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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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



  • 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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