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Research Interests

Aesthetic theory of the 20th century; Choreography and performativity in social and political settings; Corporeality, reconstruction and heritage in performance and contemporary dance


Dr. Susanne Foellmer is a dance and theatre scholar. She received her PhD at Freie Universität Berlin, focusing on unfinished corporealities in contemporary dance and performance art. Educated at the Instiute for Applied Theatre Studies at the Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen (MA degree) her dissertation dealt with dance and drama in the Weimar Era with a special focus on the dancer and actress Valeska Gert, dealing also with re-presentations of gender, politics and inter/mediality.

Her most recent research approaches dance and performance from the perspective of “leftovers”, being examined in her current project “On Remnants and Vestiges. Strategies of Remaining in the Performing Arts” (funded by German Research Foundation/DFG).

Collaborating with scholars on an interdisciplinary level in the field of sociology and communication studies at Freie Univerisitaet Berlin, she is furthermore investigating in the interrelations of dance and politics, particularly with regard to choreographies of locally executed protest in topical situations of social riot and its globally distributed social mediatisation (e.g flash mobs).

Besides, Susanne works as a dramaturge in dance and theatre, with Helena Botto, Dance Company Rubato, Isabelle Schad, and Jeremy Wade, among others. She also has been active as a curator in dance exhibitions and for the Dance Congress 2009 at Kampnagel, Hamburg.

In the broader context of outside academia cultural work she acted as a member of the Jury for Dance and Theatre at the Berlin Senate, Department for Cultural Affairs as well as chair of the umbrella association Contemporary Dance Berlin (ZTB).

Vision Statement

Taking dance and choreography as a core of my research, I am largely interested in regarding those as impetus and nexus for a wider perspective on what movement releases and implies in both the narrower field of the performing arts ­– for instance examining the ontological challenges when it comes to archiving and reconstruction – as well as in areas more or less akin to it, involving for instance a critical view on sociability and politicality from a dance and choreography point of view.

Bridging those fields, an important focus of mine lies on the understanding of dance theory as a specific critical practice, as well as reflecting artistic work in interdisciplinary research contexts and the social and political field.

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Research Output 2000 2019

(Pre-)Enacting Resistance? Protest and the Means of Staging

Foellmer, S. 2018 (In preparation) P/RE/ENACT!: ZwischenZeitenPerformen (Perfroming Between Times). Czirak, A., Nikoleit, S., Oberkrome, F., Straub, V., Walter-Jochum, R. & Wetzels, M. (eds.). Bielefeld: Transcript-Verlag

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Dance, Performance, Media, Transfer: Sketching Notions and Problems in the Field

Foellmer, S. 2018 (In preparation) Transfer in the Performing Arts: Moving Between Media. Foellmer, S., Schmidt, M. K. & Schmitz, C. (eds.). Abingdon: Routledge, p. 15-25 (Advances in Theatre & Performance Studies)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Dynamics or Solidifications? Questions on Form(ations) in Contemporary Dance

Foellmer, S. 31 Oct 2018 In : Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts. 23, 4-5, p. 318 - 323 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Contemporary Dance

How Performance Repeats Itself: On the Presence of Remainders in the Performing Museum

Foellmer, S. 2018 (Accepted/In press) Body ^ Space ^ Object ^ Memory ^ Identity. Crawley, M-L. (ed.). London: Palgrave Macmillian, Vol. (in press), p. (in press)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

On the Political Nature of Leftovers

Foellmer, S. 16 Apr 2018 In : Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts. 22, 8, p. 77-85 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle