Learning about the 60s: Choreography as a Practice of Archiving

Antje Hildebrandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article I suggest looking at the choreographer from the position of the archivist. I will do so by contextualising a video entitled Learning about the 60s, a piece that came out of a practice-based research project that I undertook together with three second year BA dance students in March 2012. Within a time period of four weeks (thirty hours) we looked at different creative strategies and choreographic methods and processes for translating Trio A (1966) by the American choreographer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer. The project initially set out as an enquiry into the relationship between movement and language, which arises from a concern with how meaning is created from what we see and hear when we watch a performance. Over the duration of the project I questioned the piece’s prominent place in postmodern dance history and both its legacy and relevance to contemporary dance practices. This shifted the focus of the project towards an ontological investigation. There are several specific research questions that emerged in the course of the project: How can I offer an alternative reading of Trio A, one that goes beyond what we already know about
it? How can I dialogue with what I see as an “object” that has primarily presented itself to me as video documentation? If Trio A has become an object, how can I comment on the fetishization of it? How can I challenge, destabilise and/or interrupt the ‘thingness’ of Trio A? Finally, how do I place my work next to Rainer’s?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-42
Number of pages11
JournalMōtiō - Postgraduate Journal of Dance Research & Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Postmodern Dance
  • Trio A
  • Yvonne Rainer
  • Dance and Objecthood


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