Expanding Testimony: Dance performance as a mode of witnessing in Richard Move’s Lamentation Variation

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    In this article I explore dance’s potential to serve as a form of trauma testimony. I first define trauma and testimony and consider how literature, the favored medium of testimony in trauma studies, offers ways to think about dance as a means of bearing witness. I further suggest that dance as a vehicle of expression provides as yet under-explored possibilities for testimony because its embodied character offers new forms of affective witnessing in our troubled geopolitical moment. Specifically, I study Richard Move’s Lamentation Variation, commissioned by the Martha Graham Dance Company in 2007, and ask how the piece reworks the traumatic dimensions of falling that have so prolifically characterized memories of 9/11.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)322-341
    Number of pages20
    JournalDance Chronicle
    Issue number3
    Early online date12 Dec 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Bibliographical note

    This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Dance Chronicle, on 12/12/2019, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/01472526.2019.1673111

    Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


    • 9/11
    • Lamentation Variations
    • Martha Graham Dance Company
    • Richard Move
    • testimony
    • trauma

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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