université de Paris – Sorbonne, WPZimmer Antwerp; Nigel Stewart, Senior Lecturer, Lancaster University, Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts.


We invite scholars with a paper connected to the theme of the conference, permitting participants to engage in debate and discussions concerning the various philosophical views on dance, body and movement (30 min plus 15 min Q&A). If you wish to contribute, please send an abstract of 500 words to The deadline for submission is 30 February 2012. Participants whose abstract is accepted will be asked to send in a full paper by June 2012. A call for registration will be posted in due course. Find out more here.

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